Record Details

NHER Number:25832
Type of record:Building
Name:Priory Farm, the site of Marmont Priory


Priory Farm, a small early 18th century brick house of two storeys in three bays, currently occupies this site. Priory Farm has a number of outbuildings that contain fragments of carved stone, and it is thought that these are derived from the small Gilbertine priory or chantry that stood on this site. It was founded in 1203 by Ralph de Hauville, whose wife Maud had been so affected by her meeting with St Gilbert, a medieval preacher and mystic who died in 1188, that she had dreamed of his ascension to heaven.
The grant was confirmed by King John in 1203, on the condition that Mass should be said daily for his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Apparently the canons had no chapel of their own, and services were held in the parish church. The priory was surrendered in 1538, having remained small and essentially poor.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 493 013
Map Sheet:TF40SE

Full description

Founded 1203 by Ralph de Hauville as small Gilbertine priory.
Confirmed by King John 1203. Apparently had no church and used parish church. Dissolved 1538.
Site now occupied by Priory Farm, a small early 18th century house of brick, 3 bays 2 storeys, and its outbuildings which contain fragments of carved stone.
Information from [1] and former Cambridgeshire SMR 3908, transferred to Norfolk in 1990.
(S1) and (S2) in file.
E. Rose, 3 September 1990.

(S3) states that this was in fact a cell of Watton, Yorks, not a full priory, for a prior and two canons, and was also known as Welles.
See also (S4).
E. Rose (NLA), 21 October 1997.

November 1997. Watching Brief.
Post medieval thimble found with detector. Cows skull seen at depth with no trace of pit, however excavation considered this modern, covered by large area of dumped fill. Other finds recent.
Report (S5) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 19 May 1998.

May 1998. Found during excavations to underpin south wall of former barn.
Adult (?male) skeleton, head to west, in grave cut c. 0.50m wide, base 0.75m below modern ground surface and partially under the wall of the building. Lower half dug out by builders and police, top half salvage excavated.
To be reinterred at the original location once underpinning is completed. Excavations nearby have found nothing.
Presumably this is one of the canons, in which case a small chapel may also have been part of the priory (inf. A.Rogerson, NLA).
D. Gurney (NLA), 12 May 1998.

May 1998. Hole dug to underpin internal wall. Inspected through small hole in floor and by torchlight.
At 0.70m, a thick layer of large stone lumps (ragstone?), unmortared. Above, a light brown silt with brick and mortar flecks (0.30m), a thin mortar layer (10mm), then a dark brown silt with brick and mortar lumps (0.35m) below the concrete floor.
[1] says that the dwarf walls of the garden north of the house are built of stones recently found on site, including pieces of dressed limestone.
The evidence suggests that the buildings of the priory lie under Marmont Priory Farm and to the north of it.
The hole also produced one piece of medieval tile.
See (S7).
D. Gurney (NLA), 29 May 1998.

Monument Types

  • CELL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CEMETERY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PRIORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • THIMBLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
<S2>Graphic material: Various. Various. Architectural plans..
<S3>Publication: Haigh, D.. 1988. The Religious Houses of Cambridgeshire. p. 89.
<S4>Publication: Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R. N. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. pp 197, 198.
<S5>Unpublished document: Bates, S.. 1998. NAU Report 297. Report on a Watching Brief at Marmont Priory Farm, Upwell..
<S6>Monograph: 1948. The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Unknown volume. p 258.
<S7>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 1999. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1998. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 369-387. p 385.

Related records - none

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