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Castleacre Priory; West Front

Castleacre Priory; West Front

Photographer: Sedgfield, W. Russell

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1864

Shelfmark: C.44.d.7,8

Item number: 123

Genre: Photograph

“Castleacre Priory, in Norfolk, is one of the earliest Norman priories in England. It was founded by William de Warrene, the first Earl of Surrey, in 1085, only nineteen years after the Conquest. The remains of the west front, with portions of the north and south transept, show that it was erected in the highest style of Norman architecture. It has scarcely any projecting buttresses, but its level façade is enriched by successive tiers of arch-work, some of these simple, others interlacing. The great western entrance has a very rich round arch of many recesses or mouldings, elaborately ornamented with the zigzag, the dot, and other ornaments...Around and above this great archway are four successive tiers of arches running along the whole face of the front, - the lower and third interlacing, the second short and round, the fourth and uppermost consisting of curious zigzag arches. There has been a noble lofty window over the great western door, apparently of the perpendicular order. Altogether, the western front must have been very beautiful.”

Excerpt from “Castleacre Priory”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain and Ireland’ by William Howitt.

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