Record Details

NHER Number:10953
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary Magdalene's Church, Pulham Market


Largely dating to the 14th and 15th century, the church of St Mary Magdalene received lavish monies during the 18th and 19th centuries, happily spent on the interior interior and leaving the medieval exterior largely untouched. This includes a lovely east window of stained glass in the pre-Raphaelite period, dating to 1838 and depicting three scenes from Mary Magdalene's life with Christ, as well as a vast mural over the chancel arch depicting the Ascension.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 1970 8607
Map Sheet:TM18NE

Full description

14th to 15th century, several periods of building, 18th to 19th century rebuilding.
Roman coin found in churchyard.
For full details see secondary file.
See (S1) and (S2).
E. Rose (NAU), 9 June 1980.

A Davison reports no faculties recorded- not even for 1870's work. Churchwarden's accounts too fragile to examine.

December 1959. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description:
Parish church. Mainly 14th and 15th century. Flint with slate and pantile roofs. Nave with clerestory, chancel, north and south aisles, north porch and west tower. Large four stage west tower with flushwork panelling on battlements, buttresses and base. Perpendicular aisle and clerestory windows. North porch with flushwork panelling. Renewed chancel windows. Five bay arcades. 15th century nave roof with arched braces and collar-beads, the east bay of nave roof is panelled with restored colour decoration, and 15th century aisle roofs with arched braces. 15th century screen in tower arch. Some 15th century bench ends.
Information from (S3).

Dr S Cotton confirms dating of North porch to 1456; bequests also to bells 1438, and to rood beam 1503.

27 April 2001. Site Visit.
Visit during installation of toilets in tower base. It was noted on this occasion that though the north porch stair turret is of brick, above its top there is a small window in the flintwork of the parvis, set at an angle. There are cuts in the west side of the tower arch at the level of the capitals which may indicate a removed ringers gallery or tall screen. The toilet is being installed on top of the 19th century tower floor. A hole for pipes through the north wall revealed that it is constructed of solid flintwork. The external trench from the north side of the tower to the north west corner of the churchyard showed a consistent six inches or so of topsoil above natural. The only finds were 19th century. There were no traces of any features or graves. Another trench running from west of the tower to south of the south porch showed that by the southwest corner of the porch the topsoil dipped down, apparently with tip lines, to a depth of about 18 inches. This appeared as if a hollow had been infilled rather than as if it were a grave. One fragment of medieval brick had been dug up, context unknown.
E. Rose, 27 April 2001.
Updated by H. White (NLA), 28 April 2009

February 2010.
The church features a ceiling painting depicting angels with feathered trousers playing trumpets, created in the 1400s and restored in 1873. The chancel arch features an image of Christ and his disciples painted by J 7 J King of Norwich in 1895. Funding is now being sought for the restoration of these paintings.
See (S4) for further details,
H. White, (NLA), 25 February 2010

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOD SCREEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1899. Hundred of Earsham. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol III. pp 17-24.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Church restoration appeal hits target. 26 July.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 592.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Grants given to 18 county churches. 17 February.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Pulham Market.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: BZM 18-21.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Article in Serial: Rose, E. J. 1982. Pulham St. Mary Magdalen: a Constructional Mystery. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXVIII Pt II pp 193-195.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1981. Building Report. Building Report.
<S3>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1155029.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. [Articles on the fundraising appeal to restore the paintings St Mary Magdalene's Church, Pulham Market].

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