Thetford Priory: Chapter House

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Thetford Priory, Chapter House © David Gill

The chapter house at Thetford Priory lies on the east side of the cloister and adjacent to the sacristy and south transept of the church.

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Thetford Priory, Chapter House © David Gill

The original 12th century chapter house had an apse on the east side, but this was remodelled in the 14th century and replaced with a straight wall.

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Thetford Priory, Chapter House © David Gill

Thetford Priory Gatehouse

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Thetford Priory Gatehouse © David Gill

The priory at Thetford, Norfolk was founded in 1103, and moved to the present location in 1107. The 14th century gatehouse lies to the north-west of the priory (in the grounds of private houses). The property is in the care of English Heritage.

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

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Thetford Priory © David Gill

 

North Elmham Chapel

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North Elmham Chapel © David Gill

In the late Anglo-Saxon period North Elmham was a focal point for the Bishops of East Anglia. The bishopric was moved to Thetford in 1071.

Bishop Herbert de Losinga [ODNB] founded a church, after 1091, on the site of the earlier Anglo-Saxon cathedral. At some point after 1388 Bishop Henry le Despencer turned the former chapel into a castle. Part of the walls within the inner moat can be seen to the right of the chapel’s apse.

The chapel is now in the care of English Heritage.

The MPBW published a short paper guide by S.E. Rigold (1960) using the site’s then title of ‘North Elmham Saxon Cathedral’.

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1960 (repr. 1966)

Celebrating 100 Years of Guides to the National Heritage Collection

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1917

2017 marks the centenary of the first guidebooks to what can now be termed the National Heritage Collection. One of the first was written by Sir Charles Peers on St Botolph’s Priory in Colchester and now in the care of English Heritage. The guidebook was reissued as a ‘blue’ guide in 1964.

The 1917 guide include a fold-out plan of the priory inside the back cover. This was prepared by E. Dace Brown in July 1916. The guide was divided into three sections: The Augustinian Rule; History of St Botolph’s Priory; and The Priory Buildings.

Leading Visitor Attractions 2016: English Heritage

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Pendennis Castle © David Gill

The 2016 list of Leaving Visitor Attractions in the UK has been published. The top English Heritage site continues to be Stonehenge (at no. 23) with 1,381,855 visitors, with a modest 1.1 % increase on 2015 figures.

The remaining English Heritage properties are (with overall ranking):

  • Dover Castle (no. 98): 333,289
  • Osborne House (no. 116): 265,011
  • Tintagel Castle (no. 125): 229,809
  • Audley End House and Gardens (no. 149): 165,799
  • Whitby Abbey (no. 151): 151,810
  • Clifford’s Tower (no. 154): 146,703
  • Battle Abbey (no. 160): 137,771
  • Kenwood (no. 161): 134,416
  • Carisbrooke Castle (no. 164): 127,012
  • Wrest Park (no. 166): 124,305
  • Kenilworth Castle (no. 169): 107,993
  • Housesteads Roman Fort (no. 172): 102,004
  • Eltham Palace and Gardens (no. 176): 94,635
  • Bolsover Castle (no. 179): 91,880
  • Walmer Castle and Gardens (no. 180): 91,752
  • Pendennis Castle (no. 191): 73,907

The major increase in visitors were seen at Osborne House, Tintagel Castle, Audley End House and Gardens, Battle Abbey, Carisbrooke Castle, Wrest Park, Walmer Castle and Gardens. There was a significant downturn in visitors for Kenwood.

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Walmer Castle and Gardens © David Gill

Guidebooks to Orford Castle

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1964 (2nd impress. 1975)

Orford Castle was placed in the care of the Ministry of Works in 1962. The first guidebook was prepared by R. Allen Brown (1964) with a second impression in 1975. This followed the standard format to the ‘blue’ guides with history and description. The foldout plan at the back provided a section through the castle, and six plans of the different floors.

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1964 (1982; English Heritage 1988; repr. 1975)

This became the English Heritage guidebook. The plans and section were incorporated in the text.

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1988

A combined guidebook with Framlingham Castle followed. This was prepared by Derek Renn (1988). This contained colour illustrations and plans. It followed the format of a tour followed by a history of the castles.

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2003 (rev. 2011; repr. 2013)

The present guidebook is by John Rhodes (2003). It contains a tour of the castle followed by a history.

Grime’s Graves: Canon Greenwell’s Pit to open

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Canon Greenwell’s Pit, Grime’s Graves © David Gill

English Heritage has announced that it will opening up Canon Greenwell’s Pit at Grime’s Graves. A short video is available from the BBC (“Neolithic flint mine to open to public for the first time“, BBC News 11 March 2017). Access will be by guided tour. Pit 1 will continue to be open.

Canon William Greenwell (1820-1918) excavated at Grime’s Graves in 1868, following earlier work at the flint mines at Cissbury in Sussex.