Opening Times and Accessibility
Last updated Thursday, 23 September, 2021
The Priory Church is open to visitors from 9.30am-5pm every day.
The Tea rooms and Gift shop are open from 10am - 4.30pm Monday - Friday
The church may close periodically through the day for services or weddings.
St John's at Purewell are both currently closed at all times.
Our wonderful Monastic lawns towards the rear of the Priory are perfect for a picnic or to enjoy a selection of snacks from our tea rooms. You can also do a 15 minute circular walk taking in the river and ruins of the old town. The Quay with its wonderful views to the Isle of Wight is a 60 second walk from the Priory.
The Priory Church was built over 900 years ago without accessibility in mind but most of the church is accessible to visitors with mobility, hearing and sight restrictions.
Hard of Hearing
An Induction Loop service is available in the Nave, Great Quire and the Lady Chapel. Simply switch your hearing aid to the 'T' position to block out surrounding noise. This will help you to hear sermons and speeches more clearly.
An Amplified Service is also available in most areas of the church.
We have a large print version of our 'Welcome Leaflet' which provides a brief history of the church and a floor plan showing items of particular interest to visitors. Many of the statues, memorials and chantries have tactile surfaces which can be explored with your hands to get a good picture of what they look like. There is a scale model of the church at the east end of the North Quire Aisle which at the cost of just 20p, will light up and play a recording of the Priory Bells and the organ.
Guide Dogs and other Working Dogs are welcome.
There is level access through the North Porch into the Priory. The doors and aisles are wide enough to facilitate wheelchair access. The following areas of the church are unfortunately inaccessible to wheelchair users.
The Great Quire requires a climb of 8 steps from either the North or South Quire Aisles. There are handrails on these steps.
The North Transept has 3 steps and then a further 2. There is no handrail.
The South Transept has 3 steps which are widely spaced and so easier to climb. There is a handrail.
St Michael's Loft Museum can only be reached by a narrow spiral staircase.
The Tower is also reached by narrow steps.
The Priory Church does not have its own Car Park but a space can usually be found in the Priory House Car Park adjacent to the church and Priory House. Alternatively, there is a Pay and Display Car Park located behind the Priory Church.
There are toilets in a block at the rear of the church that includes a disabled toilet which uses the Radar Key system. The key can be obtained from the Vestry in the church.