Record Details

NHER Number:572
Type of record:Building
Name:St Julian's Church, St Julian's Alley, Norwich


The Church of St Julian is said to have been associated with a medieval abbey on this site, but its most famous historical link is with the Blessed Abbess Mother Julian of Norwich, who is said to have been an anchoress here. The original church has a number of Late Saxon features, including windows, though the building dates largely to the 11th and 12th centuries. Unfortunately the church received heavy damage in World War Two, and photographs show it was almost destroyed. Fortunately, due to its connection with Mother Julian, who recorded her mystical visions in the 14th century, this church was the only one of those injured in World War Two to be rebuilt. This was undertaken in 1953 by A J Chaplin, who opened a number of the Late Saxon windows which had previously been blocked.
Archaeological work undertaken in 2014-2015 demonstrated that its churchyard had originally extended further east.


  • St Julian's Cell, Norwich.  © Courtesy of Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service.


Grid Reference:TG 23494 08122
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

St Julian's Church, St Julian's Alley.

St Julian's Church was one of several in Norwich to suffer significant bomb damage during World War Two.
Costings produced in 1948 (S1) give details of the repair work that had to be undertaken. This document also includes an axiometric sketch showing the condition of the church prior to the commencement of the rebuilding.
P. Watkins (HES), 16 January 2018.

1954. Listed Grade I.
Listing Description Excerpt:
"Parish church. 11th, 12th and substantial 20th-century rebuilding after war damage, by A. J. Chaplin. Flint with stone and brick dressings. Black pantile roof. West tower, nave and chancel. 20th-century south chapel and vestry. North porch round tower truncated at nave eaves level… 20th century single storey porch. Single bay chancel."
Information from (S2).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S2) for the current details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 16 January 2018. Amended by H. Hamilton (HES), 8 November 2019.

1970s or 1980s. Building Survey.
Examined as part of Norwich Survey.
See draft report (S3) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 16 January 2018.

Has bell of circa 1500, rehung 1992.
Press cutting (S4) in file.
Compiled by E. Rose (NLA), 18 November 1992.

Regarding the church bell, also see press cutting (S5) in file.
T. Sunley (NLA) 6 November 2007.

See file for copy of lithograph from around 1800 and short note produced for Vernacular Architecture Group by S. Heywood (NCC).

Archaeological work undertaken prior to and during the redevelopment of land immediately to the east of the churchyard (120 and 120A King Street) recorded a number of medieval features, including several graves. The latter demonstrate that the churchyard originally extended to the east, up to the edge of King Street. Cartographic sources suggest that this block had been developed by at least the late 17th century, but it is unclear exactly when it ceased to be part of the churchyard. It should be noted that the short length of alley that now forms its western boundary doesn’t appear to have existed prior to the 19th century (unlike those to the north and south).
See report (S6) and NHER 64900 for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 12 May 2021.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 21st Century - 851 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Blomefield, F. 1806. The History of The City and County of Norwich, Part II. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. Vol IV. pp 79-81.
---Monograph: Brown, G. B. 1903. Anglo-Saxon Architecture. The Arts in Early England. Vol II. pp 423, 474.
---Publication: Cautley, H. M. 1949. Norfolk Churches. pp 5, 227.
---Publication: Cox, J. C. 1911. Country Churches: Norfolk. Vol II. p 181.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 20 NW 199.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 241.
---Photograph: [Unknown]. 18 November . [Unknown].
---Publication: Messent, C. J. W. 1932. The City Churches of Norwich. pp 44-47.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Things to do in Norfolk this summer. 28 July.
---Leaflet: McLean, M.. 1979. St Julian's Church and Lady Julian's Cell: a guidebook..
---Publication: Taylor, H. M. and Taylor, J. 1965. Anglo-Saxon Architecture. C3.
---Article in Serial: Wilkins, W. 1796. An Essay towards a history of the Venta Icenorum of the Romans, and of Norwich Castle, with remarks on the architecture of the Anglo-Saxons and Normans. Archaeologia. Vol XII pp 132-180. p 174; Fig 9.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Chaplin, J. P. 1948. St. Julian [details of proposed repairs].
<S2>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1051852.
<S3>Unpublished Report: [Unknown]. 1984. St Julian [draft report].
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1992. Old bell to ring again. 18 November.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1993. Blitzed bell in sound condition. 6 January.
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: Birks, C. 2015. Archaeological Updated Project Design for a Programme of Archaeological Work at 120 King Street Norwich, Norfolk. Chris Birks Archaeological Services. CB394U.

Related records

Site 2114Parent of: Church of St Julian (Monument)
Site 2608Parent of: Church of St Julian (Monument)
743Parent of: Post medieval pottery sherds (Find Spot)
Mon 643Parent of: St Julian Churchyard (Monument)
Mon 737Parent of: St Julians Church (Monument)
Site 1400Parent of: St. Julians Church, St. Julians Alley (Monument)
Site 1251Parent of: St. Julian's Church, St. Julian's Alley (Monument)

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