Volunteer Fundraiser: Golden Age of the Lute in England c.1570 – c.1620

St Nicholas Priory’s volunteer team invites you warmly to support their fundraiser!

Golden Age of the Lute in England c.1570 – c.1620: A musically illustrated talk by Alan Hoyle

It may well be that some of the monks in St Nicholas’s Priory in Exeter played the lute as an accompaniment to worship and/or an aid to spiritual contemplation – we shall probably never know.  There can be very little doubt, however, that the sound of the lute was part of the everyday life of the building after its conversion to Tudor townhouse.  In fact, the golden years of the former priory’s function as a town-house for local gentry coincide exactly with the ‘Golden Age of the Lute in England’ – the lute can be no stranger to this building.

The lute seems to have been slow to take hold in England but, when it did, it was soon producing composers of the highest quality, admired and played across Europe.

Alan Hoyle – a volunteer at the Priory for some years now – will chart the rise and decline of the lute in England,  and play a number of pieces of the beautiful solo music of that Golden Age.

St Nicholas Priory

Founded by William the Conqueror in 1087, St Nicholas Priory was home to Benedictine monks for over 400 years and is the oldest building in Exeter. In 1536, like other monasteries, it was closed and the remains became the home of wealthy Tudor merchants.

St Nicholas Priory is in Mint Lane with walking access from Fore Street or Bartholomew Street West.
The nearest car park is Mary Arches Street (5 mins). Parking at Smythen Street and Harlequin Shopping Centre is also available.  Exeter Central railway station (10 mins). The bus station is a 15-minute walk away with many buses stopping on the High Street (1o mins).


Unfortunately, only the ground floor of our building is wheelchair-accessible.

Accessible loos and nappy-changing facilities.

If you have any questions or concerns about your visit, please email admin@nicholaspriory.com



Apr 23 2023





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St Nicholas Priory
Mint Lane, Off Fore Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3BL
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