Record Details

NHER Number:3770
Type of record:Building
Name:St Nicholas' Church, Gayton


This church is mostly early 14th century. There is a lot of reused stone in the building and the mark of an earlier lower roof inside the tower. This suggests there may have been an earlier church on the same site. The present building has a 15th century chancel.
A watching brief maintained during minor groundworks in 2011 recovered a number of disarticulated human bones beneath the foundations of the west wall, potentially indicating that burials took place in this area prior to the construction of the north aisle.
See NHER 61948 for details of discoveries made in the churchyard of St Nicholas’ Church.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 7302 1925
Map Sheet:TF71NW

Full description

St Nicholas' Church.
Mostly early 14th century. With older fragments, 15th century chancel.
For full details see (S1).
E. Rose (NAU), 2 July 1981.

22 July 1993. NLA air photography.
Church visible.
M. Brennand (NLA), 8 February 2001.

February 2010.
The church boasts a unique dome-topped tower which has emblems of the evangelists in each corner.
See (S2) for further information,
H. White, (NLA), 28 April 2010

June 2011. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of groundworks associated with installation of new kitchen and toilet facilities.
The works within the church itself were limited and exposed little of archaeological interest. The one exception was a small hole excavated for foul water and water supply connections beneath the foundations of the west wall of the north aisle. The flint and mortar foundation was found to be extend to a depth of approximately 0.5m below present ground level. Three disarticulated fragments of human bone were recovered from the underlying silty sand deposit. The presence of these bones may indicate that burials took place in this area prior to the construction of the north aisle, which is potentially further evidence that there was an earlier church on the site.
No other finds were recovered.
See report (S3) for further information and NHER 61948 for details of observations made during monitoring of associated groundworks in the churchyard.
P. Watkins (HES), 9 November 2016.

September 2013. Building Survey
Church is largely of two 14th century phases with curvilnear tracery and narrow clerestory with alternating quatrefoil and two-light windows. Mid 14th century heightening which involved dismantling arcades and re-erecting them at a higher level as at North Elmham (NHER 1119). Also new bell stage added with a dome on a fine rib vault. The corner finials to the twower parpet are of seated lions holding shields. For further details see (S4)
S. Heywood (HES),2 October 2013

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1993. NHER TF 7319ADA-ADB (NLA 330/GSF5-6) 22-JUL-1993..
---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 353.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1981. Building Report. Building Report.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Web-savvy village big on local activities. 2 February.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Birks, C. 2011. Report an an Archaeological Watching Brief at St Nicholas Church, Gayton, Norfolk. Chris Birks Archaeological Services. CB252R.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. 2013. Church of St Nicholas, Gayton.

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