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North Elmham Chapel is a curious site – the ruins of a fortified house, converted from a chapel, probably on the site of the Anglo-Saxon cathedral of East Anglia.

North Elmham was the principal seat of the Bishops of East Anglia in late Saxon times, and the centre of a great episcopal estate.  In the late 11th/early 12th century, the Norman Bishop Herbert de Losinga built a small private chapel on the site of the old Saxon timber church, and a new parish church for the village. In the 14th century, the unpopular Bishop Henry le Despencer turned the chapel into a fortified house. After the Reformation, the site fell into disuse.

The ruins are not easy to interpret, but there are excellent information boards and these suggest how the building once looked.

Church Lane
North Elmham
Post Code
NR20 5JU
Main Historic Period
Fakenham, Castle Acre
Primary Management
English Heritage

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