Record Details

NHER Number:559
Type of record:Building
Name:St George's Church, Colegate, Norwich


A parish church dating to the 15th and 16th centuries, of flint with stone dressings. It has ashlar facing to the clerestory and lead roofs. It has a three-stage tower of 1458 with diagonal buttresses and a nave and chancel. The rest of the church consists of north and south aisles, chancel chapel and south porch.Inside there is a fine tomb chest of terracotta to Robert Jannys, 1534 and a fine nave roof.

Images - none

Documents/files/web pages


Grid Reference:TG 2299 0903
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

St George's Church, Colegate.

1954. Listed Grade I.
Listing Description Excerpt:
"Parish Church. 15th and 16th century. Flint with stone dressings. Ashlar facing to clerestory. Lead roofs. West tower. Nave and chancel. North and south aisles. Chancel chapel and south porch. Three-stage tower of 1458 with diagonal buttresses. West door with three-light window above."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current details.
P. Watkins (HES), 5 December 2017. Amended H. Hamilton (HES), 8 November 2019.

1970s or 1980s. Building Survey.
Examined as part of Norwich Survey.
See draft report (S2) and architectural interpretation (S3) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 5 December 2017.

St George’s Colegate was part of Norwich’s Heritage over the Wensum programme in 1975 (which won an award for exceptional merit as part of the European Architectural Heritage Year award for Conservation and Improvement. Involved in this the stonework of the tower and nave was repaired with grants from Norwich city and the Historic Churches Trust, with the aisle walls being clean by local school pupils.
See (S4) for further details.
P. Henderson (NLA), January 2010.

1988. Building Survey.
Church assessed by Council for the Care of Churches ahead of proposed closure.
See report (S5) for further details including lists of furnishings, fittings and monuments.
P. Watkins (HES), 5 December 2017.

August 1992. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of groundworks in churchyard to north of church.
Linear trench parallel to church with branches to church and through church wall. Sections show general building of material and the foundations of some of the piers.
See drawn sections (S6).
H. Wallis (NAU), January 1993.

For further details see file, and file NCM.

March 2001. Field Observation.
Collapsed arch of vault has opened up to reveal an 18/19th century burial vault.
The view was limited, but four or more lead coffins were observed.
Requested that it be infilled with sand.
A. Hutcheson (NLA), 21 March 2001.

The ascription of the tomb to Robert Jannys come from Blomefield who says his will was proved in 1530; it used to be in the north arcade (see (S7)). He willed a pulpit to the church which is now at Catton. See (S8).
E. Rose (NLA), 4 February 2003.

For details of recently rediscovered plaque in church dedicated to William Firth, see (S9).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 4 September 2006.

See (S10) for a discussion of the terracotta monuments.
H. White, (NLA), 22 October 2009.

November 2009-January 2010. Building History.
The name of Colegate refers to the staithe (from the Norse for landing stage) where coals were landed and Gate, a Scandinavian word for street. St Georges is located on Colegate, on the North side of the River Wensum in the Coslany area of the city, sometimes known as Norwich over the Water.

St Georges is built on the site of a Norman church, this structure was started in 1459 with the construction of the Nave and tower. The chancel was added in 1498, with the North aisle and chapel of St Mary in 1504. Finally the South aisle and chapel of St Peter were attached in 1513. A new bell was gifted to the church in 1459, which coincides with the construction of the tower. The tower west window design, with its rare ogee motifs can be linked with St Clement, Fyebridge Street and also with the chancel east window of Great Cressingham. This would suggest a tower workshop based in Norwich at this period. The south porch was absorbed into the building as at St Margaret Westwick (nr St Benedicts Street). Both porches were built to stand free on three sides. At St George’s it projects from the tower and St Margaret from the aisleless nave. At a later date both received a widened south aisle, creating a zig-zag on the plan.

The dimensions of the building are Nave 49ft (15m) by 25ft (7.5m), Aisles 12ft (3.5m) wide, Chancel 26ft (8m) by 19ft (5.8m), North Chapel 26ft (8m) by 13.5ft (4m), South Chapel 10.5ft (3m) by 16ft (5m) and Tower 94ft (29m). The church is built of flint with limestone dressing; it has an ashlar faced clerestory. The roof is covered by copper and lead. The ceiling appears to be Cambered-beam firred (furred) up (Firred-beam type.), due to its low pitched nature. Battened roof – light strip of wood used over seam between boards. 'Firring' is a U.S. term for wood strips which are usually 50 mm wide, tapered and fixed above wood roof joists to provide drainage falls below roof boarding.

