Castle Acre Priory, Norfolk, England. Photo May 2015.
Castle Acre Priory was, not surprisingly, one of the many such buildings that were affected by the suppression of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII. The priory was handed over on November 22, 1537 and leased to the Duke of Norfolk, who later sold it to Thomas Gresham. The prior’s lodging (see the area near the middle of the photo with the pitched roof) was converted into a house, which is probably the reason that part remained mostly intact.
Visiting the priory was one of those ‘happy accidents’ of travel that I hope everyone experiences when they go abroad. When I was planning out the trip, I had decided to book a B&B for one night in Castle Acre because it was a good stopover place as I was heading from East Anglia towards the Midlands. As I was looking around to see the local attractions I discovered that the ruins of the priory were far more substantial than I had thought, so I decided to add it to the day’s plans and I’m glad I did! And I totally fell in love with the town of Castle Acre. There are the ruins of the old castle, the old medieval bailey gate, and the ruins of the priory all within easy walking distance from the center of town. I definitely recommend a stop if you’re in the area!