J C Dickinson, The Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham, 1956  Chapters 4-6 (‘Archaeological’)

Chapter 5  The Places of Pilgrimage

  [Page 91] EXAMINATION shows that the priory of Walsingham was laid out on a very careful plan which allowed the movement of the great crowds of pilgrims with a minimum of inconvenience to the regular canons. The latter, as we have seen, had their buildings in the normal position south of the church. The sites which the former frequented lay to the north and east. The Valor Ecclesiasticus shows that offerings were made in three places.1  The earliest reference to the relic of the ‘Milk of the Blessed Mary’ so far found is in the account roll of 28 Edward I which shows that it was then at the high altar.2 And Erasmus tells us that, in his day, the relic was kept on ‘the high altar in the centre of which is Christ’ (that is, the Blessed Sacrament).3 The altar referred to is thus the high altar of the convent, east of the screen. Erasmus also tells us that the history of this relic was recorded on a tablet ‘high up’ nearby, together with details of the episcopal indulgences granted in connexion with it.4 Those apt to overrate the superstition of medieval man should note that offerings here in 1535 were a mere 42s. 3d. out of a combined total of over  £260.5  The next smallest offerings were those totalling £8. 9s. 1d. in the chapel of St Laurence.6 The Pynson ballad enables us to locate this chapel by referring to it as being on the original site of the chapel of Our Lady,   1 Above, 60. 2 Above, 40. 3 Nichols, 20. 4  Idem, 27; above, 56. 5 Above, 60. 6 Ibid.   [Page 92] THE PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE near two wells,1 which last may safely be identified with the two still existing, east of the church. It should be noted, however, that little or nothing of this chapel remains above ground, the archway at present standing near the wells having been transferred from elsewhere as we shall see. This chapel is the one mentioned by Erasmus after his comments on the Knight's Door:     To the east of it is a chapel full of wonders . . . . Presently the joint of a man’s finger is exhibited to us, the largest of three. I kiss it, and then I ask ‘Whose relics are these?’ He [the guide] says, ‘St Peter’s.’ ‘The Apostle?’ I ask. He said ‘Yes.’ Then observing the size of the joint which might have been that of a giant, I remarked, ‘Peter must have been a man of very large size.’2    It is not unlikely that the relics here referred to were those which in the time of Edward I’s visit in 1290 were on the altar of the Lady chapel.3  It would have been natural enough, when the chapel of Our Lady was getting filled with votive offerings, to move the relics to a new site. Of the wells themselves little more can be said. Erasmus says that they were ‘full to the brink. They say the spring is sacred to the Holy Virgin. The water is wonderfully cold, and efficacious in curing pains of the head and stomach.. . they affirm that the spring burst suddenly from the earth at the command of the most Holy Virgin.’4 As we have seen, we have a rather earlier reference than this to the well of Our Lady.5 Erasmus is our only clear authority for regarding the wells as of any medical importance though it is likely enough that they were used for this purpose much earlier. He also tells us that they were covered by a shed of modern appearance.6  1 Below, 127. 2 Nichols, 17. 3 Above, 39. 4 Nichols, 18. 5 Above, 12. 6 Nichols, 18. top of page  [Page 93] THE TANK AND ITS PURPOSE    No early reference has been discovered to the rectangular stone tank near the wells. It is mentioned in 1831 with the wells,1 and in Blomefield,2 while in 1816 we hear of ‘two circular stone pits’.3 But neither wells nor tank were likely to attract notice in extant medieval evidence.  Mr Arthur Bond of Walsingham informs me that, before the 1939–45 war, tests were made which showed that water flowed into the tank from the nearer well, and thence probably into the farther well. He also pointed out that when, in 1945, drought permitted an examination of the sides of the tank, it was very clear that these had been considerably heightened, the original lower portion being clearly distinguishable. Unfortunately this lower masonry has no datable feature. With such inconclusive evidence it would be unwise to hazard any precise guess as to the date of the tank, though it is not unlikely that the bottom part of it and the wells are of medieval origin.  As to its purpose, it should be noted that supplies of water from pilgrimage centres were greatly valued in the Middle Ages. At Compostella there was near the church ‘ a remarkable fountain the like of which is not to be found in the whole world’.4 At Canterbury, in the twelfth century, it was noted that ‘water sanctified by the blood of the holy martyr is carried forth, and, when given to the sick and poured into some that had been dead it has restored health to the former and life to many of the latter, through the merits of St Thomas ‘.5    1 S. Lewis, Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), iv, 374.  