Record Details

NHER Number:9723
Type of record:Building
Name:St Peter's Church, Swainsthorpe


St Peter's church has a tall round tower, which is thought to date to the Late Saxon period, and it is possible that this is the church mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Like many round towers, this one has a later top, in this case a 14th century octagonal piece in the Decorated style, matching the west window.
The majority of the building is in the Decorated style, although the chancel and nave windows are in the Perpendicular style. The nave is thought to date to the Late Saxon or early medieval period, containing either Roman or early medieval great bricks, and the majority of the church dates to the 14th century with 15th century alterations.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2186 0097
Map Sheet:TG20SW

Full description

Round tower, called 'probably pre-Conquest' by (S1) and 'C' (950-1100)' by (S2), who say it contains Roman tiles; but there is very little, although there is much in the chancel north wall a brick-edged putlog hole and a blocked round-headed window outlined in the same brick. Large flint nave northeast quoins behind later aisle. Norman piscina bowl reset in south porch. Tower has 14th century Decorated octagonal top and west window; battlements of squared flint later still, Perpendicular. According to (S3) there is a tall tower arch, unusual on a round tower. North aisle also Decorated style with simple blocked north door, and restored Decorated windows to east. Nave south door ornamented Decorated with headstops. Chancel windows and nave south windows Perpendicular, much restored.
South porch formerly two storeyed, now almost totally 19th century.
Interior inaccessible at time of visit; (S3) notes arch-braced nave roof on wooden head brackets and with angel figures; poppyhead benches; dado of roodscreen in stalls monument of 1765; chalice and paten, Norwich 1568.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU), 15 March 1979.

(S4) noted a 'font on pillars'.
Compiled by E. Rose (NAU).

Found in churchyard 1934 or before. [1]
Papal bulla of Martin V 1417-31.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 15 October 2001.

See (S5).
A. Rogerson (NLA), 23 March 2006.

2006. Detailed investigation showed that the round tower has Saxo-Norman bellopenings below the octagonal belfry. Nave is basically Saxo-Norman with quoins of flint and bricks, either Roman or Norman Great Bricks. Otherwise basically a 14th century church altered in mid 15th century with new windows and around 1500 with belfry, roof and porch. Thorough restoration in 1802. 13th century font, important 17th century brass.
Very fine graveyard but the headstone listed grade II is in fact of 1699 and not 1715 as given.
(S6) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 9 May 2006.

2012. Watching Brief.
Details awaited.
See also (S7).
M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 13 September 2012.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 21st Century - 851 AD to 2100 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BULLA (Medieval - 1417 AD to 1431 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG21000B, E, F,.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 20 SW 51.
---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. pp 685-686.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Grants given to 18 county churches. 17 February.
---Recording Form: Heywood, S. Norfolk County Council Site Record - St Peter's Church, Swainsthorpe.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Late Saxon. Swainsthorpe.
<S1>Publication: Cautley. [unknown].
<S2>Publication: Taylor, H. M. and Taylor, J. 1965. Anglo-Saxon Architecture.
<S3>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 333.
<S4>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. c. 1740.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Elders, J.. 2005. Council for the Care of Churches Pastoral Measure Report: Swainsthorpe St Peter..
<S6>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 2006. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. Church revamp begins. 23 August.

Related records - none

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