Bacton lies on the Norfolk coast between Walcott and
Paston. It is a village
with considerable historic interest but, today, is
blighted by the North Sea Gas terminal.
Remains of Bromholm Abbey at Bacton
village stand the remains of Bromholm (Bromholme or
Broomholm) Priory which is also sometimes known as Bacton Abbey. It
was established in 1113 by Cluniac Monks and became one
of the most sacred places in England - largely due to
the fact that it reputedly possessed a piece of the Holy
Cross. This brought many pilgrims to Bromholm -
including Henry III.
Bromholm Priory is mentioned by the miller's
wife in Chaucer's The Reeve's Tale.
miller's fall started her out of sleep.
'Help!' she screamed. 'Holy Cross of Bromeholme keep
Us! Lord! Into thy hands! To thee I call.
Bromholm also features
in Langland's Piers Plowman and Sir Walter
The Priory was dissolved by
Henry VIII in 1536 and today only a few fragments of the
walls remain. It is thought that John Paston (1421-1466) - one of the authors of the Paston
Letters - was originally buried at Bromholm Priory
but that his tomb was moved to St. Margaret's
Church at Paston after the
dissolution. The priory was certainly the customary
place for Paston family burials - as is indicated in
this letter from John Paston III to Margaret in November
'Right worshipful mother, after all duties of humble
recommendation, as lowly as I can I beseech you of your
daily blessings and prayers. And mother, John Clement,
bearer hereof can tell you, the more pity is, if it
pleased God, that my brother is buried in the White
Friars at London, which I thought should not have been,
for I supposed that he would have been buried at
Bromholm. And that caused me so soon to ride to London
to have purveyed his bringing home; and if it had been
his will to have lain at Bromholm, I had purposed all
the way as I have ridden to have him brought home....'
More photographs of Bacton
More Paston Family Photographs