2 Op. cit. ix (1808), 278, ‘a stone bath and two uncovered wells’.  3 G. J. Parkyns, Monastic and Baronial Remains, 1, 2.  4 Codex of Calixtus II quoted in K. J. Conant, Santiago of Compostella (Harvard, 1926), 51.  5 Gervase of Canterbury, Opera Historica (R.S. 73), 1, 230.   [Page 94]  THE PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE A very elaborate flask in the York Museum is inscribed ‘Optimus egrorum medicus fit Thoma bonorum’1 (Thomas is the best healer of the holy sick), and the same inscription occurs on another flask of quite different design now in the London Museum.2 The cult of Simon de Montfort was quickly associated with a well at the place where he fell, to which pilgrims resorted and from which water was transported.3 It would, therefore, seem likely enough that the wells and tank at Walsingham provided water for a similar purpose, especially since Erasmus testifies that healing properties were ascribed to it and the Pynson ballad reports that ‘many seke ben here cured by our ladyes myghte’.  The tank may have been constructed to form a convenient source of water for this, and have had its sides greatly heightened in post-Reformation times. We cannot entirely dismiss the possibility that the tank was used for washing by those who had come on pilgrimage barefoot. It is well placed for such a purpose and there is enough evidence to show that Henry VIII was not alone in arriving nudis pedibus.  The round arch near the tank was re-erected on its present site about the time the house was built. Harrod writing in 1857 refers to this arch as ‘removed from the building south of the refectory not very many years ago’,4 and it must be the ‘semicircular arch in a mass of masonry annexed to the wishing wells’ mentioned by Britton in 1814.5 The adjacent masonry may be original   1 Brit. Arch. Assn. Journ. VI (o.s.), 125. 2 A. 27323, illustrated in London Museum, Medieval Catalogue, pl.  LXVIII. 3 Miracula Simonis de Montfort (ed. J. O. Halliwell, Camden Soc. 1840), 68-9. 4 Op. cit. 158. 5 J. Britton, The Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain, IV, 107; cf. Lewis, Topograph. Dict. of England, IV, 374.   [Page 95]  THE CHAPEL OF OUR LADY  work with the present doorway replacing a ruined one, but this is another point which can only be cleared up by excavation of the site.  There can be no doubt that the chapel of Our Lady housed the statue which made Walsingham so famous, and the fact that the yearly offerings here in 1535 amounted to the enormous sum of £250. 10s. is sufficient indication of its importance. The history of this chapel is somewhat confused. The Pynson ballad in the late fifteenth century declares that it was intended to build the first chapel of Our Lady on the site which was finally occupied by the chapel of St Laurence,l but that, when it was under construction, its timbers were moved overnight by angelic hands to a place ‘two hundred fote and more in dystaunce From the fyrste place’.2 What lies behind this belief that the site of the Lady chapel was thus changed cannot be established. Certainly at the time of the Reformation the chapel of Our Lady was not by the wells. The question of its site at this time has been disputed but the answer can scarcely be in doubt.  In the first place we must certainly look for it within the priory precinct. This was the obvious rule in cases, as at Walsingham, where such a shrine was stocked with enormously valuable offerings of silver, gold and jewels. Indeed the petition against the foundation of the Franciscan house at Walsingham makes it quite clear that this was so here, noting that the priory gates had to be shut at night because of thieves who might threaten to steal treasures offered at the shrine.3 A further obvious consideration was that the shrine should be in close proximity to the church and on the opposite side of it from the conventual buildings, that is, at Walsingham,   1 Below, 127. 2 Ibid. 3 Above, 26.   [Page 96  THE PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE  on the north side of the church. This choice of site is confirmed by a cartulary reference to the ‘grownd withowth the westgate of the yerd of owr ladys chapell wchych is now callyd the common place’,1 the ‘common place’ being the name of the open area north-west of the priory church, and Erasmus tells us the Lady chapel was on the right hand of the church looking west.2 The Pynson ballad’s phrase that the chapel was moved two hundred fote and more’ from the wells is clearly not to be interpreted too strictly, but is a useful clue. It is also worth noting that, when Abbot Beere, rather later, built a chapel of Our Lady of Loretto at Glastonbury, it was similarly sited some half-way along the north side of the church.3 This is precisely the situation which all the best evidence suggests for the final position of the Lady chapel at Walsingham. As there have been discovered in this place foundations which are wholly consistent with the theory, and where, in the usual monastic plan, nothing of this kind normally existed, it is all but certain that we have here the site where the statue of Our Lady was venerated by so many, especially since this part had the exceptional luxury of a pavement of Purbeck marble,4 a thing only to be expected in a building of very great importance.  