Record Details

NHER Number:2822
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of St Nicholas' Chapel, Rougholme and Union Farm


This is the site of the medieval chapel and college of St Nicholas, founded in the 13th century. The chapel held the manor of Rougholme, and the chapel and the manorial buildings fell into ruins by the 18th century. The barn contains some blocks of reused medieval masonry. The present farmhouse may date back to the late 18th century, when the workhouse infirmary stood on the site. An evaluation carried out by the NAU in 1999 revealed medieval ditches and pits, probably part of a field system, as well as medieval pottery.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9756 1681
Map Sheet:TF91NE

Full description

ca. 1950. Find.
A farmer reported to Ordnance Survey staff that human remains were found sometime around 1950 at TF 9759 1677. These were reburied without being examined.
Information from (S4).
R. J. Rickett (NAU) 6 August 1990

1974. Documentary Research.
Site of St Nicholas's Chapel, Rougholme, now Union Farm (Ordnance Survey, S4).
Pevsner (S1) claims that the transepts and chancel remain in the farm buildings. An old cutting in the Bolingbroke collection (S2) records that 'in Blomefield's time the transepts and chancel were still standing on the poor law farm, which was then the infirmary' (Bryant?). A painting from 1810 (S3) shows the view from Gressenhall Mill and the gable of the church is still visible. The present farmer noted that no remains have been found on the land in his memory.
E. Rose (NAU) 1974.

August 1976. Field Observation.
The farm buildings were investigated by P. Wade-Martins and an RCHME investigator in order to search for evidence of the transepts and chancel of the chapel. No trace was found of anything earlier than the 19th century.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 21 December 2007.

Miss Yates (Rural Life Museum) states that there are some reused lumps of stone in the barns.
The upstairs interior of the farmhouse is very unusual, and it must be the late 18th century hospital.
E. Rose (NAU) 23 November 1981.

The chapel was founded during the reign of Henry III.
(Confirmed by 2003 documentary research, below)
E. Rose (NAU).

Stands on site of manor house.
Information from Rural Life Museum.
E. Rose (NLA), 14 November 1990.

1995. Documentary Research.
Pevsner also states that the chapel was collegiate at its foundation; then later they say that it became collegiate in the 16th century. There is clearly some confusion here.
E. Rose (NLA), 7 December 1995.

December 1995. Excavation.
Foundations were discovered while lowering the sloping floor for an extension to the barn. These consisted of a platform or footing of flint cobbles edged on the east by a double row of post medieval bricks, located immediately adjacent to the barn. A clay floor extended 64cm to the north, where it had been cut by the south wall of the barn. A test pit dug to a depth of 10cm revealed that the floor consisted of flint pebbles, fragments of post medieval brick, and ashes and a sherd of post medieval pantile and that the main footing/platform rested on post medieval bricks. These are probably remains of an earlier outbuilding of the barn, constructed about 1800 and demolished for an extension of about 1890.
See details in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 7 December 1995.

January 1999. Watching Brief.
Observation of construction work for new buildings revealed medieval field boundary ditches and fire pits and one possible prehistoric cooking site. One 14th to 15th century medieval sherd was found. A series of post medieval farmyard deposits was also recorded.
See (S5) in file.
See also (S9).
E. Rose, 16 February 1999.

2003. Documentary Research.
This is the site of the free chapel of St Nicholas, called Rougholme, listed in the Valor Ecclesiasticus (1535).
It was founded in the time of Henry III by William de Stuteville and was a free chapel or college for a custos or brethren (S6).
Information from (S7).
J. Allen (NLA), 2 July 2003.

2006. Documentary Research.
A detailed documentary survey (S8) provides an extensive history of the chapel. The scattered portions of land with which the chapel and college was endowed became the manor of Rougholm. Mid 15th century accounts describe the buildings on the site, although it is not clear whether the chapel was a separate building, or whether it was contained within the masters house, which had a hall and a solar chamber. A timber framed watermill was also associated with the chapel buildings. An early 17th century map shows the site as the location of the manor of Rougholm.
See full history and documentary research (S8) in file for more details.
S. Spooner (NLA) 16 January 2006.

Monument Types

  • HEARTH (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • CHANTRY COLLEGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FIELD SYSTEM (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MANOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BARN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BARN (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • HOSPITAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval to 21st Century - 1540 AD to 2100 AD)
  • OUTBUILDING (18th Century to 19th Century - 1800 AD? to 1890 AD?)

Associated Finds

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (13th Century to 15th Century - 1300 AD to 1500 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: HFE 24-26.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---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. p 370.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Gressenhall.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 180.
<S2>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S3>Illustration: Kerriman, R.. 1810. Painting of Gressenhall House of Industry.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Crowson, A. 1999. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Union Farm, Rural Life Museum, Gressenhall, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 371.
<S6>Publication: Taylor, R. C. 1821. Index Monasticus.
<S7>Article in Serial: Wood, R. 1999. The Chantry Certificates of Norfolk: Towards a Partial Reconstruction. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 287-306.
<S8>Unpublished Document: Davison, A. The Medieval Chapel of St Nicholas at Rougholm and Union Farm, Gressenhall.
<S9>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 527.

Related records

50688Related to: Earthworks of possible medieval to post medieval building platforms (Monument)

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