Bay Above Ground

By · Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Bay Above Ground

The pretty village of Binham, located in north Norfolk between Wells-next-the-Sea and Holt, is dominated by the imposing ruins of Binham Priory. Now in the care of English Heritage, The convent was founded by Benedictine monks in the late 11th century by Pierre de Valoines, nephew of William the Conqueror. The church, cruciform is over 100 years to build.

The convent has a colorful history that includes sieges, fires, riots and imprisonment. In 1212, rebels against King John laid siege to the monastery until the brothers finally relieved by a group of statements by Chancellor John, John Grey, Benedictines and a man of Norfolk. During dissolution, the monastery was abolished in May 1539, after which essentially began its descent into disrepair. Apparently, many houses were built in the village with the stones of ruined convent.

The ruins of the convent, and the ship – the Church of Santa Maria and Santa Cruz, which is still used as a place of worship can be accessed free of charge. The church is open from 9 am to dusk and still has a dado screen survivors (now behind glass on the south side of the church) and original ironwork base (which now hangs inside the west wall).

Beyond the impressive features the ruins and the church, Binham Priory has another point of interest associated with it. Everyone loves a local legend and Binham has a fascinating history tied to it.

Legend has it that a tunnel connected the convent at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in about 3 miles away. The tunnel is said to be haunted by a senior monk Black, who was also seen walking the length of the tunnel on the floor on certain nights. It is clear that the hooded figure seemed to be looking for something, turning his head from side to side and exploring around. The ghostly figure was believed to be evil and as none of the nature of the common people never dared to approach him.

As the convent continued to fall into oblivion again, the collapse occurred along the tunnel, as well as deliberate attempts to enter it from above the ground. However, the curiosity of the villagers to investigate the truth behind the stories of the tunnel was held back by fear of presence. Some 300 years ago, is said that, as a result of some of the damage of the tunnel collapsed, revealing a gaping hole near the convent. Odd investigated as much as they dared, but not to pursue in the opening. Until a man named Jimmy Griggs wine that is. Not frightened by the stories of the hidden figure, accompanied by his dog, Jimmy said to explore the tunnel to provide the villagers drew their progress on the ground. So it would be able to follow, "said Jimmy to play the violin, which would be able to hear over it. The History tells us that this agreement Jimmy worked up to the mound now known as "Fiddlers Hill. The fiddle ceased at this point and neither Jimmy nor his dogs were never seen again.

In 1933, the Norfolk Archaeological Trust acquired portions of the monastery ruins and excavations began to widen the road Hill violinists around. The skeletons were found that included a dog …

In an effort to investigate these stories and rumors of a meaning associated with a bad feeling and threatening "a visit by ourselves Binham Priory. Unfortunately, we saw no signs of a ghostly figure with a hood or a hidden tunnel and did not hear ghostly violin music as has been reported. In fact, we found the convent a quiet and serene – the only other people who were a family enjoying a picnic (although temporarily became frightened when the dog suddenly appeared from nowhere and began to growl in the air behind us.) Naturally, if you have had some experience otherwise, please let us know …

Read more about Binham and the priory and the beautiful region of North Norfolk.

Steph Makins has over ten years experience in sales and marketing. Throughout this time she has written for several publications, both online and off-line. Steph is based in Norwich in Norfolk and offers web design, PR & marketing services through PollyWiggle Promotions.

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