Record Details

NHER Number:10935
Type of record:Building
Name:All Saints' Church, Tibenham


This medieval church has a mixture of Decorated and Perpendicular fittings, but some of the earliest features are Norman in date. The tall west tower has flushwork and battlements. The tower also houses a bell frame for four bells that dates to 1430, but was extended later to house five, then six bells. The church once had an associated chapel dedicated to St Mary, and although the ruins of it were visible in the 18th century nothing now remains.
A sherd of Late Saxon pottery and a Late Saxon knife blade recovered during groundworks in 2011 indicate that there was human activity in this area prior to construction of the church.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 1349 8988
Map Sheet:TM18NW

Full description

With site of St Mary's Chapel (Ordnance Survey), mentioned 1493.
Ruins visible late 18th century - see (S1).
(S2) noted 17th century inscriptions in Channonz Hall which were to be replaced in the church.
Newspaper cutting in file.
E. Rose (NAU).

Chapel mentioned in a will of 1453.
At time of Ordnance Survey visit nothing visible of chapel and area described as 'well covered by graves'.
Information from NAR Records.
M. D. Leah (NAU), 19 December 1990.

Architect's specifications (1993) in file.

Diocese Advisory Committee notes there is a medieval bellframe, to be restored in 2000.

Diocese note a bell frame of 1430.
E. Rose (NLA), 28 June 2002.

The tower contains a four-bell frame dating to around 1430, extended for five bells around 1520 and later adapted for a ring of six. Much of the ancient timber survives. It is a scissors-braced frame with long frame-heads and there is evidence that in its original form it was a short-headed frame. The frame has been preserved in situ and the 18th century bells were re-hung in 2003 in a steel frame in the chamber below.
Ringers' gallery dates mainly from the 15th century with Victorian adaptations.
15th century west door cut down and inserted in lower arch.
Information from P. Cattermole.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 1 May 2007.

May 2010. Historic building recording.
A site visit was made to record historic building features prior to the drafting of a specification for repairs to the nave roof. The north walls of the nave and chancel are largely of distinctive herringbone masonry of carefully chosen flint pebbles indicative of late 11th century or early 12th century date. The Romanesque walls were heightened in the later Middle Ages (14th - 15th centuries?) and a pair of large buttresses were added in an attempt to counteract outward pressure from the roof. There is no surviving or visible early masonry on the south side because the south wall was replaced with an arcade. The five-bay arcade is a typical 14th century design of quatrefoil piers supporting bell capitals and arches of two orders with hollow chamfer and wave mouldings. There are two two-light curvilinear 14th century windows in the south aisle, one to the west end of the aisle and the other on the south elevation next to the porch, the latter has a pair of mouchettes. All the other windows in the aisle have flat heads with rows of simple cusped lights. This same type of window is used for the five clerestory windows which has been squeezed into position, which is possibly of a mid-15th century date as does the aisle roof. Te nave roof is eight bays as defined by five principal arched brace trusses and four minor trusses. The principals have braces supported on wall posts and meet at the ridge to form shallow two-centred arches. The minor trusses are of heavy scantling and have small braces carried on very short wall posts. The trusses are linked to two moulded side purlins and a prominent ridge purlin. Each bay contains three common rafters.
See (S3) for further details.
S. Howard (NLA), 22 June 2010.

July - August 2011. Watching Brief.
Groundworks to connect down pipes from the church roof to a new drainage system were monitored. Four grave cuts containing adult burials, two disarticulated re-burials, and a small quantity of disarticulated bone was observed during excavation of gullies, soakaways and inspection pits around the church walls. Unstratified finds collected from the graveyard deposits included a sherd of Late Saxon pottery and a Late Saxon iron knife blade, indicating that there was human activity in the area before construction of the church.
See report (S4) for further information.
H. Hamilton (HES), 23 November 2012.

Pre October 2011. Building Survey.
Surviving wall paintings include medieval painting of a male figure within an altar niche at the north side of the chancel arch. There are also fragments of post-Reformation text and frame on the south wall of the south aisle (which must pre-date a pew inserted in 1635).
See report on condition survey (S5) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 10 March 2015.

Monument Types

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • INHUMATION (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS? (Unknown date)
  • COFFIN FITTING? (Unknown date)
  • FLAKE (Unknown date)
  • HUMAN REMAINS? (Unknown date)
  • KNIFE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BACKED BLADE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Rye, W. 1872. Norfolk Church Goods, Temp. Edward VI. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VII pp 20-44. pp 34-35.
---Aerial Photograph: TM 1389A,B.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. £1.4m church repairs boost. 19 February.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Discover the forgotten glory of our sacred spaces. 8 May.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 730-731.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Ancient skills kept alive: preserving history for future generations. 23 February.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Roof makeover for historic village church. 14 December.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Tibenham.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. [Photograph of the interior of All Saints' Church, Tibenham].
<S1>Serial: Blomefield, F. 1806. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. Vol V. p 277.
<S2>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. c. 1740.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. 2010. The Church of All Saints, Tibenham, Norfolk: Conservation based research and analysis report..
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bull, M. R. 2011. Archaeological Watching Brief at All Saints' Church, Tibenham, Norfolk. NPS Archaeology. 2666.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Kirkham, A. All Saints, Tibenham, Norfolk. Condition Survey of the Wall Paintings. Andrea Kirkham.

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