Picturesque Ranworth Broad is said to
be haunted by a friendly ghost who goes by the name of
Brother Pacificus. Only the early bird may catch a
glimpse of this ghostly monk, as the majority of
sightings have taken place at dawn, though he has also
been sighted on quiet summer evenings once or twice over
Wearing his habbit he is observed rowing a small boat
across the broad with a little dog standing in the prow.
The story goes that during the 1530ís the brothers of
nearby St. Benetís Abbey undertook the work of restoring
the rood screen of the church of St. Helens at Ranworth.
Brother Pacificus was entrusted with the task so early
each morning Brother Pacificus would row his boat across
the broad from the Abbey to the church in order to carry
out the restoration work on the screen. He was
always accompanied by his little dog. At the end of the
day he would return by the same route.
One evening upon his return to the Abbey Brother
Pacificus found to his horror that his brother monks had
been murdered, by the Kings troopers as part of the
dissolution of the monasteries, ordered by Henry VIII.
Devastated Brother Pacificus remained in the ruins of
his beloved Abbey living like a hermit. When he died the
local residents buried him in the churchyard of St.
The church of St. Helens of Ranworth has served its
villagers for over 900 years and is well worth a visit
not only to see the restored rood screen but also to
climb the church tower itself, where a wonderful view of
the broads can be seen. Who knows you might see Brother
Pacificus as he rows his little boat over the broad,
towards the church, with his small dog standing in the