Record Details

NHER Number:4567
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary's Chapel


St Mary's Chapel dates to the early 12th century, and is now disused. The chapel was converted into a house, but was was restored as a chapel in the 20th century, and it is unclear whether some of the features of the building are original.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 7955 0411
Map Sheet:TF70SE

Full description

Medieval church of St Mary's, now disused.

Same as 'apsed cottage' noted by J. F. Williams.
Converted into a dwelling house, now cleared out.
Apsidal chancel.
Probably 12th century apse, 13th century lancet in nave wall, which is built of flint.
Earliest reference to St Mary's is in reign of Henry II, when it was called a chapel.
See (S1).
R. R. Clarke (NCM) 17 February 1955.

In 1731, in repairing a well north of the 'rectors house', which was in fact this chapel, the bones of three people were found, and many others have since been dug up. This is said to be St Mary's graveyard.
See (S1).

June 1960. Listed, Grade II.
12th century, but almost entirely rebuilt.
Flint and some ashlar, rebuilt sections brick with flint facing.
Corrugated iron and asbestos roof.
Aisle-less nave, stilted apse.
South nave wall has round headed doorway with chevron ornament and one 13th century lancet.
North wall with roundheaded doorway and single splayed window with arched lintel.
Apse almost entirly rebuilt with 13th century lancet and 3 single splayed windows.
West wall has one single splayed window with stone arched lintel.
Chancel arch entirely rebuilt incorporating some 12th century angle rolls and pair of plain rectangular imposts.
Information from (S2).
E. Rose (NAU) 27 October 1986.

Interior contains lead coffin from Gooderstone dated 1126, moved here before 1994.
Slides of coffin are filed under NHER 1126.
D. Gurney (NLA) 27 September 1994.

Postcard in file with old view of building as house, and present view, which raises the question as to how genuine the openings are.
Note also the medieval east window now removed.
E. Rose (NLA) 22 March 1995.

If the two south lancets are at all original, they are at least part restored, then they must have been reopened as they do not appear on the old print.
All the 'Saxo Norman' windows seem to be reconstructions except perhaps the west.
The medieval east window seen on the print is now set in a freestanding east of the apse! It has moulded jambs, 14th/15th century but the head has gone.
The north nave wall has a large blocked window and a reset fragment of a tombstone bearing a helmet and shield with lion.
Inside, steps in the nave are signposted as leading to a Roman temple, but are sealed off, and a 'hermit's skeleton' is stated to have been dug up in the chancel.
It is understood that [1] dug away all the archaeological layers beneath the floor.
E. B. Green (NCM).
Visited E. Rose (NLA) 12 July 1996

Source [2] states that the nave lancets were present when the building was in use as a house, but were externally blocked up and used as cupboards.
She says there is a local belief that the curtilage was used as a Quaker burial ground to which bodies were brought from a distance around even though there was no meeting house here, possibly a dispensation by the vicar as it was a disused burial ground.
E. Rose (NLA) 7 September 1998.

Monument Types

  • CEMETERY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CEMETERY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1981. [Article and letters to the editor on the age of St Mary's Chapel, Cockley Cley].
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF2164.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 70 SE 5 [3].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990. [Illustration of St Mary's Chapel]. 22 January.
---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 265.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Cockley Cley.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>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 43-44.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1077262.

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