Record Details

NHER Number:3430
Type of record:Monument
Name:Blackborough Priory of St Mary and St Catherine

Summary

The Priory was founded in about 1150 by Roger de Scales and his wife Muriel. The Priory was originally intended to house monks but soon after its foundation it was functioning as a double house, with both monks and nuns. In 1200 it became a Benedictine nunnery and remained as such until it was dissolved in 1538. The probable south wall of the church and the gable end of a substantial medieval building are still standing, and dense spreads of building materials mark the sites of other buildings attached to the Priory. The earthworks of five medieval fishponds have been recorded on the site and are visible on aerial photographs. Cropmarks of incomplete enclosures are also visible on aerial photographs. Excavations in the 19th century revealed a number of burials, and medieval pottery, tiles and other finds have been found on the site in recent years.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 6740 1407
Map Sheet:TF61SE
Parish:MIDDLETON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Ruins of Benedictine priory, later nunnery.

1834.
Coffins in vault, seal, medieval metalwork found.

1851.
Stone coffin and effigy found.

1860.
Effigies found.

1878.
Stone coffin found.

1963.
Tiled floor found, millstones, strap end, etc.

1964.
Medieval sherds, tiled floor, burial found.

1964 to 1965.
Medieval pottery and glass, etc. found.

1998.
Tile, sherds, bone found.

See details, earthwork survey and schedule in file.
E. Rose (NLA) 16 September 1998.

Schedule enlarged 1999.

The Priory was founded in about 1150 by Roger de Scales, the Lord of the Manor, and his wife Muriel. Originally the house was for men, but it was soon functioning as a double house with both monks and nuns. In 1200 it became a Benedictine nunnery, and continued as such until its dissolution in 1538. The ruins of what may be the south wall of the church is built of carstone, and to the south is the gable wall of a substantial medieval building, also built in carstone with limestone dressings. This gable wall has angle buttresses and a small lancet window. Dense spreads of building materials found on the site are probably the remains of other buildings attached to the Priory. The earthworks of five fishponds have also been recorded on the site.
Information from (S1).
S. Spooner (NLA) 19 June 2006.

December 2007. Norfolk NMP
Earthworks of fishponds and drainage ditches and standing walls relating to Blackborough Priory are visible on aerial photographs (S2-S4). Fragments of two standing walls, forming part of the priory buildings are present to the southeast of Priory Farm. A series of north to south aligned linear ditch earthworks are present to the south of the drain with passes through the site. Some of these form part of a group of fishponds. The earthworks are not clearly visible on any of the available aerial photographs and it has not been possible to map the full details of the fishponds. The area of the site has been extended slightly to include all of the visible earthworks.
J. Albone (NMP), 18 December 2007

February 2008. Norfolk NMP
Cropmarks of linear ditches and rectilinear enclosures relating to Blackborough Priory are visible on aerial photographs (S5). Linear ditches and incomplete enclosures are present to the east of Priory Farm. Although it is very likely that they relate to the Benedictine Priory and later nunnery at the site, the cropmark evidence is fragmentary and difficult to interpret. A double-ditched rectangular enclosure is present in the eastern part of the group, adjacent to the earthworks of former fishponds described above. It lies immediately to the south of the Country Drain and measures at least 67m by 61m internally. Mapping of these cropmarks has further extended the area of the site.
J. Albone (NMP), 26 February 2008

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • BENEDICTINE DOUBLE HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BENEDICTINE NUNNERY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FISHPOND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HEARTH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • NUNNERY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PRIORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RECTILINEAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WATERMILL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Undated)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRASS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • EFFIGY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MILLSTONE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOLLUSCA REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PURSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SEAL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • VESSEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOKEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Scheduled Monument
  • SHINE
  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Page, W. (ed.). 1906. The Victoria History of Norfolk. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Vol 2. p 350.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. Memorials in brass restored at Narborough.. 4 June.
---Illustration: Finds Illustrations.
---Scheduling record: Corbishley, M.J.. 1983. AM107.
---Archive: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 61 SE 3 [6].
---Article in serial: 1855. Appendix. Extracts from the Proceedings of the Committee. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VI pp 341-366. p 353.
---Publication: Burlington Fine Arts Club, London. 1916. Catalogue of a collection of objects of British heraldic art to the end of the Tudor period. p 28.
---Correspondence: Various. 1964. Letters.
---Newspaper Article: 1946. Eastern Daily Press. 17 May.
---Publication: Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R. N. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. pp 253, 256.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Middleton [9].
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: English Heritage. 1999. Schedule Report.
<S2>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1989. NHER TF 6714C-D (NLA 226/DKB1-2) 26-JUN-1989.
<S3>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1954. NHER TF 6714H-J (CUCAP OD22-3) 20-JUN-1954.
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/100 5260-1 30-MAR-1946 (NHER TF 6614C / TF 6714A).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1975. CUCAP (BUF31-35) 10-JUL-1975.

Related records - none

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