Remains Of Cluniac Benedictine Priory Of St Mary And St Peter And St Paul

7 Jul 2003
Remains Of Cluniac Benedictine Priory Of St Mary And St Peter And St Paul, Priory Road, Castle Acre, Kings Lynn And West Norfolk, Norfolk
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


8/11 Remains of Cluniac Benedictine Priory of St. Mary and St Peter and St Paul

G.V. I

Remains of Cluniac Benedictine Priory of St. Mary and SS Peter and Paul. C12 church and monastery, C15 and C16 alterations and additions in west range forming Prior's Lodging. Founded 1090 by William de Warrene, second Earl of Surrey, dissolved 1537. Benedictines of the Cluniac Reform. Stone faced, flint built church, flint monastery. Cruciform church with monastic quadrangle to south. Church west elevation of early C12, Romanesque freestone tripartite facade. Surviving to parapet height. Nave gable has central round arched door with 4 orders supporting arch of diaper, rope, zig zag and bobbin sections.

Flanking bands of interlace blank arches in 3 stages. Large Perpendicular west window, with flanking diaper pattern Norman blank windows. Clasping nook-shafted buttresses to parapet height. Aisles have single round arch door, blank windows and interlaced arches above. At south-west fourth storey, above aisle formed by Transitional tower with 2 shafted 2-pointed arched windows to each face. Blank arcading and interlace to interior of nave west gable.

Nave elevation survives on south side only, one bay of arcade with gallery and clerestorey with half passage above. Piers with diagonal grooving, wall shafts running through 3 storeys formerly supporting unvaulted roof. Vaulted south aisle. Remains of C12 nave, aisles, crossing, transepts, chapels, choir and sanctuary. Compound section piers of polychrome greystone and carstone banding. Outline of reconstructed apsed east end terminations after Cluny II altered to square ends in C14 and C15. C12 monastic quadrangle to south, with Chapter house, Dormitory with undercroft and stairs, garde-robe.

Rere-dorter at right angles at south, with drains and lavatories, arched over river. C12 Norman and C14 Infirmary. South range with Norman Refectory and kitche, further later kitchen. West range has C12 Prior's Lodging and west gate, altered in C15 and C16. Central c.1500 flint chequerwork and timber frame gabled pantiled 2 storey porch with 4-centred arch and window. C12 zig zag arch and 2 bay rib vaulted passage. Refaced facade of C12 west range to north, with C12 range refaced in C16 at north-west. 2 storey gabled west elevations with C15 first floor stone oriel, north face with perhaps C16 post-Dissolution stone bowed first floor window on buttress base with squinches. Norman ground floor door. Interior has ground floor C12 aisled vaulted undercroft with parlatorium to north. First floor Prior's Chapel with C12 arched apsed sanctuary, C14 east window and sedile. C15 scissor braced roof, remains of inner moulded ceiling. Presumably post-Dissolution C16 inserted stack divides into 2 chambers. Further detached possibly agricul- tural buildings at southwest. Scheduled Ancient Monument, County Number 2.

See F.J.E. Raby and P.K.B. Reynolds Castle Acre Priory (1952). In care of HBMC.

Listing NGR: TF8142614757


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1598 IOE Records taken by Alan Francis Polaine; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Alan Francis Polaine. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Polaine, Alan Francis

Rights Holder: Polaine, Alan Francis


Carstone, Flint, Stone, Medieval Kitchen, Domestic, Refectory, Unassigned, Building Component, Building, Dormitory, Residential Building, Monastic Dwelling, Clerical Dwelling, House, Dwelling, Privy House, Water Supply And Drainage, Water Disposal Site, Gate, Chapter House, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Church, Place Of Worship, Chapel, Cluniac Monastery, Monastery, Religious House, Priory, Sanctuary, Infirmary, Health And Welfare, Agricultural Building, Agriculture And Subsistence