Record Details

NHER Number:1976
Type of record:Building
Name:All Saints' Church, Waterden


This is a particularly interesting church which has evidence of Late Saxon work in the form of the north chancel window and the north and south nave clerestories. The chapel of around 1300 is now ruined after being pulled down during the Reformation; it is possible that there is also a ruined tower of similar date. The architecture suggests the church had fallen derelict by the late 16th century before a Jacobean patron rebuilt it. It has since undergone restorations/repairs in 1800 and 1895-1900. Inside, there are a number of high-quality 19th century furnishings. Archaeological investigations on site have recorded a Roman quern, reused medieval tiles, coffin stones and various human remains including those belonging to a newborn baby. This same work also established the boundary walls of the former churchyard.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 8847 3580
Map Sheet:TF83NE

Full description

All Saints' Church, Waterden.

Very interesting church with evidence of Late Saxon work; ruined aisle and chapel of around 1300; possible ruined tower; 14th century windows replaced in brick in major renovation in about 1600, very unusual.
Clerestory suggested as Late Saxon, Norman or dating to around 1600.
Good 19th century furnishings.
Reused medieval tile, ?Roman quern; coffin stones. See report in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 March 1981. Updated 6 July 1992.

June 1953. Listed Grade II*.
Listing Description Excerpt:
"Parish Church, now chapel of ease. Perhaps Anglo-Saxon origins, 12th-century Norman, 13th-century Early English, and 15th-century Perpendicular evidence, 16th-century and later rebuildings and truncations. Rubble flint, brick dressings, clunch, red and black glazed pantiles. Base of collapsed west tower, three-bay nave with demolished three-bay south aisle, north porch, two-bay chancel. North wall of tower only."
See (S1) for further details.
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current details.
H. Hamilton (HES), 20 November 2017. Amended by H. Hamilton (HES), 8 November 2019. Amended by P. Beers (HES), 30 August 2020.

August 1976. Field Observation.
The exterior of the church and selected gravestones were photographed.
See photographs (S2).
H. Hamilton (HES), 17 November 2017.

October 1977. Field observation.
A visual inspection of the church was carried out by E. Rose. The results of this survey have been amalgamated with later surveys.
Observations included a lump of Hertfordshire conglomerate, presumably part of a Roman quern, incorporated into the fabric above the porch.
See report (S3) for details.
H. Hamilton (HES), 17 November 2017.

March 1981. Building Survey.
A detailed building survey was undertaken by George Fenner. This included an inspections of the site with Edwin Rose and Andrew Rogerson in March 1981. An outline plan indicating dates of construction was compiled.
See report by G. Fenner published in East Anglian Archaeology (S4) and plan (S5)for further details.
Observations by E. Rose have been incorporated into an unpublished report (S3).
H. Hamilton (HES), 17 November 2017.

June 1992. Field Observation.
Restoration work carried out on the church allowed for examination of the rectangular clerestory windows, which have previously been dated to the Late Saxon, Norman, or post-reformation (around 1600). One of the windows appeared to be cut by the arch of a 15th-century nave window, confirming that the windows pre-date the 15th century. However, the window on the west wall was comprised of reused stone fragments and medieval tiles and cuts the tower arch, leading to the conclusion that this was construction at a later date in imitation of the earlier window.
25 brick sections of moulded mullions were discovered laying alongside the wallplate of the north nave wall. These appeared to match those inserted into the east chancel window, indicating that they may have been left over from the works carried out in the 16th century.
See report (S3) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S6) and (S7).
See photographs (S8).
E. Rose (NLA) 6 July 1992 amended by M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 3 July 2013.

December 1992. Additional building works.
A patch of plaster above the north door which had been alternatively suggested to be the remains of a Saxon window (S4), the mark of a stove chimney (S3), or the mark of a memorial (S3) was investigated. No trace of an opening was found beneath the mark and it has been suggested that it was merely made by puddling when the wall was plastered.
The nave roof had been assumed to date to 1895, when it was repaired following damage from a gale, but examination indicated that the timbers are likely 17th-century and were reassembled in 1895. Some timbers appear to have either been returned to the wrong location or set in mortises of the wrong size during reconstruction.
The glebe markers were observed within the hedges at each end of the drive.
See HER notes (S9) in file.
The results of this work are also summarised in (S6) and (S7).
H. Hamilton (HES), 20 November 2017.

