....this sort of thing happened. What you're looking at are post Medieval houses built into the western wall of the former abbey church which fell victim to Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. I've never seen anything quite like it before and they'd certainly never be able to get it past the planning department these days!
This was in Bury St Edmunds last summer. This week will be a bit of a mish-mash as won't be going anywhere for the next few days.