It is unfortunate that the present knowledge of this area is very unsatisfactory. It is clear that the excavators of 1853 were hampered by a garden path and tree roots, but even so, their account of this part of their work leaves much to be desired. Thus the original report refers to a 12-foot wall in this area,5 but one of the excavators later wrote ‘upon subsequent reflexion I believe that .the   1 Cartul. fo. 5v = Mon. 71. 2 Nichols, 13. 3 Below, 106. 4 Arch. Journ. XIII, 124.  5 Ibid. 123.   [Page 97]  THE CHAPEL OF OUR LADY great thickness of the east wall was apparent not real, and that it was in fact only a portion of wall lying flat, having been partially undermined and so fallen’,1 a remark which makes it difficult to place full faith in the very detailed plans of this building given by both Lee Warner and Harrod.  Indeed, the more their evidence on this point is examined the more perplexing does it look. Thus we are told that there was discovered ‘a platform of solid grouted masonry which measures from east to west  20 feet and from north to south 4.0’.2 But both plans show the enclosed area with its longer sides running east and west not north and south, and give its measurements as some 35 by 45 feet,3 dimensions according well enough with William of Worcester’s estimate of the measurements of the outer chapel (16 by 10 yards) .4 But it is useful to know that the chapel (whatever its dimensions) had a level about 2 feet above that of the church, that its pavement was of Purbeck marble bedded on solid mortar of 3 inches in thickness and that it was entered by a doorway of three steps pierced in the ‘12 foot wall [sic] which separated the church from it. This being the door of the entrance a corresponding door of egress was placed directly opposite, flanked by large buttresses; or possibly these foundations may have carried a shallow porch. . .. The west as well as the north appears to have had its doorway; and the north wall at its ground line was bedded in flat masonry at two separate levels as if it had been cased originally with squared blocks of stone of large dimensions.’5 These   1 Quoted by E. Waterton, Pietas Mariana Britannica (1879), 167. 2 Arch. Journ. XIII, 123, quoted by Harrod, Op. cit. 162. 3 Harrod’s plan is on a much larger scale and is to be preferred. 4 Above, 77. 5 Arch. Journ.  XIII, 124-5.   [Page 98]  THE PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE  excavations suggested that the northern corners of the building had turrets. If so, one or both may have contained circular stairs to a room overhead. Such a chamber would have been admirably suited to be a treasury; a place known to have existed at Walsingham,l and a very necessary repository for the many cash offerings and for such other oblations as it was not desirable to exhibit.  But there is so little that can safely be said about the plan of the shrine, at least until further excavation has taken place, that much surmise is injudicious. It is worth noting that, though what was believed to be the original site of the Annunciation was pointed out to medieval pilgrims to Nazareth, so early an authority as Arculf (c. 670) evidently knew of no dwelling remaining there other than the cave.2 By 1106-7, when the Russian abbot Daniel visited Nazareth, there were detailed legends current regarding rock chambers evidently under the church, which were held to have formed the house of Our Lady and St Joseph, before the entrance of which the Annunciation was held to have taken place.3 But there was clearly nothing there to serve as a proto-type for the house of Walsingham, which was therefore not in any strict sense a copy of an ancient one.  William of Worcester’s measurements4 show that the little chapel of Our Lady measured approximately 23 feet 6 inches by 12 feet to inches and was surrounded by a larger building which he terms ‘the new work’, of which he gives the measurements as 16 yards long and to yards broad ‘infra aream’. The meaning of the last phrase has been debated. It is probably to be translated ‘beneath the floor’ and, in view of Erasmus’s remark that   1 Above, 77. 2 Pal. Pilg. Text Soc. III, 45. 2 Ibid. IV (2), 69-71. 4 Above, 77-8.   top of page [Page 99] THE CHAPEL OF OUR LADY the chapel was ‘constructed with a wooden platform’ (‘ligneo tabulatu constructum’), clearly implies some sort of superstructure. If, as is likely though unproven, the chapel was of wood,1 it may well have been found desirable to put it on a raised wooden floor to prevent its timbers rotting; or it may be that there were some external wooden stairs to the first floor of the chapel. This problem cannot be certainly solved with the evidence so far discovered.  