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Castle Acre Priory

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HISTORY

It was a Cluniac convent in the village of Castle Acre, Norfolk, England, dedicated to St. Mary, St. Peter and St. Paul. It is believed to have been founded in 1089 by William de Warenne, son of the first Earl of Surrey, who founded the first convent of Cluniac at Lewes in 1077. The order originated in Burgundy. Originally, the priory was within the walls of the Castle of Acre, but this became too small and inconvenient for the monks, so the priory was moved to its current location on the castle grounds about a year later.

WHY THIS PLACE

The convent was dissolved in 1537, and its ruins are in the care of English Heritage, along with Acre Castle Bailey Gate and Acre Castle. The church itself was consecrated between 1146 and 1148. Although the Warenne family may have been the priory's main benefactor, others also gave generously to it, for example Scolland de Bedale, administrator of Alan Earl of Richmond, who was in fact buried. there. The church's nave is one of the oldest parts of the ruin. Subsequent additions continued to be added until the priory was dissolved in 1537 under Henry VIII, and when the king gave the dissolved priory to the Duke of Norfolk complete with its properties, the remaining monks were evicted. The estates eventually passed to Sir Edward Coke, whose descendant, the Earl of Leicester, now owns the ruins and Castle Acre Castle.

CURIOSITIES

The ruins today are very impressive, the great west front of the building is almost complete and the priory's accommodation is in similar condition.

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