Saint Benets Abbey ruin nr Horning

Saint Benets Abbey ruin nr Horning, The early history of the monastery has to be told tentatively since it is difficult to reconcile the surviving sources with what is known of the bigger picture of the development of the area. It is said that St Benet's was founded on the site of a 9th century monastery where the hermit Suneman was martyred by the Danes. About the end of the 10th century it was rebuilt by one Wulfric. A generation later, c. 1022, King Canute conferred on it his manors of Horning, Ludham and Neatishead. After the Dissolution the greater part of the buildings at the site were demolished, with the exclusion of the gatehouse, which is now a grade I listed building. In the second half of the 18th century, a farmer built a windmill, later converted to a windpump, inside the abbey gatehouse, removing the second floor of the gatehouse in the process. From the early 18th century, active attention was paid to drainage of the marshland around the site. From various surviving illustrations, it appears that a first windmill-powered land drainage was erected around the middle of the 18th century, and some decades later was replaced by another, attached to the front of the ruined gatehouse. By at least 1813, to facilitate movement of the windmill sails the upper floor of the gatehouse was removed to provide room for the sails to turn. The sails survived until at least 1854 but had been destroyed by 1863. The wind-powered mechanism, which at time ceased operating and is itself now a ruin, is a grade II* listed building. Between 1782 and 1886 just along the river from the gatehouse there was a wherryman's riverside pub called The Chequers. In 1925 the site became one of Britain’s first sceduled ancient monuments.In 1993 the main part of the site was bought by the Crown Estate and in 2002 sold to the Norfolk Archaeological Trust which in 2004 purchased the gatehouse and mill from the Diocese of Norwich. The ruins of the church remain the property of the diocese, which has leased them to the Trust for 199 years. In recent years essential conservation repairs have been carried out on the ruins and visits to the site have been facilitated by the laying out of a new car park and access paths, while large numbers of volunteers undertook graffiti recording, molehill and wildlife surveys, and maintenance and provided guides. Aside from several scientific studies, the site has become the focus of intense local interest.

churchesofnorfolk, by the Old Boi

Saint Benets Abbey ruin nr Horning, Postcode.

Saint Benets Abbey ruin nr Horning,
Saint Benets Abbey ruin nr Horning,