Record Details

NHER Number:9269
Type of record:Building
Name:All Saints' Church, Great Melton


One of two parish churches, All Saint's Church shares its churchyard with the remains of St Mary's (NHER 9268) and the history of these two structures is unusually intertwined. The Domesday Book indicates that there was a church in Great Melton prior to the Conquest and this is thought to be All Saints but this assertion remains unconfirmed. It has been suggested that parts of the nave and chancel walls could be of Late Saxon construction and a Late Saxon window and door may have been removed during works in the 19th century. Drainage works in 2012 exposed the foundations of the west tower, confirming a likely 15th century construction date, and other 15th century elements have been identified within the fabric of the building. Both churches were in use at this time, and they continued to be used until sometime after 1728. By this time All Saints had become dilapidated and was left to decay while St Mary's (NHER 9268) continued to serve the parish. However, by the late 19th century Faculty records reveal that St Mary's had become too small to accommodate the congregation and a decision was taken to restore All Saints Church and dismantle St Mary's. As such, the majority of the fabric of All Saints Church dates to the 19th century and only the ruined 15th century tower of St Mary's (NHER 9268) survives.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1406 0614
Map Sheet:TG10NW

Full description

Medieval and post medieval church.

Roman? tiles in north wall of nave, mixed with Tudor bricks.
Illustrated in (S1), see (S2).

Member of the public [1] claims this wall and chancel are Late Saxon. See (S3) (period 950 to 1100), a Saxon door and window removed 1883. But (S4) says church rebuilt in 1883, except for flushwork tower.
Poppy head benches. Foliate cross coffin lid.
Chalice and paten Norwich 1632.
Dish on foot 1707.
Bequest to tower 1431.
South porch 1455.
Screen painting 1459.
(S5) and (S6) confuse this church with St Mary's Church (NHER 9268). They say St Mary's tower was built in 1440 and All Saints' was dilapidated in 1714. They must mean All Saints' tower was built in 1440 and St Mary's was dilapidated in 1714.
E. Rose (NAU).

According to member of the public [2] it was All Saints' that was allowed to decay in 1714. All Saints' was then rebuilt with vestry and transcept 1883. St Mary's (NHER 9268) tower was built in 1440.
Newspaper cutting in file (S7).
E. Rose (NAU).

January 2006.
11th and 15th century elements, but largely rebuilt in 1883. Flint with stone and reused Roman dressings. Aisleless nave and chancel, 15th and 19th century western tower, 19th century north transept and south porch. Lower parts of nave and chancel walls are 11th century with coursed flint facings and some reused brick quoins.
Interior mainly from 1883.
Information from (S8).
Located in same churchyard as St Mary's (NHER 9268). St Mary's and All Saints' were consolidated after 1728. All Saints' was allowed to fall into disrepair. St Mary's remained in use until towards the end of the 19th century when it was seen as too small. All Saints' was restored and St Mary's was demolished.
Information from (S9).
D. Robertson (NLA), 19 January 2006.

June 2011. Eastern Daily Press.
More than £150, 000 of lottery funding has been awarded to support vital repairs to three grade two listed Norfolk churches. St John's church in Great Yarmouth, has received £104, 000, St Spyridon's Greek Orthodox church in Great Yarmouth has been awarded £22, 000 and All Saints Church in Great Melton has received £27, 000.
See (S10) for further details.
D. Lefeuvre (HES), 1 August 2011.

December 2012. Watching Brief.
Drainage works adjacent to the west tower revealed the tower foundations, which were flint and of the same build as the upper portion of the tower which is believed to date to the 15th century.
A pit excavated at the northeast corner of the church (north of the chancel) revealed a short length of flint and mortar wall foundation overlain by graveyard soils. The wall foundation was aligned with the east end of the church and may have had a western return, forming a structure on the north side of the chancel, possibly a presbytery. There is no evidence of a former structure in the north chancel wall, indicating that these remains may pre-date the late 19th century rebuild of the church. An alternative interpretation of these remains is that they belong to a tomb structure, but the wall appears to be too wide to support this theory.
A possible pit of unknown function was also cut into the uppermost graveyard soil on the north side of the chancel.
See report (S10) for further information.
The archive associated with this work has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2013.87).
H. Hamilton (HES), 30 July 2013. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 16 May 2019.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 19th Century - 851 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1883 AD)
  • BUILDING (14th Century to 15th Century - 1400 AD to 1499 AD)
  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Associated Finds

  • BRICK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG1406 A-J.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TG1306/V.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 10 NW 18.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 368.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Three historic churches land grants for vital work. 16 June.
---Publication: Taylor, H. M. and Taylor, J. 1965. Anglo-Saxon Architecture. pp 416-417.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Melton (Great).
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Late Saxon. Melton (Great).
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Documentary Source: Various. Additional drawings, engravings, etc. collected by Dawson Turner to illustrate Blomefield's "History of Norfolk"; 1846-1857. Add MS 23053-23062. Vol IV; p 170 (Add MS 23056).
<S2>Serial: Archaeological Journal. VI, 363.
<S3>Monograph: Taylor, H.M. and Taylor, J.. 1978. Anglo Saxon Architecture..
<S4>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 178.
<S5>Serial: 1819. Excursions through Norfolk.
<S6>Directory: White, W.. 1845. White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk.
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. [Illustration of St Mary's Church and All Saints' Church, Great Melton]. 14 March.
<S8>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England.
<S9>Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. -.
<S10>Unpublished Contractor Report: Cope-Faulkner, P. 2013. Archaeological Investigations at All Saints’ Church, Great Melton, Norfolk. Archaeological Project Services. 3/13.

Related records - none

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