Record Details

NHER Number:6765
Type of record:Building
Name:St Margaret's Church, Thorpe Market


The current church of St Margaret was built in 1796, although it is believed that a church has stood on this site since the Late Saxon period. In 2002 the foundations of the former 15th century west tower were discovered, and floor tiles and other material from the medieval period were recovered, indicating solid evidence for a medieval church.

However, the present church is particularly important as an example of the Gothick style, and being built at the end of the 18th century is almost unique in Norfolk, where hardly any churches were constructed at that time. Some minor alterations took place in 1892, but the church retains its original design.

It is almost exactly symmetrical, with small octagonal towers on each corner and porches on the south side to east and west. The church is largely of flint with stone details, and is the work of an unknown architect simply referred to as Mr Wood. Inside some of the glass from the original church survives, and screens at both ends reflect the outer symmetry. Set away from the main village, this church is a delightful example of a rarely seen architectural style.


  • St Margaret's Church, Thorpe Market. Photograph from  © S. Knott


Grid Reference:TG 2450 3538
Map Sheet:TG23NW

Full description

On Late Saxon site.
Old church had 15th century tower. 14th century font.
Present church of 1796, a very important example of Gothick, unique in Norfolk. Some minor alterations 1892.
Contains important 17th/18th century monuments from old church.
See report in secondary file (S1).
E. Rose (NLA), 10 August 2001.

January 2002. [1]
Foundations of former west tower found.
Medieval floor tiles and other material salvaged.
See also (S4).
E. Rose (NLA), 21 January 2002.

This is one of the sixty five Norfolk churches selected for (S2).
D. Gurney (NLA), 17 February 2006.

May 2009.
Roof to be replaced, new guttering and drainage system to be installed, some of the stonework will be repaired and the interior is to be redecorated.
See (S£) for further details
H. White (NLA), 20 May 2009

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Church's 200 years celebrated. 12 July.
---Serial: Blomefield, F.. 1805-1810. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk.. Volume Unknown.
---Photograph: Rose, E.. 2001. J2H 30-34.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1900. Hundred of North Erpingham. Vol V. pp 85-93.
---Photograph: Rose, E.. KBJ 23-33.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 690-691.
---Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
---Leaflet: Hunter, G.. 1996. St Margaret of Antioch, Thorpe Market Bicentenary (1796-1996)..
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Thorpe Market.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. Closure fears. 19 April.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2001. Monumental success with all that wildlife. 14 June.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 2001. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Publication: Jenkins, S. 2000. England's Thousand Best Churches.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Thriving church to close for repairs to the roof. 20 May.
<S4>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2003. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2002. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 368-384. p 383.

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