Record Details

NHER Number:593
Type of record:Building
Name:Church of St Michael Coslany, Norwich


A parish church, now disused, dating to the late 14th, 15th and early 16th centuries. It is of flint and brick with stone dressings, with an ashlar faced north aisle and chapel and a slate roof. The building consists of a four stage west tower of about 1425, nave and chancel, north and south aisles and a south chancel aisle and north chapel.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2282 0899
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

St Michael Coslany Church, Oak Street.

Church rebuilt 1511 to 1512.
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

1949. Stray Find.
Four headless medieval carved figures found during restoration work.
Now held by Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1949.226).
Information from (S1).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 19 January 2018.

1954. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description excerpt:
"Parish church now disused. Late 14th, 15th and early 16th century. Flint with stone dressings. Ashlar faced north aisle and chapel. Brick. Slate roof. West tower, nave and chancel. North and south aisles. South chancel aisle and north chapel. Four-stage tower c. 1425 with diagonal buttresses."
Information from (S2).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current details.
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 19 January 2018. Amended by H. Hamilton (HES), 8 November 2019.

See references (S3) and (S4) in file.
E.Rose (NAU).

1970s or 1980s. Building Survey.
This church was examined as part of the Norwich Survey but unfortunately whilst draft reports exist for the majority of the Norwich churches the one for St Michael Coslany appears to be missing. The Norwich Survey material held by the NHER is limited to a single page addition to the report (S5), a short paper discussing particular architectural similarities between St Michael Coslany and other Norfolk parish churches (S6) and fragmentary research notes (all found in the Alan Carter Archive).
P. Watkins (HES), 19 January 2018.

June 1976. Building Survey.
Church examined by Council for Places of Worship ahead of proposed closure.
See report (S7) for further details including general description and lists of fittings and furnishings.
P. Watkins (HES), 19 October 2018.

1984. Field Observation.
During 1984 a programme was repairs was undertaken at St Michael Coslany, with surviving notes suggesting that these works were monitored on a number of occasions, most likely by Norwich Survey staff.

In March 1984 the removal of an 18th-century monument within the nave (to the right side of the western tower) exposed an area of medieval wall painting, including fragments of gothic inscriptions. Although difficult to date the basic outline techinque suggests a date no earlier than the 15th century. See short note (S8) for further details.

Between July and June 1984 repair work was undertaken in several parts of the church, including the chancel, south chancel chapel and the nave. A small blocked door of unknown date was observed in the east wall of the chancel and door jambs were also exposed beneath a window in the south chancel chapel. Within the nave a narrow door was exposed between the unfinished arcade pier to the east and the existing south door. This door is believed to be of pre-1500 date and once opened onto a stair turret that led to the upper level of the south porch. A closer inspection of the roof also confirmed that a major part of the nave roof was original. This scissor-braced roof is no earlier than 1350 in date and probably dates from the widening of the nave in c. 1425. See notes (S9) for further details.

In October 1984 an excavation near the north door of the north chancel chapel revealed the cill and a floor level dating to c. 1500. See short note (S10) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 19 January 2018.

3 November 1999. Watching Brief.
On laying of BT cable along pavement of Colegate along south side of St Michael of Coslany church and down west side of church path entering building to west of south door at join of tower and nave. Beneath tarmac and make up of pavement was loose brown loamy soil in which occasional fragments of brick and tile and flint were present. Also occasional human skeletal remains including long bones and skull fragments. Human skeletal remains were reburied in trench.
No cut features were seen but in three places were traces of masonry; these were 1) just to west of chuch path 'in pavement' just ot east of church. See sketch plans for details.
Contexts 2 to 4 assigned for finds from general areas/length of trench shown on sketch.
See short report (S11) and notes (S12) for further details.
S. Bates (NAU), 9 November 1999.

It is suggested in (S13) that the architecture of the church was inspired by the south cloister walk at Norwich Cathedral, 1320.
E. Rose (NLA), 21 December 2000.

According to (S14) one of the bells came from Rockland All Saints (NHER 8968).
E. Rose (NLA), 10 October 2005.

