Binham Priory is among the most complete and impressive monastic ruins in Norfolk. This Benedictine priory was founded in 1091 by Peter des Valoines, a nephew of William the Conqueror. Many of its priors were unscrupulous and the history of the priory is one of almost continuous scandal.
The nave of the priory church, with its splendid 13th century west front and fine tiers of Norman arches, is now the parish church, and displays the former rood screen with medieval saints overpainted with Protestant texts. The extensive ruins beyond emphasise the original size of the monastery.
Managed by Binham Parochial Church Council.
Read more about Binham Priory's history.
Before You Go
Parking: There is a small car park accessed through the priory gatehouse. Please be aware that this entrance is narrow.
Access: From the car park enter the gate to the Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross. There is a path to the ruins on the right and up three steps onto a gravel path. For step-free access, stay on the path towards the church and go through the archway on the right of the west front of the church and this leads straight into the ruins.
Once within the ruins, there are some gravel paths but most access is across closely mown grass. It is mainly flat but can be a little uneven and may be slippery in wet weather.
Opening Times: The monastic ruins are open any reasonable time during daylight hours.
The adjacent Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter. It can be accessed either via a ramp or steps.
Facilities: Toilets are available in the church when it is open. Off the priory car park is a café, The Parlour, open most days of the week for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea - visit their website for details. Adjoining this, and open daily, is the The Little Dairy Shop with vending machines selling local milk, cheese and butter. There is a pub and a convenience store in the village.
Guided Tours: There is a guided tour of the Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross and the priory ruins every Sunday and Tuesday from May to September at 3pm. These last for about an hour and booking ahead is not necessary.
School Visits/Large Groups: Please contact Binham Parochial Church Council before visiting.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome in the ruins but assistance dogs only inside the church.
Drone flying: English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions. Please see our drone filming guidelines for more details, or email our Filming team.
Plan a Great Day Out
Any visitor to Binham Priory should also take in the Binham Market Cross, the site of an annual fair from the time the Priory was founded up until the 1950s.
If you are interested in more Norman history in Norfolk, why not also visit the well preserved Castle Acre Priory, or the impressive edifice of Castle Rising Castle. You could even visit the tragic Creake Abbey or North Elmham Chapel along the way.