Norton Priory was home for a community of some 24 Augustinian canons, about 800 years ago and had the distinction of being upgraded to an Abbey. In later years, long after the dissolution of the Abbeys a tudor and Georgian manor was built around the Priory undercroft for the Brooke family and this forms the most intersting part off the Abbey for me - the entrance to the house still provides access to the vaulted undercroft.. The wine racks (second pic) were a later addition for the home - a good addition I think!
Not too far from Daresbury's Science Technology park is the reamains of Norton Priory. The museum and 12th century undercroft are the main attractions - the reamaining ruins are not as impressive as some abbeys visited like Bolton Abbey or Fountains Abbey we visited earlier this year but still interesting. The cross shape of the priory church is easily seee and alongside are the graves.
Their web site gives lots more details of its history and opening times. Plus as a tip there is a coupon you can print off from there for 2 for the price of 1 admission. - adult price is £4.50
There are several acres of woodlland walks around Norton Priory - it was lovely in autumn when we visited as the weather was mild ad we could enjoy the autumnal golden colours and have fun kicking the leaves ;-)
Although not at its best for colour when we visited in autumn the walled garden of Norton Priory does have a cham of its own and there was still the odd colourful bloom and berries to be spotted. Its was based on design by the 20th century gardener Gertrude Jekyll - who's name we had recently come across in the walled garden on Lindisfarne in Northumberland.
There are various sculptures around the grounds of Norton Priory, some are a bit sad looking but shall include some here for you. The best in my opinion was Kitty's gate - situated near the walled garden. The pigs are inside this garden too....but really there are more interesting sights than these at Norton Priory.
Before going to the undercroft it worth having a look in the museum detailing the life and craftmanship, such as stonemasons, of the monks. A fine model here shows the size and magnificence of the medieval priory and helps understanding of the excavated remains outside. Its obvious like like making beer too!