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HORKESLEY PRIORY

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A Cluniac priory was founded at Horkesley as a dependency of Thetford before 1127, becoming denizen in 1376, and was dissolved in 1525. The priory church survived the dissolution until 1940 when it was almost entirely destroyed by German bombs. The church had been much altered in the 15th and 16th centuries. A new church built by Duncan Clark in 1958, covers the original site. When recorded in 1922 by the RCHM, the church had no remaining work of the Norman period, except perhaps the North wall of the Nave. About 1340 the West Tower was built and a South Aisle added; the West wall of the aisle was also of this date. About the middle of the 15th century the South arcade was built, or rebuilt, and the South Chapel and Aisle rebuilt. Early in the 16th century a North chapel was added and the South Porch built. It appears probable that the priory chapel extended East from the existing chancel and that the cloister lay to the North of it with the domestic buildings on the site of the existing house. There was no evidence of cloister or adjoining buildings on the North side of the nave. If the priory chapel extended East, then the East wall of the chancel, (as seen in 1922), had to be of post-suppression date. The South porch had been largely rebuilt probably in the 18th century. The church was extensively restored in the 19th century when the North Chapel was rebuilt.

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