January 2010.
The site is now used as the Inspire Discovery Centre. Repairs have been undertaken after a piece of flint fell from the tower.
See newspaper articles (S15) for further details.
H. White, (NLA), 24 February 2010.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Undated)
  • FIGURINE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUTTON (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TOBACCO PIPE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Manning, C. R. 1864. Lost brasses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VI pp 3-26. p 17.
---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. p 369.
---Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No N34; p 175.
---Article in Serial: Wood, R. 1999. The Chantry Certificates of Norfolk: Towards a Partial Reconstruction. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIII Pt II pp 287-306.
---Publication: Cox, J. C. 1911. Country Churches: Norfolk. Vol II. pp 183-184.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 245-246; Pl 60.
---Publication: Messent, C. J. W. 1932. The City Churches of Norwich. pp 55-59.
---Leaflet: [Unknown]. [unknown]. A Historical Description of St. Michael at Coslany Norwich 1254 - 1959.. Graham Cumming Ltd.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Article in Serial: Cornforth, J. 1979. Locked church doors in Norwich. Country Life. 2164-2166.
---Unpublished Document: Burton, J. R. 1975. The Church over The Water. pp 96-136.
---Publication: Spencer, N. and Kent, A. 1990. The Old Churches of Norwich.
---Article in Monograph: Tillett, E. A.. 1905. St Martin at Oak and St Michael Coslany, Norwich. Norwich Scrapbooks. Vol 18.
---Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. 1984. St Michael Coslany [draft summary].
---Illustration: [Unknown]. [unknown]. Plan of St Michael Coslany circa 1425.
---Illustration: [Unknown]. [unknown]. Plan of St Michael Coslany.
---Illustration: Whitwood, A.C.. 1982. Section drawings of St Michael Coslany.
---Illustration: Stannard, J. [unknown]. Drawing of St Michael Coslany. Pencil and wash on paper.
---Photograph: [Unknown]. 1984. Photograph of St Michael's Church, Coslany, Norwich.
---Photograph: [Unknown]. 1984. Photographs of St Michael's Church, Coslany, Norwich.
<S1>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
<S2>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1372474.
<S3>Publication: Pennell, T. 1925. Annals of the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Coslany, Norwich.
<S4>Publication: Spencer, N. and Kent, A. 1970. The Old Churches of Norwich.
<S5>Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. 1984. St Michael Coslany Additions December 1984.
<S6>Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. [Unknown]. […nell] and his style. Evidence that the various churches belong to one group. St Michael Coslany.
<S7>Unpublished Document: Council for Places of Worship. 1974. Norwich, St Michael Coslany (Norwich). Building Report.
<S8>Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. 1984. St Michael Coslany. March 26 1984. MEMO.
<S9>Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. 1984. St Michael Coslany. Observations During Repairs June/July 1984.
<S10>Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. 1984. St Michael Coslany. October 21 1984.
<S11>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bates, S. 1999. Colegate - St Michael Coslany Church Watching Brief. Norfolk Archaeological Unit.
<S12>Unpublished Document: Bates, S. 1999. [Notes on watching brief at St Michael Coslany Church, Colegate, Norwich].
<S13>Publication: Fawcett, R. IN Atherton, A. (ed). 1986. Norwich Cathedral. p 211.
<S14>Monograph: Cooper, T.. 2001. The journal of William Dowsing: iconoclasm in East Anglia during the English Civil War.. p 120; footnote 28.
<S15>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. [Articles on the repairs of bulging flintwork and proposed costs of further works].

Related records

Site 2091Parent of: Church of St Michael Coslany, Oak Street (Monument)
Site 2093Parent of: Church of St Michael Coslany, Oak Street (Monument)
Site 1270Parent of: Church of St. Michael Coslany, Oak Street (Monument)
Site 1859Parent of: Church of St. Michael Coslany, Oak Street (Monument)
Mon 1450Parent of: St Michael Coslany Churchyard (Monument)
Mon 1449Parent of: St Michael Coslany Early Church (Monument)
Mon 753Parent of: St Michael's in Coslany Church (Monument)

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