Record Details

NHER Number:2642
Type of record:Building
Name:St John the Evangelist's church, Oxborough


Despite losing its roof in 1948, the church of St John the Evangelist remains in use, with worship taking place in the attached chancel. The destruction of the nave roof was caused by the collapse of the large tower, which had been hit by lightning in 1878 and repaired over many decades. The remaining church is highly picturesque, the walls of the main buildings remaining and their floors carpeted by green turf. Luckily enough, the chancel also shelters some of the finest terracotta tombs and tombstones in England, examples of the peak of Catholic art on the eve of the Reformation.


  • Armorial corbel, Oxborough parish church  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • Bedingfield Memorial, Oxborough Parish Church  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • Terracotta Screen, Oxborough Church  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TF 7440 0144
Map Sheet:TF70SW

Full description

Ruined church of the Perpendicular period. Part still roofed contained very important terracotta monuments.
See notes in secondary file.
E. Rose October 1990.

This is one of the sixty five Norfolk churches selected for (S1).
D. Gurney (NLA), 17 February 2006.

August 2008. Building Survey.
Examination of the Bedingfeld Chantry and consideration of repairs required to the roof.
See report (S2) for full details.
S. Howard (HES), 29 October 2010.

See (S3) for a discussion of the Bedingfield monuments.
H. White (NLA), 22 October 2009.

The roof timbers taken for tree-ring analysis yielded no conclusive results (S4).
D. Gurney (NLA), 1 April 2010.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOMB (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 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: TF7401 D,E-G,J-M,Y,AT.
---Publication: f.151. Add MSS 23.060.
---Aerial Photograph: TF 7401/ ABU.
---Serial: Bryant, T. H.. 1898-1915. The Churches of Norfolk.. Vols 1-19..
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TF 7401ACB - ACH..
---Archive: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 70 SW 7 [3].
---Publication: Butler-Stoney, R.. 1986. The Church of St John the Evangelist, Oxborough.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Dispute holds up vital chapel repairs. 21 June.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. Artists' work helps save rare church treasures.. 1 August.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1999. Collapsing tower of Oxborough!. 12 April.
---Website: Knott, S.. 2006. Norfolk Churches website..
---Publication: Country Life. 1929. Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk. 17 August.
---Article in Serial: Purcell, D.. 1973. Sixteenth-century terra-cotta in East Anglia.. ASCHB. Vol 1.
---Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. (NCC). 2008. Repairs to the Bedingfield chantry chapel at the church of St John the Evangelist, Oxborough.. August.
---Photograph: Photographs of St John the Evangelist's church, Oxborough. Black & white.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Photograph: CBH 13.
<S1>Monograph: Jenkins, S.. 2000. England's Thousand Best Churches..
<S2>Unpublished Report: Heywood, S. 2009. The Church of St John the Evangelist, Oxborough. Repairs to the Bedingfield chantry chapel.
<S3>Thesis: Rolfe, M. 1993. Renaissance Terra-Cotta Monuments in East Anglia.
<S4>Monograph: Bridge, M. C. 2009. St John's Church, Oxborough, Norfolk. Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers from the Roof of the Bedingfield Chapel. English Heritage Research Department Report Series. 80-2009.

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