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Galleries: Binham Priory, Norfolk

Binham Priory was founded at the very end of the 11th century, by a Norman baron named Peter de Valoines, who was nephew to William the Conqueror. It was not until 1243 that the ornate facade was completed, with construction of the church spanning almost 150 years. At its height Binham was home to about 14 monks headed by a prior, but it was closed by Henry VIII in 1539, and given to Sir Thomas Paston, of the famous local Paston family. Sir Thomas dismantled much of the priory, but the nave of the priory church was left to serve as the parish church, in which capacity it still continues. The rood screen can still be seen, the painted medieval saints daubed over with Protestant texts.