Monument record HXN 004 - Remains of Hoxne Priory at Abbey Farm (Med)

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Hoxne Priory (remains & site of). Listed Building. Scheduled Monument.


Grid reference Centred TM 183 764 (176m by 243m)
Map sheet TM17NE


Type and Period (7)

Full Description

Hoxne Priory (site of).
1101: Bishop Herbert Losinga of Norwich gave the church of Hoxne and the Chapel of St Edmund in the same place (Ecclesiam de Hoxon cum capella sancti Edmundi ejusdem villae) to his new Foundation, the Benedictine Cathedral Priory in Norwich (S1, S2, S3, S4).
1110-19: Bishop Herbert confirmed to Ralph the Dapifer (`steward') of Bury St Edmunds and Edith, his wife, the church of Hoxne and 2a. near the church for their lives.
1130: Ratification between Bishop Eborard and Maurice de Windsor (Ralph's successor as steward) and Egidia, his wife. Provided for the establishment of a cell of monks at Hoxne, dependent on the mother house at Norwich. Mentions that Ralph had rebuilt the chapel from its foundations. The monks were apparently moved from the Bishop's Palace at Hoxne, where they were first established, to the chapel site c.1226 by Bishop Thomas de Blumville (S4). A churchyard for the priory was consecrated in 1267 by Bishop Roger Skerning.
1445: Bishop Thomas Browne left 40 marks to `the work of the construction of Chapel of St Edmund of Hoxne'.
1536: Prior William Castleton of Norwich leased the site to Sir Richard Gresham and in 1538 he sold it to Gresham. The priory manor was sold by the Greshams to Sir Robert Southwell in 1544 and rented on a long lease to the Thurston family. In addition to the chapel, the priory buildings are said to have consisted of a hall and parlour, with a parclose in the hall chamber, a domitory and a chamber over it, kitchen, bakery, dairy and brewery, together with an orchard and garden, stables, closes for threshing and winnowing, a malt-house, a dovecote and cemetery enclosed by a wall, a water cistern, fishponds and St Edmunds well (S5).
The E wing of the present house is the surviving part of a large house of c.1540. An early C17 cross-wing to the W, extends N to form an L-shaped plan (S6). Wall paintings with the arms of the Thurston family were visible in an upstairs room in the mid C19 (S3). A short length of flint and brick wall along the W side is probably part of a precinct wall.
Lengths of moat/ponds define the E side of the site. A small rectangular moat at the N end of the site probably contained the dovecote. See also Sax for possible earlier foundation.
March 1999: Monitoring of footing trenches located undated feature (possibly moat - see below). Details in (S7).
December 2000: Further monitoring located part of probable moat surrounding precinct. C16/C17 finds were confined to upper fill. Details in (S8).
March 2002: Scheduled - details in (S9).

2017: Ground penetrating radar geophysical survey was successful in recording anomalies of a structure which may be indicative of walls and rubble spreads, likely to relate to the medieval priory and the post-medieval farmhouse (S10)(S11).

Sources/Archives (14)

  • --- Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. (S7)(S8).
  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Victoria County History of Suffolk (Vol I 1911; Vol II 1907). VCH Suffolk II, 76-77.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Monitoring Archive (S7).
  • <M2> (No record type): APs: CEK 21-22.
  • <S2> (No record type): Dugdale W, Monasticon Anglicanum, 1846 ed, IV, 16-17.
  • <S3> (No record type): Manning, C.R.. Manning C R, Hoxne Priory, PSIA VII pt 1, 1889, xl-xlii.
  • <S4> (No record type): Blomefield F, Topographical History of Norfolk, 1806 ed, III, 607-10.
  • <S5> (No record type): Evans, M Carey, The contribution of Hoxne to the Cult of St Edmund King & Martyr in the Middle Ages .
  • <S6> (No record type): Listed Building notes.
  • <S7> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Various. SAU, Tester A, SCCAS Report 99/14, March 1999, ill.
  • <S8> Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Various. SCCAS, Everett L, Report 2000/79, Dec 2000, ill.
  • <S9> Scheduling record: English Heritage. Scheduled Ancient Monument file.
  • <S10> Unpublished document: Schofield, T.. 2017. Geophysical Survey Report, Abbey Farm, Ground Penetrating Radar Survey, Hoxne.
  • <S11> Article in serial: Minter, F. and Saunders, A.. 2018. Archaeology in Suffolk 2017, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History.

Finds (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

Record last edited

Jun 25 2018 11:20AM

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