Record Details

NHER Number:1042
Type of record:Monument
Name:St Mary's Church and Appleton deserted medieval settlement


This is the site of the medieval settlement of Appleton, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and gradually deserted over the medieval period. St Mary's Church is in ruins, although the round tower is still standing. The church dates back to the Late Saxon period, and contains reused Roman building material. There is a holy well in the churchyard. A chantry chapel of St Katherine was founded here in the 14th century, although no standing remains of it are visible. A 17th century estate map shows a large manor house, surrounded by a double moat, as well as a substantial farmstead to the southeast. The moat and the farm survive as earthworks.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 705 272
Map Sheet:TF72NW

Full description

Appleton deserted medieval village and Church.
Church alone scheduled.
Few earthworks of village.
Church has Late Saxon round tower with Roman tile course; remainder of about 1300; ruined site of priory cell.
Site of moated hall and chapel.
Medieval pottery and cropmarks
See (S1) and (S2) in file.
E. Rose (NAU) 5 April 1984

See copy of (S3) in file.
D. Gurney (NLA), 18 October 2000.

April 2003.
Scheduled area extended, see (S4).
M. Horlock (NLA), 14 August 2003.

The village of Appleton is mentioned in Domesday Book, see (S5), and was gradually abandoned over the medieval period. The parish lands were bought in 1602 by Edward Paston, suggesting that the village had almost totally disappeared by the early 17th century. (S3) shows a double moated hall, within a wooded close known as 'Halle Close', and 'Parke Close'. To the southeast of the church and manor house site are the earthworks of a substantial farmstead, shown on (S3).
S. Spooner (NLA) 29 November 2005.

May 2007.
Scheduled monument consent granted concerning the removal of a modern farm ramp.
See (S6).
H. White (NLA), 6 April 2009

April 2008. NMMP Committee visit. Church.
Repairs to the north wall in progress.
The base of the tower includes large quantities of the grey stone which is now known to originate from the Castle Rising area and which was used at the Roman fort at Brancaster, Reedham church etc. It also occurs elswhere in the fabric.
In this instance, the round tower was added to the west wall of the nave of an existing church, as can be clearly seen from inside the tower.
D. Gurney (NLA), 24 April 2008.

Spring 2017
Consolidation of remaining church fabric finally completed under dircetion of Richard Waite. Report on church by S Heywood (HES). For Info see (S7)

Summer 2017
Excavation in the nave to uncover a floriated grave cover and to better mount the Agnes Paston grave cover. On doing the work two further stnes came to light: the stone of Thomas Paston and a former headstone cut out of a slab decorated with C11 interlace. See (S8) for monitoring report.
S. Heywood (HES). 21 August 2017.

Monument Types

  • TUNNEL (Unknown date)
  • CELL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHANTRY CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FISHPOND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOLY WELL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF7027 E-H,L-M.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF334.
---Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No 35; p 51.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 72 NW 2 [4].
---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. pp 180-181.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Flitcham-cum-Appleton.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Photograph: BYJ1-14.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF334.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Miscellaneous. Flitcham with Appleton.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1984. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF334.
<S3>Map: 1617. Map of the Manor of Appleton (part), based on survey of 1595.
<S4>Unpublished Document: English Heritage. 2003. Schedule Report.
<S5>Publication: Brown, P (ed.). 1984. Domesday Book: Norfolk. Parts 1 and 2.
<S6>Designation: DCMS. [?]-2016. Scheduled Monument Consent. SAM Consent. DNF334.
<S7>Unpublished Report: Heywood, S. 2017. The church of St Mary, Appleton. Building Report.
<S8>Unpublished Report: Bates, S. 2017. Report on Archaeological monitoring during restoration. St Mary's Church, Appleton.

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