Record Details

NHER Number:7958
Type of record:Monument
Name:Thorpe Parva deserted settlement and church of St Mary, Scole


Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the village of Thorpe Parva became deserted during the medieval period, and the Hall and the Church of St Mary are the only surviving buildings. The parish was united with Scole in 1482, and the church itself was demolished around 1540; the tower survives only due to its conversion into a dovehouse. By 1739 only one family lived in Thorpe Parva. Of the church, less than half the round tower survives, constructed of flint and lined with medieval brick. Aerial photographs indicate that the church was rectangular in plan, and it is believed to have stood within the southern end of the former village. Cropmarks and earthworks of the village also survive, as do the remains of a medieval moat.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 160 793
Map Sheet:TM17NE

Full description

In Domesday as vill. Moated hall site at 1600 7951. (context 2)

Church at 1609 7902 (7958/context 1). Ruined round tower, St. Mary's.

(S1) drew it when it was complete to west and south; on west a lower window round-headed, upper window triangular headed; crack between them. Putlog holes. South side of tower had only a small square window halfway up. The east side had gone.
E. Rose (NAU).

29 June 1976. CUCAP (Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography) aerial photographs show simple rectilinear negative marks of nave. Photos not seen. [1]
Compiled by D. A. Edwards (NAU), 1 December 1982.

Copy of Ladbrooke plate in file (called Billingford).

6 August 1993. NLA Air photography.
The ruined tower of the church can be seen with cropmarks leading from it still visible.
Compiled by H. Clare (NLA), 5 February 2001.

An undated 16th century map of Scole reproduced in (S2) shows a building on the hall site (Context 2) drawn with a strange feature resembling the external wheels used to connect with steam engines in the 19th century. It is difficult to suggest what this is meant to be, at that date, and author of (S2) has no idea but is sure the map is genuine. Listed building description mentions only a 17th-18th century timber framed barn at the hall, not any other building.
E. Rose (NLA), 5 January 1996.

Moat extant for most of circuit, except to northeast under farm buildings. Wide and water filled up to 9m wide. Earthworks in field to south possible hollow ways and house platform, though fog made identification a problem.
H. Paterson (NLA), 14 February 1997.

1997. Sketch survey at 1:2500 of enclosure boundary earthworks south of Hall Farm.
See (S4)
Pottery ident A. Rogerson (NLA).
In the Old Orchard; one medieval unglazed bowl rim, three medieval unglazed body sherds,
From the arable: one medieval unglazed bowl rim, eight medieval unglazed body sherds, one base glazed (Medieval?).
Compiled by B. Cushion (NLA), April 1997.

Appropriate section from (S3) in file.

English Heritage Listing 1959:
Remains of Church of St Mary, Thorpe Parva, Bungay Road. Scole.
Ruin of 12th century round tower. Only about half height and only southwest and northwest sides remain. Flint rubble.

Now deleted English Heritage Listing:
Barn north of Thorpe Parva Hall. The entry shall be deleted from the list. Bungay Road.
Large 17th or 18th century seven bay timber framed barn, weatherboarded. Brick plinth. Thatched roof with gabled ends. Cart entrance at centre of north side. Projecting gabled entrance bay at centre on south side. Later lean-to at
each end. Tie beams with arched braces removed, and curved brackets substituted. Said to have been moved to this site in early 19th century.

Information from (S5)

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to Medieval - 851 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BARN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

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

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: St. Joseph. ABL 46, AFM 70, BYI 71-2. Unit TM1678 C,D,L-R.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF8492.
---Aerial Photograph: TM 1679/ S-V, W-Y.
---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 726.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Scole.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. c. 1740.
<S2>Article in Serial: Williamson, T.. 1995. Land Use and Landscape Change in Norfolk Clay Lands.. The Quarterly. no.4, p 45.
<S3>Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No 106; p 52.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Cushion, B.. 1997. Unpublished Report, Thorpe Parva deserted settlement. April.
<S5>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entries 1050243 and 1398043.

Related records - none

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