Binham Priory: church

Binham Priory from the west © David Gill

The nave of the priory church at Binham remains in use.

Binham Priory, nave © David Gill

Parts of the south aisle lie outside the present parish church.

Binham Priory, south aisle and northern part of cloister © David Gill
Binham Priory © David Gill

The choir and presbytery lie to the east of the present parish church and are now in a ruinous state.

Binham Priory © David Gill

The north and south transepts are clearly marked.

Binham Priory, south transept © David Gill
Binham Priory © David Gill
Binham Priory © David Gill
Binham Priory, night stairs in south transept © David Gill

The night stairs are located in the south transept. These led to the dorter.

Binham Priory © David Gill
Binham Priory © David Gill

The foundations of the late 11th century building are marked out in the north aisle.

The Lady Chapel may have been located on the north side.

Binham Priory © David Gill

Binham Priory: Gatehouse

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).

Binham Priory © David Gill

Binham Priory: Dorter

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.

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.

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

Reconstructions at Binham Priory

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.

Binham Priory

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.

Binham Priory © David Gill

Caistor Roman Town

Caistor St Edmund
Caistor St Edmund: line of the southern defences © David Gill

The Roman town of Caistor St Edmund (Venta Icenorum) lies to the south of Norwich. Particularly good views of the site can be gained from the railway. The site is now managed by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust and there are a series of routes (and interpretation boards) to help visitors to explore the site. The line of the walls are easy to distinguish.

Caistor excavations
Excavations outside the southern defences

Recent excavations to the south of the walls have shown that occupation continued outside the walls.

Saxon Shore Forts in Norfolk


Three Roman forts associated with the Saxon Shore defences are located in Norfolk (and one of them used to be located in Suffolk before the county boundary changed!). David Gurney has written a helpful illustrated booklet on the forts for the Norfolk Archaeological Trust: Outposts of the Roman Empire: a guide to Norfolk’s Roman forts at Burgh Castle, Caister-on-Sea and Brancaster (2002). There is an introductory section that includes a map of Roman Norfolk, and another showing the estuary of the Bure, Yare and Waveney in the Roman period.

The book contains information about how to visit the three sites, and where to see the finds. There is also a short bibliography.

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