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New historical novel features abbey of St Benet’s

PUBLISHED: 14:06 05 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:06 05 September 2014

Norfolk Wildlife Trust: St Benets from the Bure event.
Taking a boat trip from Ranworth Staithe to St Benets Abbey on the River Bure.

Picture: James Bass

Norfolk Wildlife Trust: St Benets from the Bure event. Taking a boat trip from Ranworth Staithe to St Benets Abbey on the River Bure. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

A new novel features the abbey of St Benet’s Church in the 1500 during the time of the dissolution of the monasteries.

Heretic by Henry Vyner-Brooks is being published by Lion Fiction next month, and the author is attending many events in the area to promote the book to talk about his research, and the little-known history of this fascinating place.

On his inspiration for writing Heretic, Henry said: “It was in 2010 that I first became aware of the mystery of St Benet’s Abbey; the only monastery never dissolved by Henry VIII. It is situated on what sometimes becomes an island, linked to the mainland only by a causeway; all alone on the marshes. If a writer wanted possibilities for a location, here it was. We were visiting my sister for a family gathering and I needed to house my own expanding family. A large yellow boat on the Norfolk Broads provided the best solution and so, we enjoyed a magical week there one spring. And then while visiting St Helen’s Church I heard about the Monk Pacificus, his coracle and little dog… and bam, I was hooked. There was a story here that deserved to be told.”

The author will be signing copies of his book at St Helen’s Church, Ranworth, on Sunday, September 14, at 9.30am and Ranworth village hall on the same day at 11.30am.


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