Record Details

NHER Number:5914
Type of record:Building
Name:St Cuthbert's Church, Thetford


The earliest parts of this church date from the 13th century and include the south doorway and piscina in the chancel. However, the church was heavily restored in the 19th century with the tower being rebuilt in 1852 and more general work being carried out in 1862. Inside is a Norman font from St Mary The Less and a plain oak rood screen dating to 1865. Work on the churchyard in 2005 found that several tombstones had been displaced suggesting the churchyard was in use during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 8711 8306
Map Sheet:TL88SE

Full description

Tower rebuilt in 1852.
(S1) marks area to the south as Goodman's or Freeman's Knoll. Very faint on original - but as the map is inaccurate it is hard to tell where exactly this is!
E. Rose (NAU).

Plain oak rood screen in 1865.
Information from (S2).
E. Rose (NAU).

Has Norman font moved from St Mary the Less?
1870 Denman organ moved to Earl Street chapel in 1910.
See (S3) and (S4) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 8 March 1991.

1997. Restoration of tombstones on the outside of a King Street business.
These grave markers formerly stood in St Cuthbert's churchyard.
See press cutting (S5) in file.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 8 August 2008.

19th century organ restored.
See press cutting (S6) in file.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 8 August 2008.

January 2005. Watching Brief.
NAU watching brief on churchyard improvements. Contexts 1-4.
Displaced tombstones suggest the area was in use during the 18th and 19th centuries. An undated brick built burial chamber was uncovered during the works along with a quantity of disarticulated human bone.
See report (S7) for further details. See also (S13). The results of this work are also summarised in (S14).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2016.33).
J. Allen (NLA) 10 October 2006. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 17 May 2019.

April 1951. Listed, Grade II.
Listing Description:
Parish church dating from the early 13th century. The west tower was rebuilt following a collapse in 1851. The north aisle dates from 1902. Whole pebbles, flint and ashlar dressings. Slate roofs. West tower, nave, aisles, chancel. 3-stage tower with set-back stepped buttresses. Cusped lancet to ground stage, 4-petal ringing chamber window with square spandrels and 2-light belfry windows.
The interior comprises 4 north arcade bays and 5 south arcade bays, all on octagonal piers and with double-chamfered arches. The west bay of the nave and all of the north side date from 1902. Roofs are plain purlin and rafter type with arched braces to wall posts. The chancel roof is similar and dates from 1882. Double late 13th century piscina with trefoil cusping and hood mould. Square 11th century font bowl with incised arcading to rim standing on a later octagonal shaft.
Information from (S8).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 8 August 2008.

See also (S9), (S10), (S11) and (S12)
A. Cattermole (NLA), 8 August 2008.

February 2019. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of groundworks associated with programme of improvements to St Cuthbert's Church. These works included the removal of a concrete floor and the excavation of a shallow drain run within a 20th-century extension to the south of the medieval church.
No archaeologically-significant features or deposits were observed.
See report (S15) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 6 July 2021.

Monument Types

  • BURIAL VAULT (Unknown date)
  • INHUMATION (Unknown date)
  • CHURCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1200 AD? to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Photograph: NAU. 2005. PEP.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Map: Martin, T.. 1740. MSS map. 2.
<S2>Article in Serial: Plunkett, G. A. F. 1979. Norfolk Church Screens - 1865 Survey. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXVII Pt II pp 178-189. p 187.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. £60,000 aim for churches restoration. 24 March.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. Church puts safety first. 29 July.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. Tombstones paint job sparks row. 23 October.
<S6>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Organ set to sound out for another century. 7 May.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Boyle, M. 2006. An Archaeological Watching Brief at St Cuthbert's Church, Thetford, Norfolk. NAU Archaeology. 1087.
<S8>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1207726.
<S9>Monograph: Mortlock, D. & Roberts, C.. 1981. The Popular Guide to Norfolk Churches.. No 1. p 131.
<S10>Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, B. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 703.
<S11>Monograph: Brooks, E.C.. 1963?. A short history of the parish church of St. Cuthbert, Thetford..
<S12>Unpublished Document: Cattermole, P.. 2000. Inventory of church bells and bell-frames in Norfolk. Shropham Hundred, p 10.
<S13>Slide: Various. Slide. 1-7.
<S14>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2006. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2005. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 124-136. p 134.
<S15>Unpublished Contractor Report: Meredith, J. 2019. St Cuthbert’s Church, Thetford, Norfolk. Archaeological Monitoring Report. Suffolk Archaeology. 2019/018.

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2024 Norfolk Historic Environment Service