Record Details

NHER Number:3549
Type of record:Building
Name:St Martin's Church, Houghton


The medieval parish church of Houghton is the only building from the medieval village to remain standing within the park. The church dates back to the 14th century but was largely rebuilt in the early 18th century, including a new west tower probably designed by Thomas Ripley. The church contains many Walpole family tombs and hatchments, as well as a medieval effigy of a Prior of Coxford Priory. A fragment of medieval pottery has been found in the churchyard.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 7937 2838
Map Sheet:TF72NE

Full description

Referred to as dilapidated in 1602, but restored 1726 (strangely enough, instead of being demolished with the village) and again in 19th century.
Decorated chancel arch and east window (renewed). Arcades of alternate octagonal and quatrefoil piers; Y-tracery clerestory. South aisle with brick-arched cusped tracery windows. North Aisle said to be of 1513, Late Perpendicular windows. North porch Perpendicular, with flushwork,now made into vestry. Unusual Gothick tower of 1726. Much 19th century rebuilding. Crocketed piscina in chancel. Large Perpendicular tomb figure in centre of nave. 19th century chancel roof. Simple nave roof. Jacobean backs to chancel pews. Nave has box pews, including in southeast corner a rectangular pew around a central railed area, for a school? Early 19th century west gallery. Font in Queen Anne style. Many hatchments. 17th to 18th century. Floor tombs. Angel figure over north door (from an organ?) Old west door. Chalice and paten cover 1690.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU) 2 June 1977.

The large tomb figure is said to come from Coxford Priory.
E. Rose (NAU).

Listed grade I, see (S1).
E. Rose (NAU) 28 October 1985.

(S2) notes that there was a tower in 1720 but that Tom Martin said it had gone in 1727; he suggests therefore that the present tower is of 1735 rather than 1726 and is by Ripley.
E. Rose (NLA) 5 January 1995.

For further information on the tower see (S3).
Aerial photograph details in file.

(S4) notes that the church was refitted in 1855 in the style of the 1820s with box pews in circles, benches in the nave yet with a clear view of the chancel. The puplit and desk are separated.
E. Rose (NLA), 24 May 2002.

December 2004 to January 2005. Casual find while digging grave in churchyard.
Medieval pottery sherd.
See list in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 8 February 2005.

Faculty granted to install an early 19th century chamber organ at present in Houghton Hall (but not originally made for the Hall).
E. Rose (NLA), 9 May 2005.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF7928 F-H,AC,AD,AS-AV,AZ-ABC,ABX,ACL-ACP.
---Monograph: Williamson, T.. 1998. Archaeology of the Landscape Park: Garden Design in Norfolk, England, c. 1680-1840.. BAR (British Series). Vol 268.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1995. TF7928/ACG - AGG.
---Monograph: Davison, A. 1988. Six Deserted Villages in Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 44. pp 95-99.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 72 NE 3 [2].
---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 428.
---Photograph: 1997. Photographs of St. Martin's Church, Houghton. Black & white.
---Photograph: 1992. Photographic record of Houghton on the Hill. Print.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England.
<S2>Article in Serial: Yaxley, D.. 1994. The Tower of Houghton St Martin.. The Annual. No 3, p 46.
<S3>Article in Serial: Klausmier, A. 2001. Houghton, Raynham and Wolterton Halls. On Thomas Ripley's Major Works in Norfolk. Architectural Success amidst Political Tensions. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt IV pp 607-629. pp 614-615.
<S4>Monograph: Yates, N.. 2000. Buildings, faith and worship: the liturgical arrangement of Anglican churches 1600-1900.. p 152.

Related records

30463Part of: Houghton Park (Monument)
28476Related to: Earthworks of deserted medieval village of Houghton, North Drive (Monument)
3543Related to: Site of deserted medieval village of Houghton (Monument)

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