The Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross at Binham is one of Norfolk’s finest monastic sites. The Benedictine monastery was founded here soon after the Norman Conquest (1066) and dominated the surrounding area until its closure in 1539.
Although most of the monastery has been reduced to ruins, the early nave of the Priory survives as an impressive parish church, now cared for by Binham Parochial Church Council – see their website for more information. NAT owns much of the Priory ruins which are now in the guardianship of English Heritage. We continue to look after the main gatehouse and boundary walls.
Access and facilities
Binham lies 15km north-east of Fakenham and 9km south-west of Wells-next-the-Sea (Ordnance Survey Explorer map 251). The area of the monastic precinct owned by the Trust is open to visitors at any reasonable time. The present-day Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross also welcomes visitors every day during daylight hours.
- by road: Binham can easily be reached via many minor roads from the main A148 (Fakenham-Holt) and A149 (Wells-Sheringham) roads, as well as from Great Walsingham. SatNav: NR21 0DG. Binham Priory completely dominates the northern part of the village, and cannot be missed by visitors! Car access is via the gatehouse on the west side of the Warham Road. There is ample visitor parking outside the west end of the church.
- by bus: Binham is served by service 46 (Sanders Coaches) linking Holt with Wells-next-the-Sea. The bus stop is in the centre of the village. Unfortunately this service is limited, especially at weekends. For up to date timetable information, please visit www.travelineeastanglia.org.uk.
The church is now accessible to disabled visitors. There are public toilets, and guidebooks, cards and other merchandise for sale. A series of interpretation panels explains the church interior. People are free to walk in the ruins, which may be accessed by wheelchair users via a path near the west end of the church. Interpretation panels in this area have been provided by English Heritage.
Refreshments are available in the village at the Chequers Inn, close to the Priory, which serves food and also ale brewed onsite! There is a convenience store, Howell’s Superstore, in the village centre.