Record Details

NHER Number:584
Type of record:Building
Name:St Martin-at-Palace Church, Norwich


The church of St Martin-at-Palace is a small church situated close to the Cathedral. A gasworks used to be situated nearby, but this site has been regenerated to form the site of the courts, and as a result this church was saved from redundancy and converted to use as a probation day-centre.

The current building has Norman foundations and is largely late 15th century in date. However, excavation in the late 1980s recovered evidence that at least one, if not two, timber churches were present on this site during the mid to late Saxon period.

Today the church has a nave, arcades and chancel, as well chapels in the chancel and a two storey south porch. Following the partial colapse of the nave and chancel in 1851 a restoration under J H Hakewill was undertaken, and less than twenty years later a clerestory and belfry were also added.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 23474 09108
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

Church of St Martin-at-Palace.

Former church, now redundant under conversion for Probation Centre.
11th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 19th century rebuild. Flint with stone dressings. Lead roof. West tower. Nave and chancel with north and south aisles and choir aisles stopping short of east wall. South porch. Three stage tower. Two storeyed porch attached to south aisle. Three bay nave, two bay chancel.
For further details see English Heritage Listing (S1).
Mentioned in Domesday Book 1086.

1987 to 1988. Excavation by NAU.
Excavation of nave and part of chancel prior to redevelopment.
Period I (10th century): Two phases of timber structure in the nave, orientated east-west, misaligned to present church. One burial with evidence of at least one more inhumation, possibly contemporary. Many post holes.
Period II (11th century): Rammed chalk, flint, gravel foundations of early church. Internal dimensions recorded as 13.30m west-east x 6.20m north-south in the nave and 2.90m west-east x 6.25m north-south in chancel. The chancel was only partially excavated. The excavated wall displays long-and-short work which has generally been attributed to the date range 950AD to 1100AD. This implies that the wall formed the superstructure for the excavated foundations, but there was no stratigraphic evidence to support this, and the suggestion is based only upon architectural form.
Period III: Very wide date range post 1066. Pre-1830 burials. 47 burials were located, 27 of which were articulated and excavated within the nave and tower of the church. 12 more graves were identified in the nave nad 3 in the south aisle. 5 graves were identified in the chancel, but there was no articulated material in this area. Loose, friable soil suggests preiods of burial and reburial within the building. Some graves had evidence of coffins whereas others had no grave furniture at all. Coffin plates were found, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Burial shafts and vault of church constructed in brick were recorded. The vault had a tiled floor and barrel roof. Several fragments of decorated stone were recorded and attributed a 10th or 11th century date.
Period IV: Post 1830. Documentary evidence suggests that the church was extensively rebuilt at this time.
See (S4) for further details.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 23 April 2007.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to Modern - 900 AD to 2050 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Illustration: Working Drawings.
---Unpublished document: Carter, A.. 1987. Building Survey.
---Unpublished document: Norwich Historic Churches Trust. Church of St Martin at Palace..
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Photograph: EEA, EKA-EKD, ERJ, XS, EEC-EEZ, CWQ, XT, EPW, FNZ.
<S1>Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
<S2>Publication: Messent, C. J. W. 1932. The City Churches of Norwich. p 55.
<S3>Publication: Cox, J. C. 1911. Country Churches: Norfolk. Vol II. pp 182-183.
<S4>Monograph: Beazley, O. & Ayers, B.. 2001. Two medieval churches in Norfolk.. East Anglian Archaeology 96.

Related records

Site 2607Parent of: Church of St Martin at Palace (Monument)
Site 2155Parent of: Church of St Martin At Palace (Monument)
Site 2139Parent of: Church of St Martin at Palace Plain (Monument)
Site 1607Parent of: Church of St Martin-at-Palace, St Martin-at-Palace Plain (Monument)
Site 1925Parent of: Church of St Martin-at-Palace, St Martin-at-Palace Plain (Monument)
26428Parent of: Medieval inhumation, early roadway, medieval pits and post holes (Monument)
Mon 366Parent of: St Martin at Palace Churchyard (Monument)
Mon 1279Parent of: St Martin at Palace Plain (Early Church) (Monument)
Site 760Parent of: St Martin at Palace Plain (Monument)
Mon 1095Parent of: St Martin at Palace Plain (Monument)
Mon 447Parent of: St Martin at Palace Plain Church (Monument)
26241Parent of: St Martin-at-Palace Churchyard (Monument)
Site 579Parent of: St Martin-at-Palace Graveyard (Monument)
48141Parent of: St Martin's Vicarage, St Martin-at-Palace Plain (Building)

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