Precinct Wall at Bury St Edmunds

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Precinct Wall at Bury St Edmunds Abbey © David Gill

One of the best preserved sections of the precinct wall for the abbey at Bury St Edmunds is on the south side.

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Precinct Wall at Bury St Edmunds Abbey © David Gill

Bury St Edmunds Abbey

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Bury St Edmunds Abbey © David Gill

The remains of Bury St Edmunds Abbey are in state guardianship and can be found in the Abbey Gardens. The recently constructed tower of St Edmundsbury Cathedral (Church of England) provides an excellent viewing platform for the abbey remains.

The abbey lies to the east of the present cathedral with remains of the nave. There are substantial architectural remains at the crossing below the central tower. To the left is the north transept, with St Martin’s Chapel and the Lady Chapel. Beyond the crossing is the crypt with the shrine of St Edmund.

To the left and behind the north transept is the chapter house, and the prior’s house.

Binham Priory: Gatehouse

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Binham Priory © David Gill

The gatehouse of Binham Priory lies to the west of the priory church on the edge of the precinct boundary (see English Heritage plan).

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Binham Priory © David Gill

Binham Priory: Dorter

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Binham Priory © David Gill

The monks’ dorter at Binham Priory lay in the eastern wing, to the south of the warming house (see English Heritage plan). It dated to the 12th century. A reredorter projected to the east. The dorter was placed over the undercroft.

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Binham Priory, undercroft (with dorter above) and warming room beyond © David Gill

Access to the dorter was via the day stairs located between the parlour and the chapter house, with access from the eastern side of the cloister.

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Binham Priory © David Gill
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Binham Priory © David Gill
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Binham Priory, parlour and site of day stairs to dorter © David Gill

Lindisfarne Priory

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Lindisfarne Priory © David Gill

The first monastery on Lindisfarne was established in the 7th century AD by St Aidan. St Cuthbert was buried here at the end of the century; his remains were later moved to Durham. A new monastery was founded from Durham in the early 12th century.

The west front of the church contained two towers (the southern one remains). The inside face of the west front shows the traces of the vaulting that covered the nave of the church, a feature that recalls Durham.

At the top of the front are arrowloops that were constructed  to defend the priory from attack during the border wars with Scotland.

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Lindisfarne Priory © David Gill

The present parish church of St Mary was built to the west of the priory church and dates to the 13th century.

Iona: The Michael Chapel

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The Michael Chapel (2012) © David Gill

The Michael Chapel is located to the east of the abbey complex. It probably dates to the 13th century. The chapel was restored in 1959 when it adopted the association with Michael.

Between 2012 and 2014 the old Ministry signage was replaced with the new look Historic Scotland boards.

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Iona, The Michael Chapel (2014) © David Gill

Reconstructions at Binham Priory

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Binham Priory © David Gill

It is sometimes hard to spot where some of the masonry at a heritage site has been restored. At Binham Prory in Norfolk the Ministry placed a sign to show where restoration work had taken place on the supports for the main tower.

Bury St Edmunds Abbey: Lecture Court

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Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

The ruins of the Benedictine abbey at Bury St Edmunds lie in the abbey gardens, adjacent to the present cathedral. The lecture court lies to the north-east of the abbey itself.

The abbey is now an English Heritage property.

Binham Priory

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Binham Priory © David Gill

Binham Priory in Norfolk is in the care of English Heritage, although the nave of the priory church now forms the parish church. The church contains some full information about the Benedictine  priory as well as features such as the overpainted rood screen.

The priory was founded in 1091 by Peter des Valoines.

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Binham Priory © David Gill

Finchale Priory

1987 [1989]
1987 [1989]
Heritage guides can have a long life. Some of the best examples are those written by A.J. Taylor for Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Conway castles. The guidebook for Finchale Priory was written by Sir Charles Peers, Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments, in 1933. It appeared as an English Heritage guide in 1984, revised in 1987, and reprinted in 1989. The guide follows the standard format of History (pp. 4-70, and Description and Tour (pp. 10-15). There is a plan in text (pp. 8-9). There are a limited number of black and white photographs.

This guidebook (1989) also notes the sponsorship of Gateway Foodmarkets Ltd. (see Longthorpe Tower).

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