Record Details

NHER Number:12398
Type of record:Building
Name:36 Old Becclesgate


This 17th or 18th century timber framed house is now pebble dashed. Two dormer windows were removed in restorations during 1900. It is said to have a well and niches in the cellars. Local legends call it a monastery with tunnels leading from it. It has two storeys and one dormer window. There is a taller block at the rear at right angles to the main block.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9861 1334
Map Sheet:TF91SE

Full description

June 1978. Visit.
'38 Becclesgate' referred to in article in (S1).
Probably the house now numbered 36, but marked on (S2) as 34 to 35 (last house in road, which is now Old Becclesgate).
Said to have a well and niches in the cellars; two dormers removed in restoration around 1900. Local legends said it had been a monastery with tunnels leading from it. House is now pebbledashed over timber frame, listed as 17th to 18th century but shape seems much older.Two storeys and one dormer; taller block at rear at right angles.
E. Rose (NAU), 27 June 1978.

Former owner [1] says that there were indeed tunnels which she crawled along for some way when a girl; they were low and led southwards, and supposedly brought water from St Withburga's Well. They have now been blocked up. Considering the 18th century popularity of the well as a spa this could be correct; perhaps the well mentioned in the cellar, which [1] did not mention, was a confusion of the story.
E. Rose (NAU), 2 July 1981.

[2] states that the cellars do indeed have arched recesses, now boarded off, but apparently of some age. The version of the story she has heard is that the well was in the garden and is the 'other' St. Withburga's well (see account under NHER 2890).
E. Rose (NAU), 15 September 1989.

An undated document within the archives of the Dereham Antiquarian Society also refers to the local tradition that the house may have been a monastic building and that a tunnel led from the cellar to the Guildhall. The cellars of the house are described as unusually large, with features described as doorways and arches, and large earthenware pots set into the walls.
See (S3) for further details.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 22 December 2008.

Monument Types

  • CELLAR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOLY WELL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MONASTERY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TUNNEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Photograph: CVY 35 and CVY 36.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Listing Notification. Notification. DNF2908.
<S1>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S2>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-7. Ordnance Survey 25 inch 2nd edition (revised 1902-7).
<S3>Unpublished Document: Payne, M.. 2005. Under Ancient Dereham.

Related records - none

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2021 Norfolk Historic Environment Service