Record Details

NHER Number:9523
Type of record:Building
Name:All Saints' Church, Hethel, Bracon Ash


A medieval parish church, with a Saxon tower. A large mausoleum to the Branthwayte family was added to the church in 1730. Wallpaintings from the 16th or 17th centuries were uncovered within the church during the removal of an 18th century memorial to a member of the Branthwayte family. This was the parish church of Hethel, and is close to the deserted settlement of Hethel (NHER 9497).

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1711 0039
Map Sheet:TG10SE

Full description

The western tower and nave are late 11th century with the north aisle and chancel dating to the 14th or 15th century. There is an 18th century mausoleum and post-medieval alterations. It is one of only three Romanesque churches in Norfolk with a square tower, the others being circular. The techniques of construction suggest the possibility that the church may be of Saxon date. There is a Jacobean tomb in the chancel with effigies of a husband and wife.
See (S8) for further information.
S. Howard (NLA), 16 June 2010.

November 1959. Listed Grade I.
Listing Description:
Hethel parish church, Medieval and later. Flint, rendered except for tower, with ashlar dressings. Brick north chapel. Slate nave roof, eastern roof not visible. West tower, nave with north aisle and south porch and chancel with former mausoleum. Cll west tower possibly pre-Conquest. Vestigial long and short western quoins at low level, otherwise rubble quoining. Blocked western door with re-used non-radial brick voussoirs. Post-Medieval bell stage with wooden Y-traceried openings, crow-stepped parapets and obelisk finials. Victorian traceried chancel windows in Decorated style. Nave and aisle windows with wooden frames beneath segmental arches. Former brick mausoleum to Branthwaite family of c.1730 with rusticated quoins, 2 blocked semi-circular headed windows to north, a large Victorian eastern archway with wooden tracery, a dentil and moulded brick cornice and a tall parapet with blocked 3-centred openings. C15 porch with a fine moulded entrance and a later crow-stepped gable. 3-bay C14 or C15 north arcade with octagonal piers and 2-ordered plain-chamfered arches. Tower arch in similar style. Former mausoleum with 2 blank Classical tablets opened-up to north aisle and chancel in C19. Fine coloured alabaster tomb of Myles Branthwaite (died 1612) and his wife Mary to north side of chancel. Full size effigies with Myles lying on side Mary on back. Flanking Corinthian columns supporting a coffered arch and obelisks. Strapwork and painted achievement above, inscription with elaborate cartouche in tympanum and 3 kneeling weepers below.
Information from (S1).
H. Hamilton (HES), 08 December 2017.

April 1993. Field observation.
Late Saxon or Saxo-Norman tower and nave south wall. Church heightened and altered in 14th and 15th centuries.
Large mausoleum added and church remodelled in Classical style 1730. Mausoleum to the Branthwayte family.
Regothicisation 1819, 1882.
Roman bricks in tower, and conglomerate. Norman mortar used as stoup.
Very fine collection of monuments to Branthwayte family from early 17th century onwards.
See report (S2) for further details.
E. Rose (NLA), 21 April 1993.

Wallpainting found, 16th or 17th century, part of the Apostle's Creed, revealed when removing an 18th century wall memorial.
See photographs (S3).
E. Rose (NLA), 29 March 1999.

March 2003. Building Survey.
Stone by stone evaluation of the church tower by rectified photography, followed by interpretation.
See report (S4) and digital photographs (S5). The results of this survey are also noted in (S6).
J. Allen (NLA), 6 March 2003.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CHURCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MAUSOLEUM (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRICK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • DOOR (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MORTAR (VESSEL) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL PAINTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL PAINTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • Xbell frame (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG1700 C,D,H.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. £24,000 bill for church. 13 June.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 396.
---Unpublished Document: Randall, G.. 2010. WEA Norwich Branch practical church exploration course report for All Saints' Church, Hethel.. October.
---Leaflet: Sinclair, M. and Watson, R.. [unknown]. All Saints Church, Hethel, Norfolk..
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1050688.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1993. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S3>Photograph: Rose, E. 1999. HES Film JJX 9-11. Photographs from site visit to All Saints' Church, Hethel. Historic Environment Service Film Collection.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Thomas, P. and Pestell, T. 2004. All Saints, Hethel. A Report into the Standing Archaeology. Phil Thomas Historic Building Consultant.
<S5>Photograph: Thomas, P.. 2003. Rectified photography of church tower.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2004. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2003. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt III pp 573-588. p 574.
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. Historic tomb to go on display. 1 September.
<S8>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. [unknown]. All Saints' Church, Hethel, Brecon Ash, Norfolk [fragment of larger document]. Building Summary.

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