Record Details

NHER Number:10511
Type of record:Building
Name:St Gregory's Church, Heckingham


This is a very important example of a Norman thatched flint church. It has a round west tower with an octagonal top, nave and apsed chancel. The south doorway in the nave is an excellent example of Norman architecture. It is similar to that in nearby Hales church (NHER 10523). There is also a Norman font. The rest of the church is more altered. The tower was extended in the post medieval period and contains 17th century reused stones. There are Perpendicular style windows and a porch. Several 17th to 18th century floor tombs have all been inscribed with the same skull.


  • St Gregory's Church, Heckingham  © Eastern Daily Press


Grid Reference:TM 3843 9884
Map Sheet:TM39NE

Full description

19 July 1978. Visit.
Norman; west tower, nave and apsed chancel. Thatched. Base of tower round with small conglomerate fragments and pieces of reused stone, some carved; upper and larger portions octagonal with brick quoins, and brick hoodmoulded west lancet. 17th century? Apse has flat buttresses, small Norman window to northwest; northeast now similar but pointed, but this was once much larger. Probably shortened to match other in the restoration, originally an Early English lancet. East window 19th century Gothic Revival (though mullion seems old) as are north and south chancel windows. Chancel arch recent. Very fine Norman south nave door; north door only fragments, reset in aisle wall. Compare Hales church. Aisle cut through Norman north wall around 1300 (intersected east window, Y tracery west and one north window). Other north windows have been blocked up externally to slits when exterior of wall rebuilt in red brick in ?18th century. At east end aisle rasied brick altar-platform with tombslab of 1666 - base of east window cut away for altar, also west chancel. Nave south windows Early English lancet (much cut about for rood stair) and Perpendicular. Perpendicular south porch in brick and flint with shields in spandrels and blocked niche; date 1866 on northeast corner suggests restorations. Doorway has bar hole. Arch braced roofs. Those in nave and porch more recent than that in aisle. Norman font on colonettes. Old poppyhead bench, and parts of another in reader's desk. Some old stained glass. Stone coffin. Several 17th to 18th century floor tombs, all with the same skull incised suggesting a local family of masons. Brass plaque on ledger stone. Two coffin shaped stones in north aisle, one with 17th century inscription added.
Gothic revival organ. Chalice, Norwich 1567; paten, and another London 1733; cup 1832, by Barnard.
E. Rose (NAU).

The church is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust (2006).

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (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)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TM 3898A-D.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1985-1999. [Photographs of St Gregory's Church, Heckingham].
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Article in Serial: Clapham. 34. [unknown]. Vol II, p 129.
---Monograph: Davison, A.. 1990. The Evolution of Settlement in Three Parishes in South-East Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol 49.
---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 391; Pl 16.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. pp 189-190; Pl 6.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. A towering piece of Norman church architecture. 20 October.
---Leaflet: 1996. St Gregory's Church,Series 4 no. 46, Heckingham. The Churches Conservation Trust.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Heckingham.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.

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