was founded in 1119 by Robert the Bruce, 1st lord of Annandale, the ancestor
of the Scottish king, Robert the Bruce. It was disestablished in 1539.
Local legend says it has a ghost, known as the Black Monk who haunts the site of the priory on the first new moon of each year. In 2011 the first full moon was on Wednesday the 19th Jan, sadly I could not be there to see it for myself, However, from reports I have received over the years contradict this, as he has been seen many times on other occasions. A second story is linked into the tale of treasure said to be buried under the priory, in a tunnel leading from the priory, which is said that it is guarded by a raven that claws the eyes of any who try to take it. Reports also suggest he appears when you walk around late at night anywhere near the treasure, he does this to scare people away. So if you do see him you may be above the hidden burial ground. If we where to see him during our visit would this indicate to us where the burial place may be!
Present from AGH were Mark, Andy, Jazz, Steph, Mike and Ian.
We had all been on a House Investigation nearby to Guisborough so decided to call in to have a look around, I have had many reports over the years about the Monk, and even been lucky enough to interview some witnesses who have seen the monk. The underground tunnel is said to come out somewhere near Tocketts which is nearby, and there is a big open field just outside the grounds where many have witnessed the Monk, all say he just walks passed them, again however I have interviewed some, who say if you go into the Priory grounds he will come in and chase you if show it or him any disrespect or stand in certain areas. We stayed for sometime looking around, the only remains is the eastern gable end that stands an impressive 97 foot high, further in are some vaults you can still walk under and some excavated areas. We looked around everywhere, and when we entered the vaults there was an eerie feeling but nothing else. When we returned to the gable wall and stood around for a bit, we all started to look in the same direction over to the playing field outside the grounds, as we thought we could see what appeared to be a figure, that was black fading in and out, the more we watched it the closer it seemed to get to us. Were we stood near the buried treasure, well as we were spread over a twenty foot distance from each other, which one of us was stood above it ! No matter what the figure disappeared before it got too close and did not enter the grounds.
When we moved from the area we could not see the figure anymore, but on return to the same area again it seemed to reappear, however it did not enter the Priory grounds and simply disappeared as before when it come close by. Sceptically it could easily be said it may have been our imaginations, but then again how can anyone be sure. I remember being told he would only enter if you showed disrespect to the Priory in some way. This is something as a group we will not do, no matter what. Respect for the dead is far more important than our own need for proof. During our visit no one seemed to pick up on anything else or any Ghosts, the whole visit I would say was pleasant and relaxing. It is a place that deserves respect and we showed it that. Although many would disagree due to religious reasoning, looking for Ghosts on such a site. All I can say is if there are reports of activity then they need checking. We spent a couple of hours looking around the place, but nothing happened at all.
FINAL THOUGHT: I DON'T BELIEVE WE EXPERIENCED ANYTHING, THE FIGURE WE SAW WAS TOO DISTANT TO BE ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SURE IT REALLY WAS A FIGURE, IT MAY HAVE BEEN A TRICK ON THE IMAGINATION, DISTANCE AND THE LIGHTING. THE PRIORY IS A LOVELY PLACE AND DESERVES A DAYTIME NON GHOST HUNTING VISIT, JUST TO ENJOY AND MARVEL AT THE BEAUTY OF THE PLACE.