Record Details

NHER Number:10419
Type of record:Building
Name:St John the Baptist's Church, Reedham


Incorporating large quantities of re-used Roman stone and tile, the main body of this church dates to about 1300 and its west tower is 15th century. There has been a church in Reedham since the 7th century, and the parish has one of the longest Christian traditions in Norfolk. The building was originally thatched but now has a pantile roof after being gutted by fire in 1981 and internally rebuilt. Geophysical survey in 2013 may indicate an earlier church.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 4277 0249
Map Sheet:TG40SW

Full description

Almost entirely constructed of reused Roman materials, partly of tile. The church dates from around 1100, suggesting a cruciform church, with traces of 13th century chapel remianing. The church is largely constructed of Lincolnshire cretaceous stone, about 1300 and late 15th century (tower). Church gutted by fire 1981 and internally rebuilt; medieval tiles found at this date. Important terracotta monuments. Extension constructed 1988 revealed post-medieval tombs and a medieval bulla.
See references (S1) and (S2).
Building report (S3), architectural plans (S4), correspondence (S5), photographs (S6), historical notes (S7) and press cuttings (S8) and (S9) in file.
Listed (S10).
E. Rose (NLA) 10 January 1995.

May 1999.
For further notes on the grey stone, see file for NHER 1001. A Wealden source is suggested. However, the stone actually came from the Snettisham area (S11).
D.Gurney (NLA), 25 May 1999.

For the source of the grey stone or silver carr, probably Castle Rising, see 56217.
D. Gurney (HES), 31 October 2011.

October - November 2013.
Geophysical (GPR) survey by the University of Reading. Accoring to those undertaking the work the preliminary results suggest that there is a structure under the nave of the church. They also suggest that at a slightly higher level there are traces of what looks more certainly like an earlier phase of the church (S12). Report to follow.
D. Gurney (HES), 11 November 2013.

April 2016.
Excavation of two or more trenches in the churchyard by the University of Reading, exploring geophysical anomalies; one south-west of the tower and the other immediately west of the tower. The former recovered scattered bones and, at depth, one coffined burial (not excavated). Bones were reburied in the trench. The other trench by the tower revealed rubbly layers that might be related to the construction of the tower or, less likely, robber trenches for an earlier building. No clear evidence of a Roman building or earlier church was encountered. Report to follow.
Reused Roman material is also noted in the churchyard wall, including grey stone and roof tile. How old is the wall?
D. Gurney (HES), 15 April 2016.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Unknown date)
  • BUILDING? (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 19th Century - 851 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ROOF TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BULL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • Xbell frame (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Publication: [Unknown]. [unknown]. Palimpsests Behind 'Norfolk' Brasses (N).
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 40 SW 2.
---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 644.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Discover the forgotten glory of our sacred spaces. 8 May.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Reedham.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Survey reveals 'lost' Roman lighthouse. 23 September.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Article in Serial: Rose, E. 1994. The Church of Saint John the Baptist, Reedham, Norfolk: The Re-use of Roman Materials in a Secondary Context.. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. Third Series Vol CXLVII pp 1-8 Pl I.
<S2>Article in Serial: Rogerson, A., Ashley, S. and Drury, P. 1983. Medieval Floor Tiles from St. John the Baptist's Church, Reedham. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXVIII Pt III pp 380-383.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. (NAU). 1988. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S4>Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
<S5>Correspondence: Various.
<S6>Photograph: EGH 11-14; CVS I; BZK 29-34, BZL.
<S7>Unpublished Document: Saint John the Baptist, Historical Notes.
<S8>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1981. [Articles on the fire at St John the Baptist's Church, Reedham].
<S9>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1981-1982. [Articles on the restoration of St John the Baptist's Church, Reedham].
<S11>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1152823.
<S12>Article in Serial: Allen, J., Rose, E. & Fulford, M.. 2003. Reuse of Roman stone in the Reedham area of East Norfolk: intimations of a possible 'lost' Roman fort.. Britannia. Vol XXXIV, pp 129-141. pp 129-144.
<S13>*Verbal Communication: Professor Michael Fulford. 2013. Reedham church geophysical (GPR) survey. Reading University.

Related records

53984Related to: Roman and medieval to post-medieval finds, Churchyard of St John the Baptist (Find Spot)

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