- St Benet's Abbey
St Benet's Abbey is a ruined
abbeysituated on the River Burewithin The Broadsin Norfolk England. It is also known as St. Benet's at Holme or Hulme.
St Benet's, according to
abbeytradition, was founded on the site of a ninth-century monasterywhere the hermitSuneman was martyred by the Danes. About the end of the tenth century it was rebuilt by one Wulfric. A generation later, c. 1022, its estates of Horning, Ludham and Neatishead were confirmed by King Canute. Other early benefactors included Ealdgyth Swan-neck, concubine to Harold Godwinson, and Earl Ralf II of East Anglia.
At the time of the
Norman ConquestHarold Godwinson put the abbotof St. Benet's, Aelfwold, in charge of defending the coast against invasion. After the Conquest, Aelfwold fled to Denmark, and the abbey's estates suffered encroachments by neighbouring landowners. The site was enclosed by a wall with battlementsin 1327. Sir John Fastolf, the inspiration for Shakespeare's Falstafffigure, was buried here in December 1459, next to his wife Millicent in a new aisle built by Fastolf on the South side of the abbey church.
St Benet's was the only religious house not closed down by Henry VIII during the
Dissolution of the Monasteries. Instead he united the Abbacy with the bishopric of Norwichand therefore, the Bishops of Norwich have stayed abbots of St. Benet's to this day. However, the buildings were allowed to fall into decay and the Abbeywas abandoned about 1545.
The Bishop of Norwich, as Abbot, arrives once a year, standing in the bow of a
wherryand preaches at the annual service on the first day of August. About the year 1800 a farmer built a windpumpinside the abbey gatehouse. On 2 August 1987a crossmade from oakfrom the Royal Estate at Sandringham was erected on the site of the High Altar.
The years listed are election datescite book | title = A History of the County of Norfolk vol. 2 | chapter = Partly from The Abbey of St. Benet at Holme | chapterurl = http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=38263 | year = 1906 | location =
London, England] .
* [http://www.norfarchtrust.org.uk/stbenets/index.htm Norfolk Archaeological Trust] - Owners of St Benet's at Holme
* [http://www.norfolkmills.co.uk/WindmillsD/st-benets-abbey-drainage.html St Benet's Abbey Mill History]
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