Houses of Cluniac monks: The priory of Normansburgh

Pages 358-359

A History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1906.

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The little Cluniac priory of Normansburgh, dedicated to the honour of the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Evangelist, in the parish of South Raynham, was originally founded about 1160 by William de Liseurs for Austin Canons, for the health of his soul, and the souls of Maud his wife and Godfrey his son. But soon after its foundation c. 1200, Godfrey de Liseurs, the founder's son, transferred it to the priory of Castle Acre, of which it became a cell, on the condition that the monastery kept there at least three monks. To his father's original endowment of 70 acres of land at Normansburgh, and other land at 'Middele' and ' Francheshoe,' and the hermitage of Wiggenhall, Godfrey added the church of South Raynham and 9 acres of land at Gerdel. By two subsequent charters Godfrey slightly increased the endowments of this cell. The grants of Godfrey were confirmed by Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, and John, bishop of Norwich. (fn. 1)

This cell had possessions in five Norfolk parishes at the time of the taxation of Pope Nicholas, when they were declared of the annual value of £6 0s. 10d. At the Valor of Henry VIII, Normansburgh was included under the priory of Castle Acre. Simon (1166) and Roger (c. 1190) were priors before the house was handed over to the Cluniac monks. (fn. 2)

Hugh occurs as prior in 1204, and Simon II in 1227.

A visitation of the English Cluniac foundation, made in 1390, states that the community of Normansburgh comprised a prior and two monks, and was a cell directly subject to the priory of Castle Acre. (fn. 3)

This priory and its possessions passed with those of Castle Acre to the Duke of Norfolk at the dissolution.


  • 1. Harl. MS. 2110, fols. 54, 55, 76b, 114, 119b.
  • 2. Harl. MS. 2110, fol. 76b.
  • 3. Duckett, Chart, and Rec. of CIuni, ii, 213.