Record Details

NHER Number:157
Type of record:Building
Name:Remains of St Benedict's Church, Norwich


Excavations here in 1972 recovered the building history of St Benedict’s Church. There were several major construction phases with the earliest features dating to the 11th century and the latest to the 16th century, although restorations have occurred since those times. The impressive flint round tower has lancet windows but the remarkable font from this church is no longer present, having been moved to Erpingham.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2248 0877
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

'Largely destroyed by enemy action 1942'.
R. R. Clarke, NCM.

February 1954. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description excerpt:
"Tower of former parish church, destroyed in World War II. 11th century. Flint round tower with lancet windows. Octagonal top stage with stone quoins and alternating blind and Y-tracery openings."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current listing details.
P. Watkins (HES), 17 March 2021.

March-April 1972. Excavation.
Excavations by [1] for Norwich Survey recovered building history of St Benedicts Church. Four major phases:
I. 11th century nave, apsidal east end.
II. Early English square ended chancel extension (and tower?).
III. Perpendicular complete rebuild apart from west tower (refaced and top storey added).
IV. North aisle added - with subsequent additions rebuilds and restorations up to 19th century.
Date of round west tower uncertain - post dates I but predates III.
Informant [2] said facing was 14th century.
Pottery Late Saxon - 20th century. Other finds coffin furniture and medieval to 19th century.
Finds held by NCM.
Work also summarised in (S11) and discussed in (S12).
Amended by A. Beckham (HES), 18 January 2020.

The font, a most remarkable thing apparently 15th century and doctored rather than defaced in the late 16th, is now at Erpingham site NHER 6720.
Reference (S9), copy in file, shows before-and-after photographs of church.
Perpendicular south porch with four centred entry, two south Perpendicular windows of differing sizes, small Y-tracery window at end; square clerestories; apparently no chancel.
Photograph after bombing shows two arches of differing sizes in north wall (arcade?) and that blast had blown out one of the slit windows in the tower.
E. Rose (NLA) 25 July 1996.

Source [3] states that despite the excavation evidence he still considers the round tower to be "Norman".
E. Rose, 26 February 1997.

The communion rails and stained glass were removed in 1641-3 (S10).

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 21st Century - 851 AD? to 2100 AD)
  • PIT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Boileau, J. P. 1864. Returns of Church Goods in the Churches of the City of Norwich, 6 Edward VI. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VI pp 360-378. pp 370-371.
---Monograph: Jennings, S. 1981. Eighteen Centuries of Pottery from Norwich. East Anglian Archaeology. No 13.
---Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No N5; p 175.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1994. TG 2208ADA, ADD.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 20 NW 128 [4].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 232.
---Photograph: Summerson, J.. 1991. Fifty Years of the National Buildings Record.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1051867.
<S2>Article in Serial: Carter, A., Roberts, J. P. and Sutermeister, H. 1973. Excavations in Norwich - 1972. The Norwich Survey. Second Interim Report. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXV Pt IV pp 443-468. pp 455-457.
<S3>Article in Serial: 1975. [unknown]. Current Archaeology. Vol 48 pp 8-15.
<S4>Article in Serial: Webster, L. E. and Cherry, J. 1973 or 1974. Medieval Britain in 1972. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XVII (for 1973) pp 138-188. pp 157-159.
<S5>Article in Monograph: Roberts, J. P. and Atkin, M. 1982. St Benedict's Church (Site 17N). Excavations in Norwich 1971-1978; Part I. East Anglian Archaeology. Carter, A.. No 15 pp 11-29.
<S6>Monograph: Blomefield, F. 1806. The History of The City and County of Norwich, Part II. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. Vol IV. pp 248-50.
<S7>Publication: Cox, J. C. 1911. Country Churches: Norfolk. Vol II. p 174.
<S8>Publication: Messent, C. J. W. 1932. The City Churches of Norwich.
<S10>Publication: Spraggon, J. 2003. Puritan Iconoclasm during the English Civil War. pp 110-112.
<S11>Unpublished Report: Atkin, M. 1983. Two Round Towered churches from Norwich. Publication article. pp. 1 and 2.
<S12>Correspondence: Goode, W. J. and Atkin, M.. 1983. Correspondence regarding the dating of round tower churches. 3rd-18th March.

Related records

Site 2626Parent of: 1 Rosemary Lane (Pykerell's House) (Monument)
Mon 716Parent of: St Benedict's Church (Monument)
Site 1592Parent of: St. Benedicts Church (Monument)
460Part of: Former precinct of St Benedict's Church, Norwich (Monument)
MNO8352Related to: Remains of St. Benedict's Church St. Benedict's Street NORWICH (Revoked)

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