Mr John Harvey has pointed out to me that at Compostella in the nineteenth century, at feasts of special solemnity, visitors to the shrine went up by a staircase be-hind the altar and down by another on the other side,2 whilst the relics at Lapworth church (Warwickshire) were in a small upper chamber with two newel stairs. It would not be surprising if the pilgrims to Walsingham were similarly marshalled up one staircase and down another, especially since the typical twelfth-century house (which one may presume Richelde to have copied) would be of two storeys, with the upper one the main one. That the building at Walsingham was of such a type is borne out by the only representation of it known to the writer, the small but interesting one given by two pilgrims’ badges now in the King’s Lynn Museum.3 These depict clearly if conventionally a gable end of a house. It has two storeys, in the lower of which is a door whilst in the middle of the upper floor is shown a small representation of Our Lady seated with the Holy Child. The amount of detail feasible on a small badge of this kind is clearly strictly limited, but the representation of the statue is very similar to that on the seal of the priory   1 Verses 10 and 13 of the Pynson ballad are the main authority for this. 2 G. E. Street, Gothic Architecture in Spain (2nd ed. 1869), 169. 3 See Plate 9 (c) and (d) and pp. 119-20 below.   [Page 100]  THE PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE  —notably in the position of the sceptre and the Holy Child, as well as the chair—and the writer has very little doubt that this is intended as a simple souvenir of the Holy House and Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. There were originally no less than four badges of the same or very similar type in the King’s Lynn Museum amongst the few dozen badges in the collection, and the presence of so many of this kind in a smallish collection increases the likelihood of their being of Walsingham origin. Moreover it is significant that parts of two other versions of this design are to be found in the British Museum collection.  Erasmus does, happily, give us an invaluable glimpse of the interior of this inner chapel. Devotees were admitted ‘on each side by a narrow little door. The light is small, scarcely any but from the wax lights.   A most grateful fragrance meets the nostrils. . .,1 when you look in you would say it was a mansion of the saints, so much does it glitter on all sides with jewels, gold and silver... ,2 in the inner chapel which I have described as the shrine of the Holy Virgin one canon attends the altar.’3 Of the statue we are told only that it was ‘a small image. . . of no extraordinary size, material or workmanship’4 and ‘stood in the dark at the right side of the altar’.5 Erasmus goes on to give a brief glimpse of the treasures. ‘He [the guide] then exhibited gold and silver statues and . . . added the weight of each, its value and the name of the donor ... , and at the same time he drew forth from the altar itself a world of admirable things,6 the individual articles of which if I were to   1 Níchols, 13. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 14. 4 Peregrinatio, 356= Nichols, 33, ‘ostenditur imaguncula, nec magnitudine, nec materia, nec opere praecellens, sed virtute pollens’. 5 Nichols, 24.  6 The larger offerings were preserved, Idem, 12.   [Page 101]  THE CHAPEL OF OUR LADY    proceed to describe, the day would not suffice for the tale.’1  On the outer building Erasmus is much less explicit, and only from the spade can we hope to learn much more about it. From Erasmus’s remark that it was ‘exposed on all sides’, and from the steps found by the excavators,2 it is likely that the building stood clear of the conventual church and was not built against it. Puzzling at first sight is his remark that the building was ‘draughty with open doors and open windows’.3 But Waterton very rightly suggests that, in view of the great concourse of pilgrims in the chapel, it may well have been found advisable to dispense with doors to its entrances.4 Whilst it is to be noted that, by a curious chance, the time of Erasmus’s visit to Walsingham probably coincided with a time at which new windows were being provided for the Lady chapel,5 so it may well be that he arrived when the windows had lost their old, and not acquired their new, glass. It is probably because of this, and not because the building itself was incomplete, that Erasmus speaks of it elsewhere as ‘unfinished’ (‘inabsolutus’).6  To what period did these two buildings belong? As we have seen, William of Worcester in 1479 terms the larger one ‘the new work’. This may well mean that the outer chapel was of recent construction, and, though the case of New College, Oxford reminds us of the dangers   1 Idem, 37-8. 2 Above, 97. 3 ‘Perflabilis, patentibus portis, patentibus fenestris’, Peregrinatio, 345; Nichols (13) incorrectly renders ‘perflabilis’ as ‘exposed’.  4 Op. cit. 165. 5 Above, 44, 47; the small chapel was probably of wood and would be too venerated to have modern windows inserted; in any case the considerable amount of money expended shows that it is the larger chapel that is involved.  