Record Details

NHER Number:1860
Type of record:Building
Name:St Edmund's Church, Caistor St Edmund


This mainly 13th to 15th century church stands within the ramparts of the Roman town, Venta Icenorum (NHER 9786). The building contains much reused Roman material and there are some traces of a Late Saxon church including a blocked south window in the nave. There was a spring of cold water at the southeast corner of the chancel.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2322 0337
Map Sheet:TG20SW

Full description

St Edmunds Church.
Stands within east ramparts of Roman town and contains much Roman brick (and presumably flint). Saxon remains identified by A. Whittingham as blocked south window in nave and door to west gallery (royal gallery for Edward the Confessor?) Present nave windows 15th century. Perpendicular floor rises to east. Fine 14th century c. chancel arch. Chancel has two Early English 13th century lancets on each side; piscina on south with arched niche to east of it. Low side window beneath southwest chancel window. Tudor priest's door. 14th century tower of knapped flint with stone corners and decorated west window, Tudor battlements. One bell of 1592 (two others stolen) North porch with piscina; carved corbel heads and graffiti on doorway. South door blocked. Fine 15th century carved font with symbols and lions. Wallpaintings of St Christopher and St John badly faded. Royal arms of Queen Anne 1714. Matrix of brass. Organ 1856 by Mark Noble senior. Graveslab in sanctuary with coat of arms 1708.
Information from (S1).
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

January 1975. Visit.
Within ramparts of Roman town. Reused Roman material; Late Saxon traces, otherwise 13th to 15th century. It should be noted that there was a spring of cold water at the southeast corner of the chancel - significance to site of church?
E. Rose (NAU), 18 January 1975.

Bell is 14th century with original clapper (rare) but rehung. Two others were stolen.
Information from P. Cattermole.
E. Rose (NAU), 30 January 1986.

13 July 1993. NAU air photography (S2).
Church visible.
S. Massey (NLA), 8 February 2001.

6 August 1993. NLA air photography (S3).
Church and surrounding area to be clearly seen.
H. Clare (NLA), 5 February 2001.

15 October 1993. NLA air photography (S4).
Church clearly visible.
H. Clare (NLA), 21 February 2001.

August-September 2009. Trial Trenching.
Two trenches excavated within footprint of proposed extension and associated soakaway.
This work revealed evidence of an earlier church probably dating to the Middle Saxon period. The lower parts of the south wall of the nave were exposed and seen to be made from reused Roman materials and built in a Roman style. Medieval child and infant burials and an extensive dump of roof tiles dating to the mid-19th century were also recovered. Boundary gullies and rubbish pits of Roman date were excavated and were overlain by three adult burials and one child burial of medieval or post-medieval date.
See report (S5) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S8).
S. Howard (HES), 21 April 2011.

May 2010. Radiocarbon dating.
An AMS date of AD 890-1030 from a femur taken from a small charnel-type deposit under the church foundations suggests that a church may have existed on this site before the 11th century.
See (S6).
S. Howard (HES), 12 September 2011.

June 2010. Watching brief.
The buttress foundations for the church were encountered at a depth of approximately 1.15m below the modern ground surface and are associated with a phase of construction dating to AD 1800 when the thatched roof was replaced with tile resulting in the pitch being lowered and the current roof beams being inserted. Two sherds of late medieval pottery and a single piece of animal bone were recovered. No human skeletal remains were observed.
See (S7).
S. Howard (HES), 4 July 2011.

Monument Types

  • SPRING (Unknown date)
  • CHURCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD) + Sci.Date
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRICK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DOOR (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL PAINTING (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)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: HKX 15.
---Aerial Photograph: TG2303 A, AKV.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TG2303/AQC - AQD.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1901. Hundred of Henstead. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol VII. pp 20-26.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 2303ASA - ASD.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 2303ARN - ARZ.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 2303AQD - AQF.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 20 SW 31.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. pp 108-109; Pl 28a.
---Leaflet: The Parish Church of Caistor St Edmund, Norwich.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Medieval church officially brought into this. 21 February.
---Leaflet: The Parish Church of Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 238; Pl 41.
<S2>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1993. TG 2303ANR - APA.
<S3>Aerial Photograph: TG 203/ APB-APE.
<S4>Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1993. TG 2203APF - APR; TG 2303AND - ANH; TG 2203AEN - AES.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Percival, J. 2009. An Archaeological Evaluation at Caistor St Edmund Churchyard, Norfolk. Caistor Roman Town Project.
<S6>Correspondence: Bowden, W.. 2010. Email regarding C14 dates for Caistor Church.. 5 May.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Percival, J. 2010. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Caistor St Edmund Churchyard, Norfolk. Caistor Roman Town Project.
<S8>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Hoggett, R. 2010. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2009. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLVI Pt I pp 135-147. p 137.

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