Binham Priory

Binham Priory is a ruined Benedictine priory located in the village of Binham in Norfolk.

The History of Binham Priory

The priory was founded in the late 11th century, as a dependent house of St Albans Abbey, by Peter de Valognes and his wife Albreda. Peter was a nephew of William the Conqueror, and after the Norman Conquest was assigned lands in west and north Norfolk, among them the entire village of Binham. The priory was endowed with the entire manor of Binham, making the prior the lord of the manor, together with the tithes of thirteen other churches in Norfolk. Originally it had 8 monks, rising to 13 or 14 in the 14th century before falling back to 6 immediately before its suppression 1539.

Today the nave of the much larger priory church has become the Church of St. Mary and the Holy Cross and is still used as a place of worship. The remains of the priory are in the care of English Heritage.

The Haunted History of Binham Priory

A `Black Monk` is supposed to haunt the grounds at night, emerging from a tunnel linking the priory to the shrine at Walsingham three miles away.

Legend also has it that part of the tunnel near Binham Priory once caved in. People went to investigate but only old Jimmy Griggs a local fiddler would go in, with his dog Trap. As he played, they followed him along the bank till the music suddenly stopped, and the dog shot out of the tunnel shaking in fear with his tail between his legs. That night there was a dreadful storm which collapsed tunnel entrance . Jimmy was never seen again. Ever since, that bank with the entrance has been known as Fiddler`s Hill, and mysterious music is sometimes heard at midnight.

Other variants say the fiddler was actually a travelling player who stopped at Wells-next-the-Sea and was told about the tunnel legend, or that the dog vanished with the fiddler.

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