Record Details

NHER Number:10500
Type of record:Building
Name:St Peter and St Paul's Church, Burgh Castle


A medieval parish church with a Late Saxon round tower. Some of the nave walls may also date back to the Late Saxon period, and the majority of the church building dates from the 13th and 15th centuries. The building contains many reused Roman tiles, probably taken from the ruins of the nearby Roman fort, see NHER 10471.


  • SS Peter and Paul's Church, Burgh Castle  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • SS Peter and Paul's Church, Burgh Castle.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TG 4764 0497
Map Sheet:TG40SE

Full description

November 1954. Listed Grade II*.
Parish church. Late C11 west tower. Nave and chancel retain C13 character but remodelled C15. North aisle 1847. South porch 1857. Flint with ashlar dressings and some brick. Partly rendered. Slate roofs. Circular 3 stage tower. Lancet west window. No ringing chamber windows but lancets to belfry with brick surrounds. Top of tower rebuilt in brick below crenellated parapet. Diagonal stepped western nave buttresses. Gabled porch with moulded entrance arch. 2 2-light Perpendicular south nave windows flank a single lancet. Stepped buttresses to south flank. Lean-to north aisle pierced by 2-light Perpendicular windows. 2 3-light Perpendicular south chancel windows under square heads. North chancel partly obscured by gabled C19 vestry. 3-light Perpendicular east window. Diagonal stepped buttresses to east end. Interior. Tall chamfered tower arch. 3 bay north arcade of C14 style : tall plinths and piers formed of 4 lobes with hollows between. Wave moulded arches. Scissor braced nave roof with renewed timbers and decorated wall plate. Font reputed to be of 1387 but looks C15. Octagonal with 4 crouching lions against stem. Angels under bowl. 4 lions and 4 shield-bearing angels alternate to bowl panels. 2 high splayed windows over south door. Brick rood stairs, blocked at top. Wave, hollow and chamfered chancel arch with circular responds. Chancel has remains of one irregular wall arch to north and south, that to south interrupted to allow insertion of window. Bench sedilia and trefoiled piscina.
See (S1) for further details.

Late Saxon or Norman round tower base and possibly parts of nave.
13th century widening of nave and raising of tower.
Perpendicular remodelling in at least two phases.
Top of tower, and former porch, 17th century.
North aisle, present porch, vestry and restoration mid 19th century.
Two stone coffin slabs.
19th century woodwork and stained glass.
Perpendicular font.
See (S2) and (S3).
E. Rose (NLA) 9 August 1996.

Parson Thorne's Beam, which was originally part of the mid 19th century guildhouse of St Peter, is now kept in the church, see file for NHER 31892.

1999. Building Survey.
The Church stands near to the Roman fort and has a round tower, which was scaffolded for repair. The base consists of pebble flint with re-used Roman tile up to nave roof level, and may be Saxo-Norman. The second stage is of knapped flint with brick bell openings. It had previously been suggested that these are of Early English date but close examination has revealed mouldings of a later period fitting a bequest of 1387 for heightening of the church. Above the bell openings the tower is of brick which can now be seen to be of two periods - the lower of medieval (not re-used Roman) brick, and the upper of a later date, locally believed to be 1663 when the bells were replaced..

At the junction between the pebble flint and knapped flint sections, and at that between the two builds of brick, a number of curving voids were found in the thickness of the wall, connected to the interior by putlog holes and containing rotten wood. The void between the two builds of flint was outlined in part-glazed medieval pegtiles, and was believed by the architect for the repairs to extends round the full circumference. At the junction between the two builds of brickwork, however, the voids were of semi-circular plan and certainly did not join up. It has been suggested these were the locations of strengthening beams, but it seems somewhat of a coincidence that both sets should be located at a change of build. It is perhaps more likely that both represent a platform on which the new stage was added, an example of a similar technique being used on occaisions three centuries apart.
Summary from (S3).
D. Holburn (HES), 21 October 2011.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 21st Century - 1050 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: Q 16-17, JJ 7-10.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. Church in cash plea. 6 April.
---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. TG 4704AJP, AKB.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. [Photograph of St Peter and St Paul's Church, Burgh Castle]. 29 March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2004. Vision of saint is kept alive. 1 October.
---Recording Form: Heywood, S. Norfolk County Council Site Record - St Peter and St Paul's Church, Burgh Castle.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Radcliffe, E. 1974. Suffolk. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 128-129.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. (NLA). 1996. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S3>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2000. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1999. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt III pp 521-543. p 523.

Related records

MNO6087Related to: Church of St. Peter and St. Paul Church Road BURGH CASTLE (Revoked)

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