March 2004. Field observations and test pitting.
Additional observations of the church fabric were recorded by HES staff.
The conglomerate observed in the porch in 1977 is now believed to be a piece of lava quern.
The brickwork of the buttress at the southwest corner of the nave appears to have horizontal skintlings, similar to the brick butresses on the north wall of the nave and chancel, and dating it to post-1770.
The floor tombs were examined more closely and most appear to date to the 19th century, with one slab at the east end appearing to date to the 17th century. Notes were also compiled on additional features of interest within the graveyard.

Within the nave, several floor boards were removed from the north bank of pews, revealing older boards which rested on soil containing a large quantity of post-medieval brick and tile.

Three test pits were excavated: one on the south side of the church, against the pier between the aisle arcade and the blocked chapel arch, a second on the north side alongside the buttress between the nave and the chancel, and a third on the north side of the church, 2m to the north of the junction between nave and chancel.

The work on the south side of the church revealed that the chapel arch was filled with clunch. A wall was also revealed in section, located 25cm from the arcade. This appears to have been cut by digging of drains alongside the church and would once have formed a wall between the chapel and the aisle.
A layer of recent pantiles was encountered immediately below the topsoil. The pantiles overlaid a deposit of mixed soil which contained:
5 fragments of medieval floor tile including two conjoining fragments of Flemish gren-glazed floor tile.
1 fragment of a medieval peg roof tile.
A large quantity of post-medieval pegtile fragments, pieces of clunch, and stone.

The work on the north side of the church confirmed that the buttress was constructed of flint and also revealed the former east wall of the chapel in section. As on the south side of the church, the wall appeared to have been truncated by earlier drainage work, but appeared in section. Probing along the line of the wall confirmed that it continued for a distance of 2.6m south of the church. The third test pit was excavated in order to investigate a possible raised linear earthwork. A layer of post-medieval pantiles was recorded which overlaid a clay with flint layer. The apparent earthwork was likely formed of accumulated soil removed from the base of the walls.

See notes (S9) for further details.
See photographs (S10).
E. Rose (NLA) 3 April 2004.
Updated H. Hamilton (HES), 20 November 2017.

June-July 2005. Excavation and Watching Brief.
NAU small excavation. Contexts 10-74 used. Several human burials were disturbed by the excavation of a drain alongside the south wall. They included the remains of a young baby, probably new born. Quantities of disarticulated human bone were also found. Excavation revealed the eastern and western walls of a former south aisle and chapel of medieval date, and small areas of a mortar and tiled floor. In two of the soakaway pits, flint walls were exposed which were thought to be the former boundary walls to the churchyard.
See report (S11) for further details. Work also noted in (S12).
See photographs (S13).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2017.423).
J. Allen (NLA) 7 June 2005. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 20 July 2019.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 21st Century - 851 AD to 2100 AD)
  • BOUNDARY WALL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GRAVE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • QUERN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DOOR (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CAME (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HORSESHOE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PEG TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PEG TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PANTILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WASTER (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1077758.
<S2>Photograph: Pooley, G.. 1976. NHES Film SL. Images of Waterden Farm, parish boundary stones, and All Saints' Church, Waterden.. Norfolk Historic Environment Service Film Collection. negatives.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1992. 1976 South Creake. All Saints' Church, Waterden. Revised Report. Building Report.
<S4>Article in Monograph: Wade-Martins, P., Fenner, G. and Goldsmith, R. 1982. Some Deserted Village Sites in Norfolk: V. Waterden. Trowse, Horning, Deserted Medieval Villages. East Anglian Arch. No 14. pp 66-78. pp 68-73.
<S5>Illustration: [Unknown]. [pre 1982]. Plan of All Saints' Church prepared for East Anglian Archaeology No. 14, Fig 29. Plan. Film. 1:100.
<S6>Article in Serial: Nenk, B. S., Margeson, S. and Hurley, M. 1993. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1992. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XXXVII pp 240-313. p 276.
<S7>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1993. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1992. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLI Pt IV pp 522-532. p 530.
<S8>Photograph: Norfolk Historic Enviroment Service. NHES Film FVL. Site visits by Edwin Rose 1992. Norfolk Historic Environment Service Film Collection. Frames 5-15.
<S9>Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S10>Photograph: Rose, E.. 2004. KPB.
<S11>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bates, S. 2005. An Archaeological Excavation and Watching Brief at All Saints Church, Waterden, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1093.
<S12>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2006. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2005. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 124-136. p 133.
<S13>Photograph: 2005. KZE-KZH.
<S14>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1996. Cleaned up for Christmas Eve. 22 November.
<S15>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. [Illustration of All Saint's Church, Waterden]. 22 September.
<S16>Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 750-751.

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