Record Details

NHER Number:584
Type of record:Building
Name:St Martin-at-Palace Church, Norwich


The church of St Martin-at-Palace is a small church situated close to the Cathedral. A gasworks used to be situated nearby, but this site has been regenerated to form the site of the courts, and as a result this church was saved from redundancy and converted to use as a probation day-centre.

The current building has Norman foundations and is largely late 15th century in date. However, excavation in the late 1980s recovered evidence that at least one, if not two, timber churches were present on this site during the mid to late Saxon period.

Today the church has a nave, arcades and chancel, as well chapels in the chancel and a two storey south porch. Following the partial colapse of the nave and chancel in 1851 a restoration under J H Hakewill was undertaken, and less than twenty years later a clerestory and belfry were also added.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 23472 09107
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

Church of St Martin-at-Palace.

Mentioned in Domesday Book 1086.

1954. Listed Grade I.
Listing Description Excerpt:
"Former church now redundant and used as store. 11th, 15th and 16th century. Flint with stone dressings. Lead roof. Towest tower. Nave and chancel with north and south aisles stopping short of east wall. South porch. Unbuttressed three-stage tower."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 17 January 2018. Amended H. Hamilton (HES), 8 November 2019.

1970s or 1980s. Building Survey.
Examined as part of Norwich Survey.
See draft report (S2) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 17 January 2018.

October 1971. Building Survey.
Church assessed by Council for Places of Worship in response to proposed declaration of redundancy.
See report (S3) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 17 January 2018.

1987-1988. Excavation.
Excavation of nave and part of chancel by NAU prior to redevelopment.
Period I (10th century): Two phases of timber structure in the nave, orientated east-west, misaligned to present church. One burial with evidence of at least one more inhumation, possibly contemporary. Many post holes.
Period II (11th century): Rammed chalk, flint, gravel foundations of early church. Internal dimensions recorded as 13.30m west-east x 6.20m north-south in the nave and 2.90m west-east x 6.25m north-south in chancel. The chancel was only partially excavated. The excavated wall displays long-and-short work which has generally been attributed to the date range 950AD to 1100AD. This implies that the wall formed the superstructure for the excavated foundations, but there was no stratigraphic evidence to support this, and the suggestion is based only upon architectural form.
Period III: Very wide date range post 1066. Pre-1830 burials. 47 burials were located, 27 of which were articulated and excavated within the nave and tower of the church. 12 more graves were identified in the nave nad 3 in the south aisle. 5 graves were identified in the chancel, but there was no articulated material in this area. Loose, friable soil suggests preiods of burial and reburial within the building. Some graves had evidence of coffins whereas others had no grave furniture at all. Coffin plates were found, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Burial shafts and vault of church constructed in brick were recorded. The vault had a tiled floor and barrel roof. Several fragments of decorated stone were recorded and attributed a 10th or 11th century date.
Period IV: Post 1830. Documentary evidence suggests that the church was extensively rebuilt at this time.
See published report (S5) for further details.
The finds recovered have been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1999.303).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 23 April 2007. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 23 July 2019.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (Middle Saxon to Late Saxon - 651 AD to 1065 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 21st Century - 900 AD to 2100 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Publication: [Unknown]. [unknown]. Palimpsests Behind 'Norfolk' Brasses (N).
---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 366-367.
---Unpublished Document: Margeson, S. [unknown]. Carved stone from St. Martin-at-Palace Church. Publication Draft.
---Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No N28; p 175.
---Illustration: Working Drawings.
---Unpublished Document: Norwich Historic Churches Trust. Church of St Martin at Palace..
---Publication: Cox, J. C. 1911. Country Churches: Norfolk. Vol II. pp 182-183.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 20 NW 202.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 243-244.
---Publication: Messent, C. J. W. 1932. The City Churches of Norwich. p 55.
---Unpublished Document: Cattermole, P. 1985. Some Norwich Churches as seen in the Obedientiary Rolls of Norwich Cathedral Priory, 1276-1536. p 29.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Photograph: XS, XT, CWQ, EEA, EEC-EEZ, EKA-EKD, EPW, ERJ, FNZ.
---Unpublished Document: Whittingham, A. 1972. St Martin at Palace [transcribed notes].
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1372511.
<S2>Unpublished Report: [Unknown]. [unknown]. St Martin at Palace [draft report]. Building Report.
<S3>Unpublished Report: Council for the Care of Churches. 1971. Norwich. St. Martin-at-Palace (Norwich).
<S5>Monograph: Beazley, O. and Ayers, B. 2001. Two Medieval Churches in Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 96.

Related records

Site 2607Parent of: Church of St Martin at Palace (Monument)
Site 2155Parent of: Church of St Martin At Palace (Monument)
Site 2139Parent of: Church of St Martin at Palace Plain (Monument)
Site 1607Parent of: Church of St Martin-at-Palace, St Martin-at-Palace Plain (Monument)
Site 1925Parent of: Church of St Martin-at-Palace, St Martin-at-Palace Plain (Monument)
26428Parent of: Medieval inhumation, early roadway, medieval pits and post holes (Monument)
Mon 366Parent of: St Martin at Palace Churchyard (Monument)
Mon 1279Parent of: St Martin at Palace Plain (Early Church) (Monument)
Site 760Parent of: St Martin at Palace Plain (Monument)
Mon 1095Parent of: St Martin at Palace Plain (Monument)
Mon 447Parent of: St Martin at Palace Plain Church (Monument)
26241Parent of: St Martin-at-Palace Churchyard (Monument)
Site 579Parent of: St Martin-at-Palace Graveyard (Monument)
48141Parent of: St Martin's Vicarage, St Martin-at-Palace Plain (Building)

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