Record Details

NHER Number:4093
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary's Church, Beeston with Bittering

Summary

This church is one of the finest medieval churches in the Diocese of Norwich. Of particular note is the Decorated tracery, including a five-light east window with reticulated tracery, and also the surviving woodwork which includes rare screens, early pews with traceried backs and the impressive roofs of the nave and north aisle. Of late 12th century and later date. Saxon and medieval pottery sherds have been found within the churchyard.

Images

  • St Mary's Church, Beeston with Bittering  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • St Mary's Church, Beeston with Bittering  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Documents/files/web pages

Location

Grid Reference:TF 8939 1529
Map Sheet:TF81NE
Parish:BEESTON WITH BITTERING, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Tower of about 1300, heightened in 1410. Nave and chancel 14th century, north porch 14th century in two builds. Clerestory heightened with new roof during the 15th century. Spire first built in 1410, rebuilt 1873. Important carved roof, 14th century wall paintings and a fine openwork screen.
Information from (S1).
E. Rose (NAU), 31 March 1987 and D. Robertson (NLA), 29 July 2005.

1990. Late Saxon sherd found.

February 2002. Finds from molehills in churchyard.
Two body sherds medieval unglazed, one with (very unusual) pin-pricked decoration. Found northeast of chancel.
One body sherd thick, reduced, sandy, some ?organic inclusions. Perhaps Middle Saxon, but not Ipswich ware. [1].
(also seen by R.C. (NAU)).
A. Rogerson (NLA), 18 February 2002.

This is one of the sixty five churches selected for (S2).
D. Gurney (NLA), 17 February 2006.

May 2006. Building recording.
This church is known as one of the finest medieval churches in the richly endowed Diocese of Norwich. Of particular note is the Decorated tracery, including a five-light east window with reticulated tracery, and also the surviving woodwork which includes rare parclose screens, early pews with traceried backs and the impressive roofs of the nave and north aisle. Late 12th century and later.
Information from (S3).
J. Allen (NLA), 19 June 2007.

April/May 2007. Watching Brief.
NAU Archaeology watching brief on drainage trenches. From context 1.
Medieval and post medieval pottery was recovered from the spoil of trenches near the church as well as from the topsoil. The foundations of the church were partially exposed. Other than the foundations, no features of archaeological interest were observed within the sections of the drainage trenches.
See report (S4) for further details and (S5). This work is also noted in (S6).
J. Allen (NLA), 21 June 2007.

July 2006 - March 2007. Dendrochronological analysis of roof timbers.
During restoration and repairs to the nave roof, twenty samples were taken from various timbers, predominantly principal rafters and hammerbeams. Unfortunately none of these samples could be dated.
See (S4) for further details.
See also (S5).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 20 August 2007.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval to Modern - 1300 AD to 2050 AD)
  • FLOOR (Medieval - 1300 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Undated)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STAINED GLASS (WINDOW) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: Ladbrooke AR1-2, EAS 28-36, EGH 6-10.
---Aerial Photograph: TF0915A-K, L-P.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. Facelift for historic church. 19 March.
---Article in Serial: Fawcett, R. 1980. A Group of Churches by the Architect of Great Walsingham. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVII Pt III pp 292-294. p 277.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1975. £8000 church repair work. 3 October.
---Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1954. TF 8915 Z, AB-AC.
---Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. Building Report..
---Photograph: Rose, E. (NAU). EAS 28A-36A.
---Photograph: Rose, E. (NAU). ERH 6-10.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Thefts from churches. 19 October.
---Monograph: Bridge, M. 2007. St Mary's Church, Beeston-next-Mileham, Norfolk. Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers from the Nave Roof. English Heritage Research Department Report Series. No 38.
---Leaflet: The church of St Mary, Beeston..
---Unpublished Document: St Mary's Church, Beeston-next-Mileham.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Publication: Linnell, Charles. 1961. 'The Personal Testimony of a troubled century: The registers of the Revd. John Forby, Rector of Beeston-next-Mileham and of Attleborough Norfolk' in Some East Anglian Clergy.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. King of ring Jem still packs mighty punch. 27 November.
---Article in Serial: Stephen Heywood. 2007. The Roofs of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Beeston-next-Mileham, Norfolk. Journal of the Norfolk Historic Buildings Group. vol. 3. pp. 127-135.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1987. Building Report..
<S2>Monograph: Jenkins, S.. 2000. England's Thousand Best Churches..
<S3>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. (NCC). 2006. The Roofs of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Beeston juxta Mileham.. May.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Hobbs, B. 2007. An Archaeological Watching Brief at the church of St Mary, Beeston next Mileham, Norfolk. NAU Archaeology. 1303.
<S5>Slide: Various. Slide. 1-12.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 2007. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2006. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt II pp 261-273. p 261.
<S7>Article in Serial: Gaimster, D. R. M., Margeson, S. and Barry, T. 1989. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1988. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XXXIII pp 161-241. p202.

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