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Another Norfolk ruined abbey, but this one never generated as much interest as Walsingham Priory, no doubt because it lacked a noblewoman who saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. Furthermore, rather than being demolished by order of Henry VIII, this abbey was destroyed by a fire in 1484. Still, it had survived nearly 300 years after its founding in 1206 – I wonder how many of today's buildings will last as long.Partly because it is not so celebrated, I found myself preferring this abbey to ruins at Walsingham. Although very tastefully done, there is distinct flavor of religious tourism around the Walsingham Priory. None of this was found here. However, there is still a sense of the place as a shrine, albeit a very unpretentious one, as this little display in a recess shows.Another part of the ruin I found to be curiously moving was this first few steps of a destroyed spiral stone staircase.An interrupted path to what was most likely a balcony overlooking the main hall. I wished it, and the rest of the building, was still there so I could climb that stair.

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