Binham Priory is among the most complete and impressive monastic ruins in Norfolk. It was founded as a Benedictine priory 1091 by Peter des Valoines, a nephew of William the Conqueror. Many of its priors were unscrupulous and the history of the priory is one of almost continuous scandal. One 13th-century prior sold many of the priory’s valuables to pay for his experiments in alchemy. When it was suppressed by Henry VIII there were 6 monks in residence, although its population peak was only 14. Much of the stone was taken for building and can still be seen in some local houses. The nave of the priory church is now the parish church, and displays the former rood screen with medieval saints overpainted with Protestant texts. The extensive ruins beyond emphasise the original size of the monastery.
Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking nearby
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year daily, summer, 9-6; winter, 9-4 (exterior monastic ruins can be visited anytime during daylight)
Also in the area
About the area
The North Norfolk Coast is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and probably the finest of its kind in Europe. Here you’ll find a string of quaint villages and small towns – Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea and Cley next the Sea are 21st-century favourites, while Sheringham and Cromer are classic examples of a good old-fashioned seaside resort where grand Victorian hotels look out to sea. Further round the coast you'll find Great Yarmouth, one of the most popular resorts in the UK and packed full of amusements, shops and seashore entertainment. And let's not forget Norwich, the region's only city.
Norfolk prides itself on its wealth of historic houses, the most famous being Sandringham, where Her Majesty the Queen and her family spend Christmas. Many of Norfolk’s towns have a particular charm and a strong sense of community. The quiet market towns of Fakenham and Swaffham are prime examples, as well as Thetford, with its popular museum focusing on the TV comedy series Dad’s Army which was filmed in the area.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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