Record Details

NHER Number:3232
Type of record:Monument
Name:Deserted medieval village of Burgh Parva, St Mary's Church and multi-period finds


The site of the medieval village of Burgh Parva which was gradually deserted over the medieval period. The medieval church of St. Mary is now in ruins, the west tower and fragments of the nave and the chancel are the only upstanding remains. The church contains large conglomerate quoins which may date to the 11th or 12th centuries , and there is also a blocked splayed window in the south wall of the nave. The extensive use of brick in the west tower suggests that it was probably finished in the early 16th century. The church was consolidated with Melton in 1665 and fell into ruins. In the late 19th century the influx of people into the parish after the construction of the railway prompted the construction of a new church on the site. A temporary corrugated-iron church was consecrated in 1903 and although a competition for a new, permament church was staged, the temporary structure is still standing and is still used for services! Metal detecting on the site of the deserted village has recovered an Iron Age brooch, medieval and post medieval coins and metal finds including a mount and a strap-end.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 04 33
Map Sheet:TG03SW

Full description

1368 Inventory of Church Goods, see (S1).
Mentioned in Nomina Villarum; 15 taxpayers in 1377; 10 householders in 1428, see (S2).
1946 Ordnance Survey aerial photographs show no traces according to Ordnance Survey.

3232/context 1 at 0435 3355.
Ruins of St Mary's Church.
Tower rebuilt in 1504.

Visited by E. Rose (NAU) and J. Denny (NNDC) January 1983.
To see oldest work only. Walls of conglomerate. Splayed south window fragment. Original doorway part blocked up, and cut by present door; large lump of lava in blocking. Conglomerate quoins. Next to it is corrugated iron church blown away 1980 and brought back. Graveyard in use.
One piece of iron slag built into church noted by source [1].

Unit aerial photographs show some earthworks west of church across road, but very probably drainage.
E. Rose (NAU).

N. Batcock reports church ruinated in the reign of Charles II but chancel may have gone at Reformation; material reused in late 16th century hall to south.
E. Rose (NAU) 11 March 1985.

January 1986. Found in dredgings from small dykes in rough pasture on west side of road, in northwest area of deserted medieval village as marked on record map (exact spots not recorded).
Copper alloy annular brooch with very thin pin, knob on one end and 'spur' opposite. 15mm diameter. Late medieval. Identified by C. Dallas.
Fragment of bell, copper alloy or brass, pierced cross with circular holes at both ends of one arm; probably recent cat bell.
Identified by K. Penn (NAU).
E. Rose (NAU) 31 January 1986.

Summer 1987. Context 2 at [2], north of church.
Copper alloy purse frame fragment, with short oblique linear decoration.

Context 3 at [3], west of church.
Half-groat of Edward III.

1995. Metal detecting finds in area east of road.
2 medieval coins.
14th century brooch or buckle pin with moulded rib or collar.
Medieval belt mount with 5 rivets.
Medieval fastener plate with reinforcement bar and diagonal engraved lines (plate broken).
Medieval rosette shaped boss ?belt.
Medieval triangular belt-stud, 2 spikes on reverse. Diagonal engraved lines on surface.
Late medieval 'd' looped buckle.
Early post medieval sword belt fitting.
Polaroid in file.
Identified by S. Margeson (NCM) 6 June 1995.
W. Milligan (NCM) 5 June 1995.

February/March 1996. Metal detecting finds.
Medieval and post medieval coins.
Iron Age brooch, (S4).
?Roman object.
Medieval object.
See lists in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA) 9 April 1996.

Appropriate section from (S3) in file.

Monument Types

  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • CHURCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1903 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BROOCH (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BROOCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BROOCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PERSONAL ORNAMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PURSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BELL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DRESS COMPONENT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Unit AP's TG 0433M-Q.
---Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1049219.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1902. Hundred of Holt. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol IX. pp 39-40.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2003. [Letter to the editor and an article on the centenary of St Mary's Church also called the 'tin church' at Burgh Parva, Melton Constable].
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 03 SW 1.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 418.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Melton Constable.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Monograph: Watkin, A. 1947-8. Archdeaconry of Norwich: Inventory of Church Goods, temp. Edward III (Parts I and II). Norfolk Record Society Publications. XIX.
<S2>Monograph: Nomina Villarum.
<S3>Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No 70; p 52.
<S4>Illustration: Jenkins, T. 1996. Drawing of an Iron Age copper alloy brooch. Paper. 1:1.

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