From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Burnham Norton Friary
Statistics
Category
County
Coordinates
Grid
Condition
Age
Admission
Priory
Norfolk
52° 57' 3.2"  N 0° 12' 1.44" W
TF 8389 4278
Poor
1241
Free
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Burnham Norton Friary is a Carmelite Friary known as St. Mary's. It is located in Burnham Market, a small village in Norfolk.

Burnham Norton Friary was the fourth Carmelite house to be set up in England, and the first in Norfolk. It was founded by Sir William Calthorp and Sir Ralph Hemenhall in 1241 and later enlarged in 1298 and 1353.

The Friary was a poor community, at its height in the early 16th century it supported seventeen friars but by the Dissolution of the Monasteries only four remained. These four friars were very poor, they could not maintain the buildings and surrounding land and tried to sell the monastery to Jane Calthorp in 1538. This transaction was refused by the King and the monastery was given to Sir Richard Gresham.

Two of these friars, William Gibson and John Peacock, were involved in the 'Walsingham Conspiracy' protests in 1537. William was sentenced to life imprisonment and John was executed in Lynn.

The 14th century gatehouse and parts of the precinct wall are all that survive but other buildings can be seen as lumps and bumps in the meadow behind the gatehouse.