Castle Acre Priory
One of the largest and best preserved monastic sites in England, the foundation of Castle Acre Priory in about 1090 ad sprang directly from a visit by William de Warenne II and his wife Gundrada to the great French monastery of Cluny. So impressed were they by its beauty and holiness that they vowed to introduce the Cluniac order of monks to England.
The village of Castle Acre itself is well worth a visit in many respects. Located on the ancient Peddars Way, it has a Roman trackway to the North which until recently, remained an important route to the north Norfolk coast. In addition to the Priory ruins are the impressive Norman mott and bailey castle earthworks. Both were founded around the same time, soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066 by William the Conqueror, first earl of Surrey.
Also in the village, the surviving Bailey Gate was once the North gateway to what was once a walled town. When first established, Castle Acre was one of the finest examples of Norman town planning in the country, and much of this can still be seen.