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BINHAM PRIORY

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The now ruined Binham Priory was founded in 1091 by Peter de Valoines and established as a cell of the Benedictine abbey of St Albans. The original endowments included the manor of Binham, which had been granted to de Valoines by William the Conqueror, and tithes from a number of other manors in Norfolk.

In 1539 the priory was dissolved by King Henry VIII and most of its property, including the manor, was granted to Sir Thomas Paston. Dismantling of the monastic buildings began soon after. His grandson, Edward Paston, carried out further demolition work intending to build a house on the site, however the project was abandoned after the death of a workman. Since the dissolution the nave of the church has remained in use as the parish church and is known as the Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross. The priory precinct is now owned by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust and under the guardianship of English Heritage.

The precinct is entered through a gatehouse, the ruins of which still stand on the west boundary. The partly ruined priory church and the ruined walls and wall footings of the conventual buildings, which are the core of the monastic complex, occupy the higher ground in the south western part of the precinct. Between these and the western boundary are the remains of a walled outer court containing masonry foundations of other substantial buildings. Adjoining the claustral complex on the east and south east side are earthworks defining further enclosures, and beyond these, bordering the stream which flows through the north and north eastern part of the precinct, are the remains of the mill pond with associated water management features.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.