Record Details

NHER Number:7906
Type of record:Building
Name:St Margaret's Church, Drayton

Summary

This medieval church has later alterations that give it a 19th century appearance. The tower, nave and chancel were substantially rebuilt and restored during the 19th century, but do retain some 13th, 14th and 15th century features. The porch is 15th century in date. The north aisle was added in either 1860 or 1907. In the churchyard is an inscribed 14th century stone coffin lid.

Images

  • St Margaret's Church, Drayton.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • The rood stair in St Margaret's Church, Drayton.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TG 1804 1373
Map Sheet:TG11SE
Parish:DRAYTON, BROADLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

Parish church.
Medieval but substantially rebuilt in the mid 19th century, following the collapse of the tower.

Tom Martin's 18th-century notes (S1) confirm that the original tower was square. It contained three bells. The chancel and south porch were thatched. Part of the rood loft remained, and several 17th-century memorials. He mentions several coffin slabs, one used as the font step. Also a Christopher painting.
E. Rose (NLA), 5 August 1980.
Information from (S2).

Pre 4 August 1849. Field Observation.
Record made of wall paintings exposed during repair work in 1849 including a large fresco between the north door and the first window to the east. One of the two subjects was a "…gigantic St. Christopher" so this was presumably the painting noted by Martin in the 18th century (see above).
The wall paintings were believed to have been subsequently either destroyed or covered up.
See (S3) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 22 August 2020.

1850. Field Observation.
The church tower fell in 1850. During a subsequent examination of the ruins the fragments of a decorated 'sepulchral stone' were found lying in the churchyard. This had apparently previously lain face down in the floor of the tower.
Information from (S4). This article, published in the 1860s, also notes that several plain stone coffin lids could still be seen elsewhere in the floor of the church.
P. Watkins (HES), 24 August 2020.

7 May 1860. Field Observation.
Found "…beneath the pavement of Drayton church…" during restoration work and subsequently examined by members of the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society (NNAS):
Three stone coffins, all containing human remains, in one case within an inner lead coffin of roughly human form. Also several 'sepulchral slabs', one bearing "…an inscription in old Norman French, commemorative of two persons, but unfortunately so much mutilated as to afford no knowledge of the individuals".
These remains are described and illustrated in (S4). As noted above this article also describes fragments of a decorated stone coffin lid observed by NNAS members following the collapse of the tower in 1850.
It appears that the inscribed coffin lid now lies in the churchyard (see below).
P. Watkins (HES), 24 August 2020.

January 1952. Listed Grade II*.
Listing Description excerpt:
“…medieval fabric, though mainly rebuilt in 19th century. Tower c.1852, nave and aisles 1860, chancel 1866. Built of flint with stone dressings. Nave roof thatch, aisle roofs lead, chancel roof tile. West tower, north aisle, north vestry, south porch, nave, north chancel, chapel land chancel… Interior mainly 19th century…”.
Information from (S5).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S5) for the current listing details.
P. Watkins (HES), 22 August 2020.

October 1984. Tombstone listed Grade II.
Listing Description:
Tombstone, 60 cm west of south porch.
Re-positioned coffin lid, 14th century, of stone. Tapered rectangular plan. Central inscribed cross with fleur-de-lys terminals. Inscribed round its perimeter, though the northern edge is now missing.
Information from (S6).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S6) for the current listing details.
This is presumably the coffin lid discovered beneath the floor of the church in 1860 and illustrated in (S4).
P. Watkins (HES), 24 August 2020.

August 1988. Visit.
Late 13th century church. Tower, nave and chancel, with Norman font.
14th and 15th century alterations including 15th century porch. Tower (partly?) rebuilt 1852, chancel 1866, north aisle added 1860 or 1907 - giving totally 19th century appearance.
Important medieval stone coffin lid in churchyard.
See report (S7) in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 8 August 1988.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1905. Hundred of Taverham. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol XV. pp 35-44.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 448.
---Illustration: Ladbrooke. 1821. [unknown].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office.
<S2>Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S3>Article in Serial: Hesenbeth, F. C. 1852. Mural paintings at Drayton. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol III pp 24-28.
<S4>Article in Serial: Wodderspoon, J. 1861. Discovery of Stone Coffins, Leaden Discovery of Stone Coffins, Leaden Sepulchral Chest, Skeletons and Incised Slab, of the Thirteenth Century, at Drayton, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VI pp 132-141.
<S5>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1306000.
<S6>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1051538.
<S7>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. Building Report.. Building Report.

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