Record Details

NHER Number:247
Type of record:Building
Name:St Gregory's Church, St Gregory's Alley, Norwich


This former parish church is now redundant and used as an Centre for the Arts. It dates to the 14th and 15th centuries and is made from flint with stone and brick dressings. It has a west tower, nave and chancel, north and south aisles as well as north, south and west porches. This church contains medieval wall paintings including a huge painted figure of St George and the Dragon made by a livery stable keeper. The eagle lectern dates to before the Reformation and the church was re-glazed in 1643 probably indicating that stained glass had been removed. There are three small round windows in the belfry stage of the west tower which may be Saxon in origin.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 22844 08712
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

Former parish church, now redundant.

1954. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description excerpt:
"Former parish church, now redundant. 14th and 15th century. Flint with stone and brick dressings. Lead roofs. West tower. Nave and chancel. North and south aisles. North, south and west porches. Three-stage unbuttressed tower… Two-storey north and south porches against tower."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 5 September 2017. Amended H. Hamilton (HES), 8 November 2019.

'Pre-1100 on evidence of lights in belfry' - R. R. Clarke (NCM).

1880. Stray Find.
The Norwich Castle Museum holds a complete 17th-century Rhenish stoneware bottle (bellarmine) that, according to the museum's records, was "found during alterations to a house in St Gregory's Alley, Norwich". (NWHCM : 1880.17). This vessel is noted in (S2).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 5 September 2017.

12th century (14th?) door ring with lion's head with man's head in jaws. On loan to NCM (NWHCM : L1971.26).
See for comparison the ring from Adel near Leeds (Pevsner, Yorks, W.Riding).
Composed in 1972.

Designer of St Gregory's Church identified as Robert Wadhurst, who had worked at Westminster and is recorded as a Master mason at Norwich Cathedral in 1386.
See notes by A. Whittingham (S3) and short published articles (S4) and (S5).
P. Watkins (HES), 5 September 2017.

1973. Building Survey.
Church assessed by Council for Places of Worship ahead of proposed closure.
See report (S6) further details including lists of furnishings, fittings and monuments.
P. Watkins (HES), 5 September 2017.

Damage was done to this church by a neo-Buddhist group who rented the building in 1975 and destroyed a wallpainting and opened a tomb, in which a pair of sandals was found. Newspaper cutting relating to this, formerly in possession of Norwich Survey, appears to be lost.

1970s or 1980s. Building Survey.
Church examined as part of Norwich Survey.
See unfinished report draft (S7) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 5 September 2017.

Rev. Armstrong notes the restoration of the church on 28th September 1861. This entry also includes information on a huge painted figure of St George and the Dragon made by a livery stable keeper - to Armstrong's displeasure.
Information from (S8).
E. Rose (NLA) 3 September 1997.

Pre-reformation eagle lectern is at St Giles's in 1999.

Discovery of medieval wallpaintings.
See (S9) and (S10) for further details.
E. Rose (NLA) 9 March 1999.

Besides the wallpaintings mentioned in (S8), the George and Dragon painting has been restored. Armstrong's comment quoted above is incomprehensible as this is a fine medieval wallpainting, now with much more detail visible. It was restored after its 19th-century discovery but not by an innkeeper!
Pevsner (S11) also notes the Late Saxon windows in the tower noted by R. R. Clarke (NCM) as above. He gives a more detailed description than (S1); but neither source notes that as well as the tunnel under the east end that carries St Gregory's Back Alley there is a parallel tunnel to the east, the north end now covered by a vestry. The chancel must therefore have been twice extended - across a processional way and then across the road.
E. Rose (NLA) 15 April 1999.

(S12) notes that church was rebuilt by the cathedral priory in 1394 and is very similar to Wodehurst's cloister.
E. Rose (NLA) 21 December 2000.

The church was reglazed in 1643 probably indicating that stained glass had been removed (S13).
E. Rose (NLA) 25 April 2005.

Lecture by N. Grove at Cambridge provided additional information on the Ritualist history of this church in the late 19th century.
See notes (S14) for further details.
E. Rose (NLA) 22 April 2006.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD? to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DOOR FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL PAINTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No N16; p 175.
---Publication: Cox, J. C. 1911. Country Churches: Norfolk. Vol II. pp 176-177.
---Publication: Messent, C. J. W. 1932. The City Churches of Norwich. pp 33-34.
---Leaflet: Norwich Historic Churches Trust & HEART. St Gregorys, Pottergate..
---Unpublished Document: Cattermole, P. 1985. Some Norwich Churches as seen in the Obedientiary Rolls of Norwich Cathedral Priory, 1276-1536.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1210298.
<S2>Monograph: Jennings, S. 1981. Eighteen Centuries of Pottery from Norwich. East Anglian Archaeology. No 13.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Whittingham, A. 1972. Notes on St Gregory. p 289.
<S4>Article in Serial: Whitingam, A. 1980. The Ramsey Family of Norwich. The Archaeological Journal. Vol 137 pp 285-289.
<S5>Article in Serial: Whitingham, A. 1980. St Gregory's Church, Charing Cross, Norwich. The Archaeological Journal. Vol 137 p 360.
<S6>Unpublished Report: Council for Places of Worship. 1973. Norwich, St. Gregory, St. Benedict's Street (Norwich).
<S7>Unpublished Report: [Unknown]. [unknown]. St Gregory's Church, Norwich [draft report]. Building Report.
<S8>Publication: Armstrong, H. B. J (ed). 1949. A Norfolk Diary. Passages from the Diary of The Rev. Benjamin John Armstrong. p 86.
<S9>Article in Serial: Carus, S.. 1999. Wall painting discovery in Norwich. Church Archaeology. Vol 3 pp 34-35. p 34.
<S10>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Ancient church art is restored to glory. 9 March.
<S11>Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 237-238; Pl 25, Pl 50.
<S12>Publication: Norwich Historic Churches Trust. St Gregory's Church.
<S13>Publication: Spraggon, J. 2003. Puritan Iconoclasm during the English Civil War. pp 100, 112.
<S14>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. 2006. Church of St Gregory - its Ritualist History in the late 19th century. Notes on a lecture given by N. Groves at Cambridge.

Related records

Site 2200Parent of: Church of St Gregory (Monument)
122Parent of: Medieval pottery sherds and human remains, St Gregory's Alley (Monument)
453Parent of: Precinct of St Gregory's Church (Find Spot)
Mon 712Parent of: St Gregory's Church (Monument)
Mon 1184Parent of: St Gregory's early church (Monument)
Site 1652Parent of: St. Gregory's Church, St Gregory's Alley (Monument)
Site 1654Parent of: St. Gregory's Church, St Gregory's Alley (Monument)
Site 1655Parent of: St. Gregory's Church, St Gregory's Alley (Monument)

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