Record Details

NHER Number:9524
Type of record:Building
Name:St Nicholas' Church, Bracon Ash


A medieval parish church, with mainly Early English architectural details. A mausoleum to the Berney family was built in the 18th century, and there is a 16th century memorial made of terracotta.


  • St Nicholas' Church, Bracon Ash.  16th century terracotta tomb, on the north side of the chancel, in its blocked state prior to repair work.  © Norfolk County Council
  • St Nicholas' Church, Bracon Ash.  Detail of 16th century terracotta tomb vault revealed during repairs.  © Norfolk County Council


Grid Reference:TG 1795 0019
Map Sheet:TG10SE

Full description

Basically late Early English church.
Y and intersected tracery windows in chancel shafted inside with headstops; three together on north (now blocked and cut for mausoleum) and an isolated one; and once a similar pattern on south, the other way round, but one is completely blocked up, and another has a blocked two light low side window set in its base. A window of same date in nave north. South aisle Decorated; its west (blocked) and east windows, latter with recent wooden Y tracery, are still very narrow. Chancel arch also Decorated.
Was there a west tower? West wall is all rebuilt incorporating tie beam.
(S1) shows a bell turret but now a bell of 1807 is in frame by south door.
Tie beams also in nave, and a beam set above south door.
Remains of rood stair with unusual niche under.
Over restored Decorated piscina (there was a restoration in 1808); another piscina by north door.
North of chancel the Berney mausoleum, 18th century, rusticated pilasters, pediment and circular false windows; entered through an Early Renaissance terracotta monument with 17th century memorial above, see (S2).
Early 19th century north porch of brick with stepped gable.
Royal arms of George III in architectural surround over chancel arch.
18th century floor tombs.
14th century octagonal font.
Stuart table.
Pre Reformation paten; chalice, Norwich 1567; paten, London 1819.
Church in bad condition due to damp.
Visited E. Rose (NAU) 9 November 1978.

Not only was there no tower by Ladbrookes time as noted above, but the bells were formerly kept in a ground level bellshed.
E. Rose (NAU) 21 January 1982.

When seen in passing 4 October 1998, some of the render around the south aisle south windows in curvilinear Decorated style had fallen, and the flintwork seemed to indicate the windows had been inserted in an older wall, but this was far from clear and may have been due to restoration.
E. Rose (NLA) 5 October 1998.

(S3) notes that the terracotta monument is of the 1530s and says that [1] suggests it is the tomb of Roger Appleyard 1529 who willed to be buried in the Norwich Greyfriars (NHER 373); it may have been moved at the Dissolution.
E. Rose (NLA), 4 February 2003.

See (S4) for a discussion of the terracotta monument.
H. White, (NLA), 22 October 2009

September 2012. Observation.
During repairs to the north wall of chancel and adjoining mausoleum some brickwork was removed from the blocking of the former tomb and has revealed parts of the decorated vault which formed the canopy over the former tomb chest.
S. Heywood (HES), 1 October 2012.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CANOPIED TOMB (15th Century to 16th Century - 1500 AD to 1550 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MAUSOLEUM (18th Century - 1721 AD to 1730 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: G1700A.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1986. More on that church tower map mystery. 12 February.
---Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 211.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Grants given to 18 county churches. 17 February.
---Leaflet: Bracon Ash Church and Village..
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2016. Lynn Minster is added to Heritage at Risk register. 21 October.
<S1>Illustration: Ladbrooke. [unknown].
<S2>Article in Serial: Baggs, A. P. 1968. Sixteenth-Century Terra-Cotta Tombs in East Anglia. The Archaeological Journal. Vol CXXV pp 296-301.
<S3>Article in Monograph: Blatchley, J. and Middleton-Stewart, J. 2002. Sir Philip Bothe of Shrubland. East Anglia's History. Harper-Bill, C. (ed). p 138.
<S4>Thesis: Rolfe, M. 1993. Renaissance Terra-Cotta Monuments in East Anglia.

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