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Binham, Norfolk

Binham is a small, rural village more than 50km from the county town of Norwich, located about 17km north-east of Fakenham and around 6km inland from the present north Norfolk coastline. Also likely to have been of significance in the medieval period is the proximity of Binham to Walsingham, a major destination for pilgrims in the middle Ages, just 5km from Binham. Binham lies at c. 25m OD on sand and recent geological deposits. The priory, whose impressive remains dominate the village today, was founded c. 1104 AD, and a market charter was also granted in the reign of Henry I, along with a four-day day annual fair. After the priory was suppressed in 1539 the nave was retained in use by the parishioners as a parish church, an arrangement which continues today. There is some speculation whether there was ever another church in the village which would have functioned as the parish church while the monastery was still in operation. Unlike at Ramsey, the present settlement at Binham does not seem to have developed immediately outside the priory gate, but at some distance from it. Binham village today lies either side of the remains of the Priory precinct, in two distinctly different parts. To the south and east the village is currently arranged as a nucleated cluster around a triangular arrangement of streets. The space within the triangle defined by these streets is devoid of buildings on the north and east sides, and appears to be the remains of a formerly larger green, if so, this is likely to be where the market was held. Manor Farm, a holding of uncertain date, lies to the south of this triangular area, and modern development to the west of Manor Farm. To the north of the green, the road bifurcates with one part leading north to the lowest-lying part of the present village along the south side of a small stream. To the west of the priory lies Westgate, a linear area of settlement arranged either side of the Warham Road, which has a distinctly interrupted row character towards its western end. Metal detecting has produced a large number of finds, indicating Roman activity and an early/middle Anglo-Saxon cemetery in the vicinity, probably located to the south-west of the priory remains.

 

Local Information Websites

Binham Local History Group

Binham Priory

British History Online - Binham Village

British History Online - Binham Priory

Norfolk Heritage Explorer

Heritage Gateway

 

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Test Pit Pottery Distribution Map 2009-2013