Caistor St Edmund: inscription


Inscription from Caistor St Edmund, Norwich Castle © David Gill

In 1931 Donald Atkinson discovered a fragmentary Latin inscription cut on a piece of limestone (Collingwood, R. G., and M. V. Taylor. “Roman Britain in 1931.” The Journal of Roman Studies, 22, 1932, p. 226. JSTOR). It was found at a depth of 1 foot and 6 inches [c. 45 cm] ‘beside the road flanking the east side of the forum’. Atkinson suggested that it could be linked to the construction or refurbishment of the forum.

The inscription may have read, ADAT / SVPE (RIB 214). It can be seen in Norwich Castle Museum.

Thetford: guidebooks


1956 (repr. 1970)

The Cluniac priory at Thetford was placed in State Guardianship in 1932. F.J.E. Raby prepared the first official guide in 1935. This was expanded by P.K. Baillie Reynolds (1956). The pair also prepared the guidebooks for Castle Acre Priory and Framlingham Castle.

The Thetford guide consists of three pages of History, followed by six pages of description. A plan of the priory was placed in the middle pages.


1984 (repr. 1989; orig. 1979)

In 1979 the DOE guidebook was expanded to include a section on the Warren Lodge outside Thetford. S.E. Rigold prepared the new section on the lodge. In 1984 this booklet evolved into the English Heritage guide with black and white photographs and plans. David Sherlock had a section on the Church of the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre (with plan), and Rigold on the lodge.


Thetford Warren Lodge © David Gill

Thetford Priory: Sacristry


Thetford Priory © David Gill

The sacristry at Thetford Priory formed part of the original early 12th century building, started in 1107.


Thetford Priory © David Gill

The sacristry was originally smaller with an apse at the east end. It was expanded to the east at the beginning of the 16th century. The Chapter House lay to the south of the sacristry.


Thetford Priory © David Gill


Thetford Priory © David Gill

The sacristry was entered from the south end of the south transept. It was also built with access to the cloister (to the west) but this entrance was blocked.


Thetford Priory © David Gill


Thetford Priory © David Gill

The later sacristry was entered from the north transept. It was constructed c. 1475–1540. A small oven was placed in the south-east corner.

The sacristry contained fragments of a mid-16th century tomb that appears to have been in preparation for installation in the church. (For other tombs, see here.)


Thetford Priory © David Gill


Thetford Priory © David Gill

St Olave’s Priory: undercroft


St Olave’s Priory © David Gill

The refectory undercroft at St Olave’s Priory in Norfolk is in remarkable condition. The bricked in doorway led from the undercroft to the kitchen court.


St Olave’s Priory © David Gill

Slype at Thetford


Thetford Priory © David Gill

The slype, or corridor, in Thetford Priory is found at the south-east corner of the cloister, and to the south of the chapter house. It linked to the infirmary.


Slype, Thetford Priory © David Gill

See also the slype at the Cluniac foundation of Crossraguel.

Thetford Priory: Howard Tombs

IMG_1789John Howard, the First Duke of Norfolk, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 where he was commanding the part of Richard III’s army.


Thetford Priory, likely tomb of John Howard © David Gill

His tomb appears to be located in a tomb constructed on the north side of the aisle of the church at Thetford Priory, and adjacent to the north transept. The body may have been moved to St Michael’s, Framlingham.


Thetford Priory © David Gill

The tomb of Thomas Howard (1443-1524), Second Duke of Norfolk, was placed at the east end of the original church (that had been extended). He defeated the army of James IV of Scotland at Flodden in September 1513.


Thetford Priory © David Gill

Howard died at Framlingham Castle in May 1524 and his body was buried at Thetford.


Thetford Priory © David Gill


Castle Acre Priory: chapter house


Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The chapter house at Castle Acre priory is located on the east side of the cloister, and backs onto the south transept of the priory church. It dates to the mid-12th century. The original form had an apse on the east side, now marked out adjacent to the infirmary passage. (The Ministry of Works marked the eastern apse of the chapter house at Thetford in the same way.)


Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

The chapter house was remodelled in the early 14th century, and a wall blocked off the eastern apse. Traces of the seating for the monks can be seen on the north and south walls.


Castle Acre Priory, chapter house © David Gill


Castle Acre Priory © David Gill

Immediately to the south of the chapter house was the doorway that led to the dorter.


Castle Acre Priory, chapter house © David Gill