Record Details

NHER Number:6092
Type of record:Building
Name:The College and St John's Church, Rushford


A rare survival of a medieval collegiate church and associated buildings. The college was founded in 1342, and the church and buildings date mainly to the mid 14th century. The nearby college buildings, including a barn, were converted into a house in the 19th century. Part of the medieval moat which surrounded the site has also survived.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 9234 8125
Map Sheet:TL98SW

Full description

The College, including parish church of St John's College, founded 31 August 1342 by Edmund Gonville, who also founded Gonville College, Cambridge.
Very rare survival of collegiate church with surrounding buildings.
Church is nave and tower of 1342 with a 15th century porch.
Transepts and chancel demolished at Dissolution, church reroofed and altered late 16th century.
Tower designed to be defended.
Apse and interior decorations of 1904.
Medieval cross base formerly in yard, now missing.
College buildings, now private house, survive in part of 1342, restored by Teulon about 1850.
Part of moat survives.
See (S1), (S2), (S3) and (S4).
E. Rose 15 March 1988.

This is a rare example of collegiate buildings surviving adjacent to their church. Previous work has largely ignored the structure in the North-West corner of the precinct that was gutted by fire in the 20th century. Its West and South walls include large amounts of re-used medieval masonry, the latter very crude and more like a partition than an external wall. The North and West walls suggest a date of c. 1700. there are antiquarian records of demolitions of parts of the collegiate church in the early 18th century. It would appear therefore that one wall of an extremely large and now foreshortened medieval barn remains as part of a general 18th centry reconstruction.
See (S10).
D. Holburn (HES), 21 October 2011.

March 2002. NAU building survey.
The ruined building lies within the precinct of Rushford College, a chantry college of priests founded by Edmund Gonville 1342.
The east wall of the ruined barn is dated to 1500, constructed, possibly, at a time of expansion when extra chantry priests and 13 schoolchildren were introduced.
Partly rebuilt 18th century, converted to dwelling 19th century.
See (S5).
See also (S9).
M. Horlock (NLA), 4 September 2002.

August 2008.
Proposed extension and alterations to existing coach house. Formation of general/ wood store to replace existing storage building.
See (S6) for further information
H. White (NLA) 7 January 2009

January 2011. Norfolk NMP.
The eastern arm of the moat surrounding the main college buildings is visible on aerial photographs (S7). Tree cover obscures the aerial view of any other potential remaining sections of the originally square moat – although this is recorded as now partially infilled (NMR - TL 98 SW 18). Tree cover also obscures the area of fishponds, depicted on a restored plan of the college drawn in 1888 (S8), to the immediate west of the moat.
S. Horlock (NMP), 18 January 2011.

Monument Types

  • BARN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHANTRY COLLEGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MANOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BARN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
---Graphic material: Various. Various. Architectural plans..
---Photograph: Rose, E.. 2001. JZR 4-10.
---Photograph: KBZ.
---Unpublished document: Listed Building Consent.
---Publication: Jeffery, P.. 2004. The Collegiate Churches of England and Wales.. p 240.
---Newspaper Article: 1985. Eastern Daily Press. 22 November.
---Newspaper Article: 1988. Eastern Daily Press. 22 August.
---Newspaper Article: 1988. Eastern Daily Press. 20 July.
---Newspaper Article: 1999. Eastern Daily Press. 22 September.
---Leaflet: St John the Evangelist, Rushford..
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Brettenham.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: Rose, E.. Building Report..
<S2>Unpublished document: Rose, E. (NLA). 2001. Building Report..
<S3>Article in serial: Bennett, E. K. 1888. The College of St. John Evangelist of Rushworth. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol X pp 277-312. p 307.
<S5>Unpublished document: Underdown, S.. 2002. NAU Report No. 689. Report on an Archaeological Desk-based survey and building survey at Dairy Farm, Brettenham..
<S6>Unpublished document: 2008. Design and Access Statement, Coach House, Rushford College.
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Crawford Collection. 1923. NMR TL9281/1 CCC 11766/1558 13-JUL-1923.
<S8>Unpublished document: Green, F.M.L.. 2006. NAU Archaeology Report No. 1106. An Archaeological Strip, Map and Sample Excavation at Land next to Rushford Church, Brettenham, Norfolk.. Fig. 2.
<S9>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2003. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2002. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 368-384. p 369.
<S10>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2002. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2001. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt I pp 162-177. p 163.

Related records - none

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