An ambitious restoration project at a medieval 14th Century gatehouse at the former Pentney Priory has been completed.
The three-storey building is the only surviving building from the once-wealthy priory.
It is Grade I Listed and has been on the ‘at risk’ register compiled by English Heritage since it was first published in 1998 and was in danger of imminent collapse.
Temporary internal scaffolding had to be put in place to brace the external walls.
The priority was to not only save the building, but find a use for it in the future and the owners are working on plans to open it to the public.
“A four-year project is now drawing to a wonderful conclusion and we are proud to present this beautiful building to the public,” said priory owner Howard Barber -who took the picture featured.
“Not only is it a testament of past achievements, but it is also a narrative of what can be accomplished by today’s craftsmen,” he added.
Pentney Priory was founded in 1130 by Robert De Vaux and was one of the wealthier monastic communities in Norfolk the gatehouse was the principle entry to the complex.
It was dissolved in 1537 by Henry VIII, sold to the Earl of Rutland and became known as Pentney Abbey.
Stone from the old priory was used to build Abbey Farm and a number of nearby outbuildings and houses in the village.
“Securing a future for this remarkable medieval gatehouse has been a top priority and I am delighted at the results.” said John Ette, English Heritage’s principle at risk adviser for the east of England.