Record Details

NHER Number:558
Type of record:Building
Name:St Ethelbert's Gate, The Close


This impressive two storey flint and stone gateway dates to about 1316 and replaced an earlier gateway destroyed by fire in the riots of 1272. The upper chamber was originally used as a chapel but is now a classroom. The gateway was heavily restored in the early 19th century and again in the 20th century, when most of the stonework and carvings were replaced. It is a Scheduled Monument and also listed Grade I.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 23399 08763
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

St Ethelbert's Gate, The Close.

'On site of earlier gateway'.
R.R. Clarke (NCM).

For further details see file.

1954. Listed Grade I.
Listing Description Excerpt:
"Gateway with former Chapel above, now used as classroom. Circa 1316, with early 19th-century restorations by W. Wilkins and 20th-century restorations. Flint and ashlar. Two storeys. Small door on left-side to clockwise spiral stair. Two-centre moulded arch on attached columns with 20th-century George and Dragon spandrels."
Information form (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current details.
P. Watkins (HES), 14 December 2017. Amended H. Hamilton (HES), 8 November 2019.

Removal of plaster showed that two stages of construction were present on inside of gate. The original flint wall appears to be pre 1272 riots and may be associated with early Norman walling on either side of gate.
E.B. Green (NCM).

Repair to gate led to discovery of Norman stonework under 13th to 14th century repair after 1272 riot. Caen stone block donated to Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1964.321).
E.B. Green (NCM).

It is suggested in (S2) that the builder was John Ramsey, possibly the architect of Cley next the Sea church. This source also draws attention to the unusual timber reinforcement buried inside the walls and floor (pp 7-8).
Rose, E. (NLA), 26 February 2007.

2003. Watching Brief and Building Survey.
Monitoring of urgent repairs to the roof, stair turret and west gable façade. The flintwork of this west gable has been cited as one of the earliest examples of flushwork in the country, but research and recording revealed that it had been completely refaced in the early 19th century by Wilkins and the design subtly change.
See Norwich Cathedral Archive for further details (A29/36). This work is also summarised in (S3).
P. Watkins (HES), 21 March 2017.

July 2007.
Scheduled momument consent granted concerning repairs to a collapsed 19th-century brick culvert. Repairs will include the excavation of a trench north of the culvert, removing the collapsed material and making good the void and cobbled roadway.
See (S4) for further details.
H. White (NLA), 6 April 2009.

Monument Types

  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GATE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PRIORY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF258.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 20 NW 127.1 [2].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 225-226; Pl 57.
---Article in Serial: Whitingham, A. 1980. Gates of the Cathedral Close, Norwich. The Archaeological Journal. Vol 137 p 316.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Publication: Wilcox, R. 1981. Timber and Iron Reinforcement in Early Buildings. p 4.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1206324.
<S2>Article in Monograph: Fawcett, R. 1996. The Influence of the Gothic Parts of the Cathedral on Church Building in Norfolk. Norwich Cathedral, Church, City and Diocese 1096-1996. Atherton, I. et al (eds.). pp 210-227. p 221.
<S3>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2004. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2003. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt III pp 573-588. p 582.
<S4>Designation: DCMS. [?]-2016. Scheduled Monument Consent. SAM Consent. DNF258.

Related records

Site 1906Parent of: Ethelbert Gate (Monument)
Mon 1177Parent of: St Ethelbert's Gate (Norman Gate) (Monument)
Mon 724Parent of: St Ethelbert's Gate, The Close (Monument)
Site 1237Parent of: St. Ethelbert's Gate, The Close (Monument)
377Part of: Cathedral Close (cathedral precinct) (Monument)
Mon 1459Part of: Cathedral Precinct (Monument)

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