Record Details

NHER Number:8521
Type of record:Building
Name:All Saints' Church, Hemblington


The round tower of this church may be Saxo-Norman. Alternatively it could have been built later reusing Late Saxon stonework. The chancel dates to about 1300. The nave was built in the 14th century in Decorated style and the roof and some windows date to the 15th century. 15th century wall paintings were discovered in 1932 in the nave. They depict a large figure of St Christopher and scenes from his life and martyrdom. The excavation of a service trench in 2010 recovered no finds and no burials were noted.
In 2015 an archaeological excavation was undertaken immediately to the north of the church, prior to the construction of a small extension. A linear feature running parallel to the church was found to be the robbed-out remains of a medieval wall – possibly part of a former north aisle. This wall had probably been demolished prior to or during the expansion of the nave during the 14th century. This work also exposed part of the footings for the nave wall, which were found to be relatively shallow.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 35 11
Map Sheet:TG31SE

Full description

All Saints' Church.
Round tower, Saxo-Norman, or else later with reset Late Saxon stonework. Reset Norman stonework in church. Chancel about 1300, Nave 14th century Decorated with some 15th century Perpendicular windows and roof (reconstructed 1910). Traces of important wall paintings. Stone coffin slab.
Listed grade I.
See (S1).
E. Rose (NAU), 15 February 1990.

Wall paintings discovered 1932 on north nave wall. Large 15th century St Christopher and scenes from his life and martyrdom. These include the Saint shot with arrows, and the two women who were sent to tempt him in prison.
Information from (S2).
M. Dennis (NLA), 15 February 2006.

January 2015. Excavation.
Excavation of footings for small extension on north side of church and connecting trench for a new sewerage system.
An east-to-west aligned linear feature identified just to the north of the nave wall proved to be the robbed out remains of a medieval wall; possibly the remains of a former north aisle. The lower portion of this feature contained banded deposits of the kind that typically form the footings for larger medieval walls in the county. Little trace of the wall itself survived other than a mix of flint and mortar debris. The footings were clearly truncated by the construction trench for the extant nave wall, demonstrating that the robbed-out wall had been demolished prior to or during the rebuilding of the nave in the 14th-century. Banded deposits were also noted beneath the stone footings of the nave wall.
Also noted during this work was an unusual petroglyph on a buttress by the north door of the church, which may have been some form of medieval or post-medieval graffiti.
See report (S3) and NHER 61934 for further information, including details of the graves and other features identified within the churchyard.
P. Watkins (HES), 3 November 2016.

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (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)
  • Xtile pavement (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG3511B-C.
---Article in Serial: Plunkett, G. A. F. 1979. Norfolk Church Screens - 1865 Survey. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXVII Pt II pp 178-189. p 183.
---Photograph: I & RS. Digital finds image.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Brothers must not be forgotten. 10 June.
---Leaflet: Williams, J.F.. 1954. Notes on the parish church of Hemblington, Norfolk..
---Leaflet: Williams, J.F.. The parish church of Hemblington, Norfolk..
---Monograph: Hart, S.. 2010. Medieval Church Window Tracery in England. pp 72, 124.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Document: E. Rose. 1979. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 544.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Emery, G. 2015. Archaeological Excavation for an extension on the north side of All Saints Church, Hemblington, Norfolk. Norvic Archaeology. 60.

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