From Norman to Georgian
Norton Priory is the most excavated monastic site in Europe. The museum has just undergone a significant redevelopment. It now tells the story from its foundation in 1134 through to present day. Highlights include the internationally significant twice life sized statue of St. Christopher. Experts believe that its carving dates back to the late 14th century. The museum also displays stone carvings and grave markers as well as other excavated material representing Norton Priory’s 900 year old history. The tour includes the beautiful Grade I listed undercroft and the medieval priory ruins. In addition, you will hear the history of the Brooke family and see the reconstructed medieval herb garden (as seen on BBC2’s Hidden Gardens programme).
After your morning visit, you will head off to the nearby Forest Hills Hotel for a delicious 2 course lunch. Set amidst beautiful Cheshire countryside, there are stunning panoramic views across the Cheshire plains and the Mersey Estuary for you to enjoy.
The Georgian Walled Garden
Following lunch, you will return to the site to continue your visit to Norton. In contrast to the ancient ruins of the Norman priory, discover the peace and tranquillity of the Georgian Walled Garden. The two and a half acre Garden has the design of a typical Georgian garden. Today there is an orchard, a fruit garden, a vegetable garden, various ornamental borders and the beautiful Rose Walk. The Walled Garden is also the location of a number of Norton Priory’s ‘hidden gems’, including the Ha Ha Wall, the Ice House and the Wildflower Meadow. Additionally, the Garden is home to The National Collection of Tree Quince (Cydonia Oblonga). These are dotted around the garden and the site and include 24 different varieties.
Please be aware that the Walled Garden does not have coach access; it is a 300m walk from the coach drop off point. The approach however is flat and even.
March - October 2018
Meet your guide
Your guide will meet you en route to Norton Priory.
Norton Priory New Visitor Centre
Explore this impressive new development taking you from Norman times to Georgian. You will be returning after lunch to visit the walled garden.
A delicious 2 course carvery lunch will be served to you in this popular restaurant.
The Walled Garden
After lunch, board your coach and head back towards Norton Priory to visit the stunning walled garden.