6 Nichols, 13.   [Page 102]  THE PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE that may lurk behind such appellation, such a date is not unlikely. If, as seems likely, the late fourteenth century saw the inauguration of an extensive rebuilding of the church and adjacent offices, it would seem natural to regard the building or rebuilding of this outer chapel as an integral part of the same plan. Clearly it would only be effected at a late stage in proceedings; and if, as is likely enough, Prior Snoring’s expensive recurrence to Rome limited building activities in his time and thereafter, we would expect to find this scheme unfinished till the new century was well advanced, and this outer chapel of Our Lady, as a late part of the scheme, built in the mid fifteenth century. A letter from one William Yelverton to John Paston, written between 1444 and 1460,1 has obscure references to ‘Our Ladye’s house at Walsingham’ which it is conceivable may refer to some sort of building activity there (though this is by no means certain), and this would, of course, accord with William of Worcester’s ‘new work’. In the slype before mentioned are now preserved, inter alia, two fine diapered stone panels of late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century date containing a crowned monogram which can be read as MARIA;2 these are the sort of thing one might well expect to have been found during the clearing of the site of the Lady chapel in 1854, but it would be unwise to lean heavily on this possibility. The little chapel itself which Erasmus saw must al-most certainly have been that built by Richelde some four centuries before. The clue to this is given by the undoubted fact that it was thought fit to preserve it inside another chapel. The highly unusual nature of this step can scarcely be stressed too strongly. There were plenty of pilgrimages to relics of saints and statues of   1 Paston Letters, I, 62-3. 2 Plate 7 (d).    [Page 103]  THE HOLY HOUSE Our Lady in the Middle Ages, but very seldom was any sanctity attached to the building which contained them. As soon as money allowed, the old shrine would be pulled down and a more elaborate one in the modern manner erected. Only in the most exceptional cases was the primitive building, often small and inconvenient, retained down the centuries. Always when this was done it was because some exceptionally profound veneration restrained the ever present urge to rebuild.  No man dazzled contemporaries by his sanctity so much as St Francis of Assisi, and it was understandable that medieval man never dared to lay a hand on the chapel of St Damian where the saint passed his major spiritual crisis or the little chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli near whose walls his soul left his pain-racked body. No English monastery had a longer past or one more closely interwoven with the saints of the Dark Ages than the abbey of Glastonbury, and it was equally understandable that there too the ‘old church’ should be jealously guarded when a wealthy and progressive age was building and rebuilding on the ground to the east of it. To cite another instance on a much smaller scale, the folk of Heysham, in building their post-Conquest church, did not pull down the little chapel of St Patrick, standing sturdily on the nearby cliff looking towards the saint’s beloved Ireland.  Now Walsingham of course cannot be rightly classed with such shrines as these. It was beyond doubt a place of no special antiquity and its walls never nurtured a spectacular saint. One would have expected its history to follow that of other shrines of Our Lady, where a new generation might provide a more splendid shrine for the statue it so venerated, as, for example, the Florentines did, refashioning the Or San Michele in breath-taking   [Page 104]  THE PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE beauty after the ‘great and manifest miracles shown forth. . . by the picture of Holy Mary painted on a pilaster in the loggia’. But Walsingham differed essentially from this and others of its kind in that, whilst it was without doubt the greatest centre of Marian devotion in England, originally, at least, it owed its position to something more than the repute of its statue —the Holy House there.  Nothing is easier than to forget this, for the records of the priory’s history are almost completely silent on this point. In the later Middle Ages it was primarily the statue of Our Lady that attracted attention. As will have been noted, the records mention Our Lady often, the Holy House almost never; and there can be no doubt that in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the latter was regarded as largely the setting for the former and not as a place of pilgrimage in its own right, con-joined though thought of the two inevitably was. Yet it was the presence of the Holy House, and this alone, that differentiated Walsingham from other shrines of Our Lady, and the fact that the House was preserved down the centuries is a proof of the importance attached to it.  