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Norton Priory

Runcorn, Cheshire

Location Guide

Norton Priory Museum & Gardens is situated in a peaceful oasis on the edge of Runcorn. It stands in a 38 acre site split by the A558 road. On one side of the road you have the Museum and Priory on the other side is the walled garden and woodland. From the car park you enter through the museum, before going out into the Priory area and beyond. On this site you will find:-

A museum which brings Medieval Cheshire to life with its displays and artefacts including:

  • St Christopher's statue carrying the Christ child on his shoulder. This is a large medieval statue probably made in 1391, carved from sandstone. It stands 11ft tall and weights 1.25 tonnes and was carved to stand against a wall.
  • A replica model of what it is believed the Priory may have once looked like.

Excavated medieval priory ruins. The priory was originally established in 1134 for a dozen Augustinian canons (Black Canons) and later became a Tudor and then Georgian Manor house before being abandoned and demolished in 1928. You can walk around the excavated ruins and see the original location of the Church and Chapter house, as well as the warming room and toilets. There is also the Priory Undercroft.

Within the grounds on this side of the road you will find:-

A Giant replica of the Priory bell in a stand, which you can ring. It has been designed from fragments of the original bell mould found in the bell pit. Next to this is a summer house and picnic area.

The restored 18th century pathways, take you around the herb garden, pass a stream-glade, a summer house and a hide, as well as a 19th century rock garden and heather garden. All around this part of the grounds there is a sculpture trail of old and modern sculptures, including gates, walls, figure statues, animal statues such as a large snail and more.

On the other side of the road you will find:-

The 2.5 acre Walled Garden and gardeners cottage. The garden was originally built between 1757 and 1770 but what you see today is a re-created version completed in 1984 following archaeological excavations of the Augustinian priory. Features include, a fruit garden which contains unusual species of fruit trees including the National Collection of tree quince, and herbaceous borders and also houses a rose walk, a croquet lawn and orchard. Entrance to the garden is via the Tree of Life Gate. Seasonal highlights include the rose border from late May-July, a colour border form late spring through to Autumn and the deep border, shrubs, climbers, perennials and bulbs from late March to October. Close to the garden is an historic ice house.

The Woodland Gardens also has a pear orchard, wildflower meadow and pond as well as some sculptures and structures like the 'HaHa' Wall and Kitty's Gate.

Within the 38 acre grounds there is also:

A garden loggia, built in yellow sandstone with some brickwork. At its front are two Doric columns and two antae. Above these is a cornice with a fluted frieze. The side walls are of stone and the back wall is internally of stone and externally of brickwork. It is a Grade II listed building.

There are also shops selling plants and seasonal produce which is grown in the Walled Garden, such as rhubarb, beetroot, asparagus, potatoes, apples and quinces etc. As well as the refectory cafe.

Various events and activities are organised throughout the year, and the walled garden, which is closed during the winter, is open on selected days for guided tours.

Tom Pennington See Larger Image Neil Kennedy See Larger Image

Location: Norton Priory, Runcorn, Cheshire

Grid Reference: SJ548830 Ceremonial County: Cheshire

Map Link: StreetMap 

Aerial photo: Google Aerial Map

Getting there: From M56 J11 turn for Warrington and follow Norton Priory signs. 30 minutes drive from Chester, Liverpool and Manchester.

Access: Free car parking
Website: www.nortonpriory.org
Other Useful Websites: Wiki     Pastscape
Email: info@nortonpriory.org
Address: The Norton Priory Museum Trust, Norton Priory Museum & Gardens, Tudor Road, 
Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire 
Postcode: WA7 1SX Telephone: 01928 569895
Opening Times: Apr-Oct Daily Museum 10am-5pm; Walled Garden 12noon-4pm
Nov-Mar Daily 12noon-4pm; Walled Garden Closed
Closed 24-26 Dec and 1st Jan

Charges: Adults 5.65; Concession 4; Family (2+3) 13.80
Season tickets Adult 17.50; concession 10.50; Family 40

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages: Cheshire Top Attractions

Notes: Non commercial photography allowed. No photography in St Christopher Gallery.
Dogs on leads only. No dogs allowed in Walled Garden.

Families are welcome with St Christopher's Gallery having books, dressing up and games amongst other things for children.

Dedicated Picnic sites in the grounds and a cafe.


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By: Tracey Park Section: Abbeys   Gardens Key:
Page Ref: norton_priory Topic: Abbeys    Gardens Last Updated: 02/2011

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