Record Details

NHER Number:2859
Type of record:Building
Name:Bishop Bonner's Cottages Museum


This thatched and timber framed two storey cottage is reputed to be the birthplace of Bishop Bonner. Although it has been dated to 1502 constructional details suggest a later 16th century date. The building was extended in the 17th century when the coloured pargetting on the front of the building was also added. The cottage and pargetting has now been restored and is now used as a museum.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 98735 13268
Map Sheet:TF91SE

Full description

June 1978. Survey.
Bishop Bonner's Cottages Museum.
Reputed birthplace of Bishop Bonner. Dated to 1502; this date has been added later but A. Carter (UEA) says part of the building could be this old. Possibly the almshouses mentioned in will of 1536. 17th century pargetting with original colouring now restored. Thatched. Two storeys, upper storey being dormers, but projecting as jetty at south end. Former home of Walter Rye.
E. Rose (NAU), 27 June 1978.

February 1992. Survey.
Bishop Bonner's Cottages Museum.
Timber framed building, allegedly of 1502 but this date is a later addition and may be spurious, relating to the birth of Bishop Bonner. Oldest parts of building may not be earlier than 1580, extended in 17th century with fine pargetting. Now in use as museum.
See (S1) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 14 February 1992.

March 1995. Repair works.
Repair works to the east wall involved removal of rotten sill beam. The wall of the central section above this was of wattle and daub between widely spaced studwork. There was brickwork in the east wall inline with the stack between the south and southern cells indicating that the passage originally a closet had been constructed as part of the stack, or perhaps a brick fire gable to an originally detached southern cell. Outside the south wall a well was found beneath a dome of recent bricks; the well was formed of brick but it was not possible to date from above. It still contained water and was probed to a total depth of 5m (17 feet).
E. Rose (NLA), 27th March 1995.

September 2000.
(S2) dates the whole range to the early 17th century.

December 2008.
Proposal to remove and rebuild the brick plinth and carry out other general repairs including lime render repairs, repointing of brickwork and flintwork and redecoration.
See (S3) for further information
H. White (NLA), 4 February 2009

July 2009.
£15,000 renovation work completed.
See (S4),
H. White (NLA), 6 July 2009

Article missing from file -1991 [Jo Yates, 10 September 2010].

Monument Types

  • (Former Type) HOUSE (Medieval - 1502 AD to 1539 AD)
  • (Former Type) ALMSHOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MUSEUM (Post Medieval to Modern - 1900 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991. Photograph of Bishop Bonner's Cottages. 1 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1983. Group to keep Dereham museum solvent. 26 April.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1953. [unknown]. 15 March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978. Bonnier cottages. 9 November.
---Publication: Argent, W.. Norfolk Antiquarian Miscellany. Series II, Part 1, pp33ff.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TF9813/ACN - ACQ.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TF 9813ACK - ACL.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. TF 9813ACC, ACR - ACS; TF 9913ABD - ADG.
---Unpublished document: Listed Building Consent.
---Newspaper Article: Norfolk Advertiser. 1983. Friends Indeed. 19 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. Symbol of town's past could crumble as traffic rumbles. 17 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991. [unknown]. 21 January.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. On road to save place of history. 15 June.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. Society fights to save cottage from battering by heavy traffic. 30 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1998. Quick thinking saves historic museum. 26 September.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Cottage repairs process begins. 21 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1998. Talks in hand on repairs to historic cottages. 29 September.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1980. Bonner offices 'not our wish'. 18 January.
---Article in serial: NARG News. Vol 13.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Centre of Norfolk life. 2 February.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991. Cottages in need of repair. 21 January.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Dereham: A town fit for saints, poets, authors and antiquarians. 1 September.
---Article in serial: Rose, E.. 1997. Bishop Bonners Cottages.. The Quarterly. No 25.
---Photograph: 1960?. Photograph of Bishop Bonner's Cottage, Dereham. Black & white.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Dereham.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Museum set to focus on Dereham in its 50th year. 29 May.
<S1>Unpublished document: Rose, E. (NLA). 1992. Building Report..
<S2>Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
<S3>Unpublished document: Dereham Town Council. 2008. Design and Access Statement, Bishop Bonner's Cottage, Dereham.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Restoration work carried out on town's architectural treasure. 3 July.

Related records - none

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