Friday, 15 February 2008

Binham Priory Project

I have recently finished the very interesting project of writing the interpretive plan for Binham Priory. It have been an exciting voyage of discovery which has revealed a wonderfully rich history. The results of the excavations on the site in the 1930s have not been investigated in any depth until now. Reports are being prepared on the pottery and carved stonework from the excavations. I have photographed the small finds and a large quantity of the painted window glass, as the first stage of its investigation. The realization of the proposals for the interpretation of the Priory and the display of objects will be the next stage.

There is an attractive seal impression on lead (below) c1100 (above), showing the scene of the Annunciation, with the angel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary. It seems to be a small version of the Priory seal at 25 x25mm. The version of the Priory seal held by the Public Record Office, E42/399 is 70x51mm, and dates to 1120-40. It has a different and more detailed depiction of the Annunciation with the positions of Mary and the angel reversed, its legend runs SIGILLVM ECCL’IE BE. MARIE DE BINEHAM. The Vigil of the Annunciation was the date of the first day of the annual four-day fair at Binham.

In working on the interpretive plan over the last few months I have spent a lot of time in the Priory, and on one of the days the light in the church was magical and I filmed the following video: