Record Details

NHER Number:3295
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary's Church, South Wootton


This church may have Late Saxon origins. The chancel dates to around 1300 and the church has very unusual transepts that date to about 1400. The tower is a much later addition which was made in the 18th/19th century. Inside, there is a Norman font carved with fearsome masks and a bier with a Latin inscription that dates it to 1611.


  • St Mary's Church, South Wootton. Photograph from  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TF 6403 2275
Map Sheet:TF62SW

Full description

Late Saxon fossil quoins and much conglomerate - possible evidence of demolished Late Saxon corner tower. Chancel of around 1300, very unusual transepts of around 1400? Tower 18th and/or 19th century.
Important Norman font and bier of 1611.
See (S1) and (S2) for further information.
E. Rose (NAU), 29 March 1984.

White's Directory of 1854 refers to the church being recently re-seated and improved and the Post Office Directory for 1858 refers to extensive repairs. Kelly's Directory of 1888 refers to damage to the west tower by lightning in 1881, and Kelly's Directory of 1896 to a new roof being made in 1893, the tower 'renewed' and 'the Hamond mausoleum formerly on the north side removed'. This information does not seem entirely accurate.
See (S3) for further details.
E. Rose (NAU), 4 June 1984.

February 1984. Construction of extension on south side of tower.
This work necessitated making an archway through the west wall. Within the removed area of walling a fragment of roll-moulding in Caen stone, apparently part of a round-headed opening in the 12th-century style, was found and is to be reset in the new building. Openings made in the tower confirmed that it is of a late date and does not have a medieval core.
See (S3) for further details.
E. Rose (NAU), 7 February 1985.

List description (Grade II*) states that a neo-Norman wooden gallery from St Matthew's, Thorpe Hamlet, Norwich, has been inserted at the west end of the church. This presumably dates from the 1840s when St Matthew's was built.
See (S3) for further details.
E. Rose (NAU), 17 July 1989.

July 1989. Church damaged by fire.
The organ was destroyed and the roof of the church suffered extensive smoke damage.
See (S4).
E. Rose (NAU), 24 July 1989.

February 1990. Restoration underway.
Interior of north transept has been stripped, revealing it to be of the same construction as the exterior, with some reused stone lumps. At the east end of the north wall a blocked rectangular opening was noted, perhaps a late door made when the Hamond mausoleum was erected. The wall above the chancel arch was stripped revealing sockets for 19th century metal letters.
See (S5) for further details.
E. Rose (NAU), 7 February 1990.

(S5) reports that by March 1990 the restoration of the roof and replacement of the organ were underway.
See also (S6) and (S7).
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 6 December 2018.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 21st Century - 1000 AD? to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Rye, W. 1872. Norfolk Church Goods, Temp. Edward VI. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VII pp 20-44. p 33.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. Bells to ring out across village after 30 years. 27 March.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Unpublished Document: Jenkins, ?. South Wootton Church Guide.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1984. Building Report. 3295 South Wootton, St Mary's Church. Building Report.
<S2>Photograph: 1984. CLY 36-38.
<S3>Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1989. Church blaze. 21 July.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1990. Church repairs under way. 2 March.
<S6>Drawing: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
<S7>Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, B. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 666.

Related records

62809Parent of: Medieval brass plaque, possibly recovered from St Mary's churchyard, South Wootton (Find Spot)

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