The Gisborough Priory, in Yorkshire, was founded in the 12th century by a Norman Lord, Robert de Brus, ancestor of the Scottish king, Robert the Bruce. The Augustinian priory prospered until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540 when it was abolished along with England's other monastic communities. Its buildings were demolished, with only the East gate left standing. It has become a dramatic skeleton with its distinctive archway and provides a stunning landmark to the town of Guisborough with the sun rising just behind the gate early in the morning. Since 1962, the grounds of the Priory have been used by the Rowes family to grow cut flowers for local florists and private customers. Dahlias are a central part to the business which is now run by James, the third generation of the family. 60 different cultivars are grown in rows and include Dahlia 'Porcelain', 'Hillcrest Kismet' and 'Labyrinth'. To compliment them, annuals are grown from seeds and range from Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Black Knight', Rudbeckia hirta 'Sahara' and the grass Panicum virgatum 'Fontaine'. The gardens are opened regularly for 'Pick your own' sessions as well as flower arranging workshops.
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