As we have seen, this importance was not due to antiquity or personal factors; it can only have sprung from the connexion of the House with Nazareth, and it is significant that brooches showing the Annunciation were an important element amongst the tokens pilgrims bought at Walsingham.1 It is not easy to be sure of the nature of this Nazareth connexion, but, as we shall see, it was never characterized by the extravagances that marked late fifteenth-century legends regarding the House of Loretto.2 If the writer is correct, the Holy House of Walsingham was built as a private chapel by a   1 Below, 117-18. 2 Below, 105-6.   top of page [Page 105]  ORIGINAL SITE OF THE CHAPEL pious lady who may well have heard first-hand news of Nazareth from her son. The crusades would have been impossible had it not been for a passionate devotion to the soil of the Holy Land, the intensity of which even the trained historian to-day finds difficult to visualize. Yet it is only if we comprehend this passionate devotion to the land of Our Lord that we come to be in a position to appreciate why it was that Richelde’s little chapel was so scrupulously guarded down the centuries.  A final point in connexion with the chapel is worthy of consideration. Was Our Lady’s chapel transferred to a fresh site west of the original one and, if so, why was this done? There was an obvious practical reason why this might happen later in the priory’s history. As time went on, the growing flood of pilgrims to Walsingham and the ever mounting stock of their oblations must have created a serious practical problem in view of the smallness of the Holy House. It might well have seemed desirable to move the Holy House with its statue to a more convenient site and to house other relics in a chapel on the old site (for medieval man was most unwilling ever to allow the desecration of a site once hallowed). At the time of the Dissolution the chapel of Our Lady was in a highly suitable position which fits in clearly with the rebuilt church of Prior Snoring. On the other hand the only authority for any such removal is the Pynson ballad which, as we have noted, maintains that the change of site went back to the time of the foundation. Workmen failed to build the church on the first site, but found it constructed overnight by angelic hands on the second one, 200 feet away.l This legend will not stand very close comparison with that of the Holy House of Loretto, which spectacularly tells of a completed building being   1 Below, 127.   [Page 106]  THE PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE  moved hundreds of miles, but it is by no means impossible that there is some connexion between the two stories. For only in 1472 does the legend of the Holy House of Loretto first appear.1 That it was known in England not long after is certain, for Abbot Beere of Glastonbury (1493–1524) ‘cumming from his embassadrie out of Italic made a chapelle of our Lady de Loretta, joining to the north side of the body of the chirch’.2 By this time the Pynson ballad had been written (it was printed 1496-9), and it is possible to argue that it reflects, albeit very dimly, one of the latest and wildest legends of medieval Italy. But it is equally possible to assign this account of the transference of the chapel to the foolish passion for the spectacular which dogs guide-books perennially, and was, in this instance, stimulated by the distortion of some trivial incident in process of time in an insufficiently educated society. It is significant of the unreliability of the whole matter that} as Waterton points out,3 the measures of the two Holy Houses by no means correspond, that of Walsingham being about eight feet longer than that at Loretto. With so little evidence, one can do little more than guess whether there was any transference of the site of the Walsingham chapel and, if so, guess its nature. The writer would conjecture that the Holy House at Walsingham always occupied the same site, being enclosed by the mid fifteenth century at latest in a larger building, but that, perhaps in the fourteenth century, the chapel of St Laurence was built by the wells to house relics that could no longer be accommodated in the Holy House.  Outside of the area of the church and cloister little   1 See Catholic Encyclopedia under ‘Santa Casa’. 2 J. Leland, Itinerary in England (ed. L. Toulmin Smith, 1907), I, 290.  3 Pietas Mariana Britannica, 169.   [Ground Plan of the Priory inserted at this point; see the Plates at the end of this file]   [Page 107] THE KNIGHT’S DOOR remains of interest. But further mention should be made of the Knight’s Door. It lies due north of the east end of the church at the point where the roads to Norwich and Knight Street meet. It has been badly damaged and radically restored and is now of little archaeological interest; the battlements are modern and the door has been remodelled and blocked up—but on the inner face are the remains of a pointed arch which may be of thirteenth-century date.  
Chapter 4       Chapter 6
Chapter 4       Chapter 6

Dickinson 5