Norton Priory in Runcorn is once again working with Liverpool University students on a series of excavations to uncover hidden treasures.

Between now and October 1, students from the university’s Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology department, directed by Professor Harold Mytum and Dr Rob Philpott, are hoping to shed more light on the extensive medieval moat system and locate the Canons’ burial ground.

More than 80 undergraduates will be learning an array of archaeological techniques while uncovering more of the site’s past. See what is going on by visiting the site and following updates on Norton Priory Live Blog 2021:

Norton Priory is recognised as being Europe’s largest excavated monastic site.  Dating back to 1134, the site achieved abbey status in 1391 before the arrival of King Henry VIII’s men in 1536 brought about its dissolution.

Between 1545 and 1921 the site was home to the Brooke family, with a Tudor house and a later Georgian mansion both utilising the Undercroft of the monastic complex as part of the living accommodation.

Norton Priory is also well known for the community excavations which ran from 1971 to 1987. Today the site is operated as a museum and independent visitor attraction by Norton Priory Museum Trust Limited.

Although the excavations in the 1970s and 1980s were extensive and visitors to the site today can enjoy seeing the ruins that were unearthed, there remains much to discover.

Also, to celebrate 50 years since the first community dig, Norton Priory is delighted to welcome back the first excavation director, Dr Patrick Greene OBE. Patrick now leads EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, having had an illustrious career in the museums in Australia. He was recently appointed as a member of the board of the Heritage Council of Ireland.

Patrick will be sharing his memories and discoveries during his time at Norton during his evening talk on Saturday 25th September. To book tickets please visit Norton Priory’s website: