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

 

Bury St Edmunds: Norman Tower

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Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Norman Tower © David Gill

The Norman Tower was constructed in the period 1120 to 1148 under Abbot Anselm. It stands opposite the end of Churchgate Street, and in front of the west end of the abbey church. It served as a gateway to the abbey (completed in 1095) and the bell tower to the adjacent church of St James (now St Edmundsbury Cathedral).

Abbot Anselm was also responsible for the construction of the precinct wall, the church of St James, and the church of St Mary (at the south-west corner of the precinct).

The present ground level is well over the original street level. The tympanum over the western entrance was removed in 1789, and the battlements on the tower in 1842-46.

The Norman Tower, along with other parts of the abbey remains, is in the care of English Heritage.

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Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Norman Tower © David Gill

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

Step into Castle Acre

1952 [1970]

1952 [1970]

The original Office of Works guide to Castle Acre Priory in Norfolk was prepared in 1936.It had been placed under state guardianship in 1913. The guidebook was split into two distinct sections: the history by Frederick J.E. Raby, Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and the description by Paul K. Baillie Reynolds, formerly Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments. (The pair also collaborated on the guidebook to Framlingham Castle.) My Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (MPBW) ‘Official Guidebook’ is the eleventh impression (1970) of the second edition (1952). The cost was 2 shillings [10 p].  There is a fold-out plan inside the back cover. The cover shows the crest of the priory taken from the gatehouse (see the English Heritage guidebook, p. 22 [for position]).

1952 [1979]

1952 [1979]

My 1979 Department of the Environment (DOE) ‘Official Handbook’ (note the change from ‘Official Guidebook’) is the fourteenth impression (1979) of the second edition (1952). The price is now 50 p. Essentially the text and images are the same although there are minor changes. Raby is now listed as ‘Sometime’ Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Works.

2008 [2013]

2008 [2013]

The English Heritage guidebook by Edward Impey covers Castle Acre Priory and Castle (2008; revised reprint 2013). This colour guide has a Priory Tour  (pp. 4-23), a Castle Tour (pp. 24-31), and a History (pp. 32-48). There are fold-out plans of the village and priory inside the front and back covers. There is a wonderful archive photograph of the first uniformed custodian, William Savage, who was appointed in 1929.