Record Details

NHER Number:3492
Type of record:Monument
Name:Flitcham Abbey or St Mary's Priory

Summary

An Augustinian Priory, founded in 1217 as a dependant cell of the Priory at Walsingham, and dissolved in 1538. The buried remains of the medieval monastic buildings, rectangular earthworks, and the remains of the medieval water management system of the Priory surround the 19th century farmhouse which now stands on the site. The farm was part of the Holkham Estate, and the farmhouse has a cast iron threshold marked 'Holkham Estate 1870'.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 734 264
Map Sheet:TF72NW
Parish:FLITCHAM WITH APPLETON, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Great house on remains of St Mary's Augustinian Priory. The Priory was founded in 1217.
Assessed by Department of Environment as equivalent of Grade II, but not listed as it is the property of the Royal Family.

1974.
Neolithic axe found.

1989.
Medieval masonry found during barn conversions.
Several large stone blocks carved in 15th century style. 13th century foliate cross coffin slab.

1994. Earthwork Survey.
Medieval sherds found in course of earthwork survey.
See report (S1) for plan and further details. The site was included in (S5) and the survey is also noted in (S6).
E. Rose (NLA) 29 August 1990.

Substantial earthworks remain in pasture field south of Flitcham Abbey Farm.
These appear to extend further east than the area outlined on NHER map.
Site form in file.
H. Paterson (A&E) March 1991.

Remains of 'sheep dip' brick revetted to west of pond feature south of farm buildings.
Shape remains easily identifiable, though masonry in need of restoration.
H. Paterson (A&E) 1992

March 2003. Site scheduled.
Information from (S2).
M. Horlock (NLA), 15 August 2003.

December 2003. Watching brief to monitor new fencing, creation of a pond and construction of two sluices.
Negative results.
H. Paterson (A&E) 15 September 2005.

2003 to 2005. Watching brief carried out on three separate occasions to monitor the digging of fence post holes. Excavation of pond and sluices, all with scheduled monument consent.
No artefacts or structures encountered.
See (S3).
H. Paterson (A&E), 16 September 2005.

The Priory church and cloister buildings lie underneath and around the present farmhouse, which dates to the early 19th century, incorporating some medieval work, and very thick walls in some parts of the house. The farm was part of the Holkham Estate, and the rear wing has a cast iron threshold to an external door marked 'Holkham Estate 1870'. The nearby barn dates to the early 18th century.
The buried remains of medieval monastic buildings, rectangular earthworks, and the remains of the medieval water management system of the Priory surround the farmhouse, within the Priory precinct, which can be traced in modern boundaries.
The Priory was founded in 1217 as a dependant cell of the Priory at Walsingham, and was dissolved in 1538.
See (S2) and (S4), although the building is no longer listed.
S. Spooner (NLA) 1 December 2005.

NIAS records:
During WWII the land around the abbey was used for breeding different varieties of flax plants for growth around Norfolk.
See (S5)
W. Arnold (HES), 14 Febuary 2011

February 2013. Monitoring during removal of collapsed sediment and creation of artificial Kingfisher burrows. No artefacts or features observed.
D. Robertson (HES), 27 April 2014.

Monument Types

  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • PRIORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PRIORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BARN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LIME WORKS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POLISHED AXEHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Management Statement
  • Higher Level Stewardship
  • SHINE

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF7326 A-Y,AG-AK; 92.345.110; 92.346.010.
---Serial: 1974. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries for 1974. No 21. p 4.
---Drawing: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1990. Old royal barns into workshops. 5 October.
---Archive: Norfolk Monuments Management Project File.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, B. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 339.
---Photograph: Abbey Farm Barn, Flitcham. Print.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Flitcham with Appleton.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Flitcham with Appleton.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---*Rolled Plan: Large Plan Exists.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Photograph: EXN 25.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF336.
<S1>Unpublished Report: Cushion, B. 1994. Flitcham SMR3492. Earthwork Survey Report.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF336.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Paterson, H.. 2005. Flitcham Priory, medieval settlement and 16th century great house. Watching briefs report..
<S4>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry Unknown.
<S5>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. p 138.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1995. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1994. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt II pp 230-239. p 233.

Related records - none

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