Record Details

NHER Number:2471
Type of record:Building
Name:St Edmund's Church, Downham Market


The earliest parts of this carstone church date to the Norman period, some of which have been reset into the building at a later date. The Norman church may have been cross shaped with a tower in the centre. The current tower is unusual and was added in the 13th century. It contains important examples of medieval stained glass windows. Most of the present building dates from rebuilding in the 15th and early 16th century. The 18th century west gallery is a high-quality addition at a period when generally churches were not being expanded. 19th century restoration began in 1873.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6128 0330
Map Sheet:TF60SW

Full description

St Edmunds church.
Evidence of Romanesque fabric; reset carved Crucifixion said to be Late Saxon; possibly once a Norman cruciform church. Unusual 13th century tower. Chancel perhaps basically of this period, and 13th century windows now in north aisle. Alterations to arcades in 14th century. Overall rebuilding campaign in 15th to early 16th century. 18th century west gallery of high quality. 19th century restoration and additions. Important medieval stained glass.
See (S1).
For the churchyard (an historic town garden) see also NHER 34303.
E. Rose (NLA), 8 January 2005.

January 2015. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of minor internal alterations associated with the installation of a WC and kitchenette in the north-west corner of the church.
As part of this work the floor tiles were removed and the ground reduced by 0.1m.
No archaeologically significant deposits were revealed. A stone ledge removed from this area was re-set closer to the south porch.
See report (S2) for further information. See NHER 34303 for details of remains exposed during related external drainage works.
The associated archive has been deposited with Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2016.202).
P. Watkins (HES), 19 October 2016. Amended 21 June 2019.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF6103 G,H,K.
---Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy B. 1934. Norfolk Crosses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXV Pt II pp 297-336. p 306; Pl 2.
---Publication: Evans, J. and Britton, J. 1810. The Beauties of England and Wales: or Delineations, Topographical, Historical and Descriptive of each County. Vol 11.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1904. Hundred of Clackclose. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol XIII. pp 92-103.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 60 SW 14.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. A few days to discover some of the secrets of Norfolk's heritage. 7 September.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 308-309.
---Leaflet: Guide to the Parish Churches of St Edmund Downham Market and St Mary the Virgin Bexwell.. The Church Publishers, Ramsgate..
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. (NLA). 2005. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Summerfield-Hill, C. 2015. Archaeological Observation & Recording Report: St Edmund’s Church, Downham Market, Norfolk. KDK Archaeology.

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