Record Details

NHER Number:10760
Type of record:Building
Name:Ruins of St Margaret's Church, Hopton on Sea


The ruins of a 14th and 15th century church, consisting of a nave and north aisle (appearing as a double nave, unusual for the area), with a chancel, north porch and west tower. The church was burnt down in 1865 and has stood abandoned ever since, although there have been plans to consolidate it in recent years. The churchyard has been made into a picnic area by the addition of park benches.


  • Medieval floor tile from NHER 10760  © Norfolk County Council
  • Medieval floor tile from NHER 10760  © Norfolk County Council
  • Medieval architectural fragment from NHER 10760  © Norfolk County Council
  • Medieval sundial from NHER 10760  © Norfolk County Council


Grid Reference:TM 5301 9997
Map Sheet:TM59NW

Full description

27 November 1954. Grade II listed.
Ruins of parish church dating from the late 13th and 14th centuries, constructed of flint with ashlar dressings and some brick. No roofs. The church comprises a west tower, nave, chancel and north aisle to both nave and chancel and a 3 stage square tower supported on diagonal western buttresses. Knapped flint. The church has a 2-light Perpendicular west window and small cusped 2-light belfry windows with square heads. There is a plain parapet and a 3-light reticulated north aisle east and west windows with fragments of tracery only in eastern one. North flank of aisle pierced by cinquefoil lancets. Lancets also to south nave. Interior of aisle east window flanked by ogee niches.
Information from listing.
H. White (NLA), 25 March 2010.

Wide aisle and nave/chancel, almost double-naved, with west tower. Much early brick.
Possibility of early work in chancel; otherwise mostly early 14th century with early 15th century tower and additions and later 15th century porch. Very poor condition.
See detailed report (S1) in file.
Newspaper cuttings (S2-6) and (S9) in file.
Listed (S7).
E. Rose (NAU), 27 September 1985.

Appropriate section from reference (S8) in file.

March 2010.
Plans have been put forward to re-open the church ruins and to transform them in to a community and arts centre.
See (S10) and (S11) for further details.
H. White (NLA), 25 March 2010.

August-September 2014. Trial trenches and excavation. [1].
Limited excavations within the ruins of the church by Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust. Planned investigations include keyhole trenches to study a blocked doorway and possible joint in the fabric of the south wall; a trench to uncover at least one former position for a lost octagonal pier base and an area of excavation to clean down and investigate an open area in the east end of the church to locate the position of a subsurface tomb and any former floor surfaces. Details to follow.
Finds recovered during the above work, seen by HES and entered on the PAS database:
29 medieval floor tile fragments, 2 roof tile fragments, 1 brick fragment, 1 decorated ceramic architectural fragment and a Caen limestone sundial fragment.
2 medieval/post-medieval roof tile fragments.
Information from PAS import.
A. Beckham (HES), 1 January 2016.

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SUNDIAL (Medieval - 1300 AD to 1400 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1350 AD to 1400 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1400 AD to 1500 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1400 AD to 1530 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1400 AD to 1530 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1400 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1400 AD to 1700 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Howard, B.. 2009. The original St Margarets Church, Hopton on Sea, Norfolk: the history and secrets of the original parish church 1087-2008..
---Photograph: 1991. Photographs of St. Margaret's (Old) Church ruins,Hopton-on-sea. Black & white.
---Photograph: 1990. Photographic record of Hopton Church. Print.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: CUW 1-13.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Radcliffe, E. 1974. Suffolk. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 278.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2017. [Articles on the opening of the Ruins of St Margaret's church, Hopton after restoration work].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2014. Unearth history during scarce chance to dig in church ruins. 30 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2015. [Articles on the restoration work undertaken at the Ruins of St Margaret's Church, Hopton on Sea].
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1985. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1981. Sayers family recalled at Hopton. 23 October.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1985. Hopton council warn of danger at church ruins. 14 January.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1985-1986. [Articles on the proposed demolition and plans of the ruins of St Margaret's Church, Hopton on Sea].
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990. Bid to save historic church. 29 May.
<S6>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. £45,000 action plan to save village's medieval church. 11 March.
<S7>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1050970.
<S8>Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No 45; p 51.
<S9>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2008. £1 church has costly snag for parish council. 14 February.
<S10>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Deadline looms for church plan.
<S11>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Call made for help to turn ruins into theatre complex. 9 January.

Related records

MNO7726Related to: Old St. Margaret's Church (ruins) Coast Road HOPTON ON SEA (Revoked)

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