“ Address: Manor Park / Runcorn / WA7 1SX / Cheshire / England „
Norton Priory is situated in Runcorn, and is less than 30 minutes drive from Liverpool, Manchester and Chester, and is therefore very convenient to 'day trippers' from all over the North West of England. Once in Runcorn you will see many signs pointing you in the right direction.
I first visited Norton Priory when I was a lot younger, back in the 1980's. At that time it had only just been made accessible to the public.
Last month I received a call from a friend who was arranging a visit and was asking me to join the group who were looking to visit. Being a big History fan, I gladly agreed and we met one morning to look around. Although he insists that the Museum had said to turn up at 10am, we actually found it did not open until 12pm, which we found an extremely strange time to open the gates. No blame to either party was attributed and the Museum made ammends by opening up a bit earlier
The costs for admission were
Family £13.50 (for 2 adults and 3 children under 16)
Under 5's Free
We found these prices very reasonable. To add to this the Car Parking was also free and wheelchair hire to those less abled was also free.
Upon entering the premises we found ourselves in the Shop area, with many books,keyrings, reproduction coins etc available to buy. Just opposite was the cafeteria. Upon turning left we came across the Museum. This included an 'extensive collection of objects excavated at Norton Priory, from medieval tiles to Victorian buttons and bells, which reveal the stories of people who lived and worked at Norton Prior'. (Norton Priory Website)
You can then walk around the ruins and also the undercroft which dates from the 12th century. The gardens themselves are gorgeous and kept in really good order. Sadly this cannot be said to the modern architecture used to build the museum. It looks from the exterior more like a 'corned beef tin' and the reapairs to the undercroft in common brick were dispicable. This really has detracted from a lovely old building.
The walled gardens themselves are only open certain hours at different times of the year, so it really is best to find out first. There are also dozens of events throughout the year. It really is worth phoning first to ask.
Well in all I think the price is very reasonable for this day and age. There are also lots of places to have picnics etc. I was disappointed in the architecture but this can't be taken away from the great exhibits of the Museum and hard work carried out by the ground staff. Rated 3 Star
Aside from the museum, one can enjoy the optical stimulus of the excavated medieval ruins, the spectacular St Christopher statue, the Walled Garden and the extensive woodland and sculpture trail.