Record Details

NHER Number:7267
Type of record:Building
Name:SS Peter and Paul's Church, Little Bittering


A 12th and 13th century church, with a 17th century bell tower and buttresses. Inside there is a late medieval rood screen. By 1954 the church was derelict but it has been restored since. The building stands in an isolated position amongst the deserted medieval village of Little Bittering (NHER 7266).


  • SS Peter and Paul's Church, Bittering  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TF 9376 1752
Map Sheet:TF91NW

Full description

According to P. Wade-Martins (NAU) the church sits within the outer enclosure of the moat (NHER 7266 context 2) indicating it was built by the Lord of the Manor. The nave and chancel are structurally undivided and are built of flint, much renewed.
E. Rose (NAU), 1 December 1977.

Visit. December 1977.
Early English; east window group of three stepped lancets; west window single lancet: south wall has double lancet at west end, then two straight-headed Decorated windows with head stops, then for chancel another double lancet but on a higher level. In north wall, single straight-headed Decorated window. Stonework in some windows renewed. North and south doors simple Early English, with bands of soft white stone above arch. Above south door two pieces of iron-bound conglomerate. 17th century double west bellcote, and brick south east buttress. Spearshaped clamp irons on west wall. Interior inaccessible; (S1) mentions an Early English angle piscina in chancel. Seen through windows a Perpendicular screen, and benches and pulpit with Jacobean pieces.
Plate: paten, perhaps about 1590 and chalice 1722.
E. Rose (NAU), 1 December 1977.

February 1978.
Interior seen.
E. Rose (NAU), 20 February 1978.

October 1996.
In addition to furnishings mentioned by (S1) a carved chest; two medieval stone coffin slabs cemented against north wall; font in EE style but covered in whitewash - genuine or not? Crude floor tomb to child burial (aged 1 month) 1757 in front of pulpit. The angle piscina is in sedilia, with defaced head corbel at top of chamfer of other side. Two pointed blank arches in wall.
In fact the church did not sit within the outer moat, but hard against its southern edge.
There is a low plinth along the major part of the north and south walls, stopping towards the west, and along the east wall, perhaps indicating two periods of building.
16th century chest stolen in October 1996.
E. Rose (NLA), 22 October 1996.

July 2005.
A 12th and 13th century church. By 1954 the church was derelict but it has been restored since. The building stands in an isolated position amongst the deserted medieval village of Little Bittering (NHER 7266).
See (S2) and (S3) for further information.
D. Robertson (NLA), 29 July 2005.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1100 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: Ladbrooke AR7-8.
---Aerial Photograph: TF9317 AB.
---Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1342520.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1903. Hundred of Launditch. The Churches of Norfolk. pp 20-25.
---Photograph: Ashley, H.. SS Peter and Paul, Bittering 68919-68920. Print.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990. [Articles on the proposed gravel extraction around SS Peter and Paul's Church, Little Bittering].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Intruders steal church furniture. 22 October.
---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 207.
---Illustration: Unknown. Unknown. Sketch of the floor plan of Bittering Parva Church.. Film. 1:100.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. pp 90-91.
<S2>Article in Monograph: Wade-Martins, P., Fenner, G. and Davison, A. 1982. Some Deserted Village Sites in Norfolk: IX. Little Bittering. Trowse, Horning, Deserted Medieval Villages. East Anglian Arch. No 14. pp 94-99. pp 94-99.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. Tribute paid to 'church saviour'. 13 July.

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