Record Details

NHER Number:7727
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of a medieval hermitage between Morton Bridge and Attle Bridge

Summary

The site of a medieval hermitage. During the 1960s a medieval stone carving was discovered, which may be a dedicatory plaque from the parapet of the bridge (NHER 7738). In 1974 a dowser claimed to have found a wall from a building. Local legend suggests that during the Civil War two silver bells were sunk in the river close by and were never recovered. The head from a medieval processional cross found in 1813 may also have come from this site.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 1286 1678
Map Sheet:TG11NW
Parish:MORTON ON THE HILL, BROADLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Site of Hermitage (S1).
A local legend says that during the Civil War two silver bells were sunk in the river for safety, and never recovered.

1813. Find.
In 1813 the head of a processional cross was found in a bank at a location named as 'Hill the Hermitage on the Walsingham Way, by Attlebridge', which may be this site. The cross is brass and depicts a crucifix flanked by the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Peter.
Information from (S3).
E. Rose (NAU).

Sometime in the 1960s. Find.
A stone carving of two figures in the recess of an arch was found in the river. The carving was kept in a local garden until 1994, when it was moved into Attlebridge church (NHER 7748). See further description below.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 29 November 2007.

1974 (or earlier). Dowsing.
In 1974 informant [1] claimed to have located an outer wall, 30cm to 46cm (1ft to 18 inches) across, while dowsing. A plan (S2) was deposited in Garsett House.

June 1978. Site visited.
The site was overgrown by long grass, but there were indications of a slight mound.
E. Rose (NAU), 14 June 1978.

1994.
The carving found in the river in the 1960s (see above) was moved into Attlebridge church (NHER 7748). It has been dated to the 15th or early 16th century and probably derives from the hermitage site. The figures may represent the founder and his wife.
NB - this item was reinterpreted in 2006. See below.
See sketch (S4) in file.
Dated by/suggestion from E. Rose (NLA).
D. Gurney (NLA), 1 August 1994.

2006. Interpretation of the architectural fragment.
The 1994 sketch in file is misleading, see (S5) in file. [1]. Figures are a suppliant in clerical dress kneeling before a female figure, presumably the Blessed Virgin. The surround is a cusped arch beneath a straight head with battlements. To each side of the carving are coping-shaped projections. One suspects this may well be a dedicatory plaque from the parapet of the bridge (NHER 7738), perhaps under the aegis of the hermit. (S6) implies that this was the case and notes that the hermitage was dissolved in 27 Elizabeth I.
E. Rose (NLA), 1 July 2006.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HERMITAGE (RELIGIOUS) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BELL (Undated)
  • CRUCIFIX (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (14th Century to 16th Century - 1400 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Morton-On-The-Hill.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Records / Pastscape.
<S2>Map: Finder's Map..
<S3>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S4>Illustration: Finds Illustrations.
<S5>Illustration: Blackman, R.. 2006. Drawing.
<S6>Serial: Blomefield, F.. 1805-1810. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk.. Volume Unknown.
<S7>Publication: Clay, R.M.. 1914. Hermits and Anchorites of England. p 232.

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2021 Norfolk Historic Environment Service