Record Details

NHER Number:8601
Type of record:Monument
Name:St Mary's Priory Cell at Weybridge (Acle Bridge)


The medieval site of St Mary's Priory Cell is marked on 19th century maps and has been recorded on the ground as a series of earthworks, which are also visible on aerial photographs. This Augustinian house was founded before 1272 and was dissolved in 1536. The principal earthworks comprised a possible hollow way and at least two rectangular platforms or enclosures, surrounded (at least partially) by a bank which may represent the remains of a precinct wall. Medieval pottery, brick and roof tile have been found on the site, and numerous inhumations have reportedly been discovered here.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4148 1151
Map Sheet:TG41SW

Full description


Site of St Mary's Priory Cell, Weybridge (Augustinian) founded pre 1272, dissolved 1536, see (S2).
Many skeletons have been found here, including at least six on 27th August 1898, see (S3).
No surface remains.
Bank along south side of area may be only spoil from ditch digging.
Dry ditches forming rectangles in the pasture field likewise may be recent drainage.
See description in file (S4).
E. Rose, (NAU) 15 November 1978.

August 1995.
Scheduled site damaged by construction of dog racetrack, including earthworks of hollow way, platform and precinct wall.
Site visited and measured survey of the surviving earthworks complete.
See report (S10) for further details and copy of plan (S11). This work is also noted in (S12).
D. Gurney (NLA), 9 August 1995. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 12 November 2015.

14 August 1995.
Medieval sherd etc found.
D. Gurney (NLA), 15 August 1995.

May 1996.
Decision made not to proceed with prosecution.
See confidential report in file.
See list of photos and various prints in file.
D. Gurney (NLA), 22 August 1996.

21 May 1997. Site visit.
No apparent activity on the site since the construction of the 'racetrack', which still exists as a hollow, thinly weed covered and the topsoil not replaced.
The spoil heaps along the east side of the site are still there.
D. Gurney (NLA), 27 May 1997.

May/June 2001. Found after re-seeding.
Medieval coin.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 9 July 2001.

May 2007. Norfolk NMP.
The World War Two spigot mortar emplacement described above is now recorded as part of NHER 49405.

The earthworks described above are at least partially visible on aerial photographs (S5)-(S9), centred at TG 4148 1152. As described above and in site documentation (S4), the principal elements comprise a possible hollow way, oriented east-to-west, with two possible platforms to the north and south of its eastern end. Fragments of what may have been an enclosing bank or wall are also visible. In addition to the features already recorded at the site, a possible northern arm to the hollow way is also visible, and also a length of ditch inside the western precinct boundary. A number of hollows or pits can also be seen. Ditches noted immediately to the south of the site (‘K’ on the site plan drawn up in 1995, (S4)) appear to correspond with seemingly modern drainage ditches visible on the aerial photographs; they have not been mapped by the NMP.

It should be noted that the earthworks are not well defined on the consulted aerial photographs. The area as a whole appears to be uneven, and is its difficult, for example, to distinguish true platforms from areas of ground which are simply enclosed by drainage ditches. Furthermore, few of the features mapped from the aerial photographs can be positively identified as archaeologically significant; most if not all of those recorded at the site could be the product of the digging and clearing of drains and channels.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 16 May 2007.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • HOLLOW WAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE PLATFORM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PLATFORM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PRIORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOBACCO PIPE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: HEN; HEQ.
---Aerial Photograph: TG 4111/L.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF352.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 41 SW 8.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Town that used to be beside the sea. 2 February.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Norfolk's spooky past. 27 October.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Acle.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Designation: Department Of The Environment. 1882-1984?. Department of the Environment Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF352.
<S2>Publication: Knowles, D. and Hadcock, R. N. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. pp 144, 179.
<S3>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S4>Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 5020-1 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1963. RAF 543/2531 (F22) 0130-1 14-NOV-1963 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1972. OS/72055 045-6 24-MAR-1972 (NMR).
<S8>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 4111B (NLA 77/AND10) 04-JUN-1980.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 9889-90 06-AUG-1988 (NCC 1466-7).
<S10>Unpublished Report: Gurney, D. 1995. St Mary's Priory, Wey Bridge, Acle. Condition Report 8 August 1995.
<S11>Illustration: Cushion, B. 1995. Plan of damaged earthworks at St Mary's Priory, Wey Bridge. Film. 1:1000.
<S12>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1996. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1995. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt III pp 397-412. p 397.

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