Record Details

NHER Number:2741
Type of record:Monument
Name:Ruins of St Lawrence's Church and site of the deserted medieval settlement of West Wretham


The ruins of St Lawrence's Church stand here, and comprise the remains of the nave and chancel walls along with the south-west tower. The church stands within the area of West Wretham deserted medieval village, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book and Nomina Villarum. The village had disappeared by the 18th century, with the church redundant and all the houses gone by 1793. It has been suggested that the church housed a monastic cell prior to 1162 but that this was dissolved in 1414.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 8999 9148
Map Sheet:TL89SE

Full description

Ruins of St Lawrence's Church.
Walls of chancel, nave, and southwest tower - see Bryant, Shropham Hundred, 387.
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

Church tower was used as a water tower in 1950. Church stands within area of West Wretham deserted medieval village (exact boundaries not known) - mentioned in Domesday, Nomina Villarum in 1329. Thirty-one tenants in 1332, five tenants in 1612, one tenant 1628, all bought up by lord of manor in 1670. Village had gone by the 18th century (according to Ordnance Survey card). Church redundant and all houses gone by 1793 (according to S1)). An alien cell in or by the church. Possibly only a grange, of Conches, pre 1162, dissolved 1414, 1443 granted to King's College Cambridge (Knowles and Haddock).

Church described by Tom Martin in about 1720 as having square tower octagonal top and small imp on top. North and south porches. Very old font. 'Tis in a very dirty condition and the elder bushes grow up against the windows which obscures the light.'
Ancient Monument details in file.
Appropriate section from reference (S1) in file.

Monument Types

  • CELL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TL 8991A, B, C, D, H, K-M.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF520.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TL 89 SE 4 [3]; TL 89 SE 11 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 791.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Wretham.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No 52; p 51.

Related records

MNO536Related to: Church of St Lawrence WRETHAM (Revoked)

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