Record Details

NHER Number:6596
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary's Church, Bessingham, Sustead


This church has a round tower that demonstrates two constructional phases. This is evidenced by the presence of belfry windows being set below differently styled circular openings. Much of the nave dates to the 11th century but the north door is of later date, being of around 1300. The chancel is largely of 15th century date and features Perpendicular windows. However, much of the current exterior owes its appearance to extensive restorations in 1869.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1667 3704
Map Sheet:TG13NE

Full description

Round tower of different builds - for show? - with 11th century belfry windows cutting earlier openings. West and north walls nave of same date. North door dates to around 1300. Chancel and nave south wall date to the 15th century and are in the Perpendicular style. Much restored 1869.
See report in file.
E. Rose (NAU) 4 August 1986.

Restoration work shows that the belfry windows are below, not cutting circular windows, but there does appear to be two phases of work.
E. Rose (NAU) 16 December 1988.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 19th Century - 851 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG1637 K, L, P, Q.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1900. Hundred of North Erpingham. Vol V. pp 39-43.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 13 NE 18.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Leaflet: Wright, W.J.. 1985. The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Bessingham: A brief history of the church and parish..
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Late Saxon. Sustead.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1992. Ringing dedication. 15 September.
---Photograph: EMH.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 387-388.
<S2>Publication: Taylor, H. M. and Taylor, J. 1965. Anglo-Saxon Architecture.
<S3>Monograph: Brown, G. B. 1903. Anglo-Saxon Architecture. The Arts in Early England. Vol II. pp 184-185 illus.
<S4>Publication: Cautley, H. M. 1949. Norfolk Churches. pp 5, 174.

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