The Cambridge base to the work would suggest that master mason John Auntell who moved to Norwich in 1480s was involved after his work on King’s College Chapel. Just as central London was prosperous at this time, so was central Norwich, and what you see here must have been what many other churches in the city were like; quite literally, in fact, because St George is now home to many 18th century furnishings stripped out of other churches that fell to redundancy. St George was almost derelict after the war, thanks to bomb damage and neglect, and so their misfortune has really saved its life. Restored in 1949 by W.S Lusher and Son with architect John Chaplin, after being nearly derelict.

The organ at Colegate was purchased on April 27th 1802, through subscription. Its first performance was the “Messiah” on this date. This is a G.P. England (George Pike) organ – the notable organ builders of the time, late 18th and early.
See (S11)-(S19).
19th century. P. Henderson (NLA), January 2010.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCHYARD ( excavation, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BURIAL VAULT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CHURCHYARD (excavation, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

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

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Boileau, J. P. 1864. Returns of Church Goods in the Churches of the City of Norwich, 6 Edward VI. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VI pp 360-378. pp 369-370.
---Publication: Cox, J. C. 1911. Country Churches: Norfolk. Vol II. p 175.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1993. Fears of roof fall at church. 13 December.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Plea for help after lead raid on church. 6 May.
---Unpublished Document: Hubbard, L. A. 1983. The Church of St. George, Colegate, Norwich.
---Unpublished Document: Cattermole, P. 1985. Some Norwich Churches as seen in the Obedientiary Rolls of Norwich Cathedral Priory, 1276-1536. p 20.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Leaflet: Mottram, R. H.. [unknown]. St George's Church, Colegate, Norwich.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2006. Collapse silences bells. 20 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1992. Dilemma of a cold church. 3 April.
---Illustration: Stannard, J. [unknown]. Drawing of St George's Church, Colegate, Norwich. Pencil and wash on paper.
---Illustration: M & S Gooch Architects. [unknown]. Plan of St George's Church, Colegate, Norwich.
---Illustration: [Unknown]. [unknown]. Plans of St George's Church, Colegate, Norwich.
---Photograph: [Unknown]. 1984. Photographs of St George's Church, Colegate, Norwich.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2015. First phase of restoration work completed. 10 October.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1206500.
<S2>Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. [unknown]. St George Colegate [draft report].
<S3>Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. [unknown]. St George, Colegate. Architectural Interpretation.
<S4>Article in Serial: Aldous, T.. 1976. An Old City Quarter Comes To Life, Norwich's Wensum Scheme.. Country Life. April 15th p9 982-983.
<S5>Unpublished Report: Council for the Care of Churches. 1988. Norwich, St George Colegate, Norfolk.
<S6>Illustration: NAU. 1992. Trench location plan and section drawings. Watching brief by NAU at St George's Church, Colegate, Norwich..
<S7>Article in Serial: Kestell Floyer, J. 1926. Notes and Queries: The Tomb of Robert Jannys in the Church of St. George's Colgate, Norwich. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXII pp 243-245.
<S8>Article in Monograph: Blatchley, J. and Middleton-Stewart, J. 2002. Sir Philip Bothe of Shrubland. East Anglia's History. Harper-Bill, C. (ed). p 138.
<S10>Thesis: Rolfe, M. 1993. Renaissance Terra-Cotta Monuments in East Anglia.
<S11>Publication: Messent, C. J. W. 1932. The City Churches of Norwich.
<S12>Website: Norwich Historic Church Trust. 2009. Norwich Churches.
<S13>Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 233-235.
<S14>Website: Knott, S.. 2009. St George Colegate, Norwich. 22 January 2010.
<S15>Publication: Chambers, J. 1829. A General History of the County of Norfolk, intended to convey all the information of a Norfolk Tour. Vol II. pp 1229-1236.
<S16>Monograph: Thurlow, A.G.G. (ed). 1950. St George Colegate, Norwich. A "Redundant" Church..
<S17>Unpublished Document: Burton, J.R. St George's Colegate, Norwich Over The Water..
<S18>Leaflet: [Unknown]. [Unknown]. St Clement & St George, Colegate, Norwich..
<S19>Monograph: Mortlock, D. P. and Roberts, C.V. 1985. Norwich, Central and South Norfolk.. The Popular Guide to Norfolk Churches. No 2. 96-97.

Related records

Site 2192Parent of: Church of St George Colegate (Monument)
Site 2701Parent of: Church of St George Colegate (Monument)
Site 1238Parent of: Church of St. George, Colegate (Monument)
Site 2380Parent of: Church of St. George, Colegate (Monument)
Mon 725Parent of: St George's Church, Colegate (Monument)
Mon 791Parent of: St George's Churchyard, Colegate (Monument)

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2024 Norfolk Historic Environment Service