St Augustine's Church, Norwich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
St Augustine's Church, Norwich
A church seen from the southwest with a large brick tower on the left and the flint body of the church on the right, showing the clerestory, south aisle and porch
St Augustine's Church, Norwich, from the southwest
St Augustine's Church, Norwich is located in Norfolk
St Augustine's Church, Norwich
St Augustine's Church, Norwich
Location in Norfolk
Coordinates: 52°38′14″N 1°17′33″E / 52.6372°N 1.2925°E / 52.6372; 1.2925
OS grid reference TG 228 095
Location St Augustine's Street,
Norwich, Norfolk
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website Churches Conservation Trust
Functional status Redundant
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 26 February 1954
Architect(s) R. M. Phipson (restoration)
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic
Closed 1997
Materials Flint with stone and brick dressings
Brick tower

St Augustine's Church, Norwich, is a redundant Anglican church building in the city of Norwich, Norfolk, England. It is designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building,[1] and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.[2] The church stands to the west of St Augustine's Street, the A1024 road, to the north of the Norwich inner ring road.[2][3]


St Augustine's is the only pre-Reformation church in Norfolk with this dedication.[4] The earliest documentary evidence of a church dedicated to St Augustine in Norwich dates from 1163 in a letter from the bishop of Norwich, William de Turbe, to the prior of Llanthony Secunda Priory in Gloucester.[5] Nothing of this Norman church survives. The church was substantially rebuilt in the early 15th century. The tower was added in 1682–87 after the flint tower collapsed. The date 1687 was added, presumably on completion, to the east-facing parapet. In the 1880s R. M. Phipson restored part of the fabric of the church and reordered the interior. During the 20th century the condition of the building deteriorated. By the 1990s the tower had become dangerous and the church's three 17th-century bells (which pre-date the new tower) were removed and donated to All Saints church, Carleton Rode.[6] The church was declared redundant on 18 March 1975, and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust on 19 April 2000.[7] As of 2012, the congregation meets in the church hall.[8]



The body of the church is constructed in flint with stone and brick dressings. The tower is in brick on a flint plinth, and is the only one of its kind in the city.[2] The church is square in plan, with the nave and chancel being similar in length, and the aisles running along their full length. There is also a clerestory extending along the length of the nave, a south porch, and a rood turret against the wall of the north aisle. The tower is at the west end, and is in three stages. In the lowest stage is a west window with a pointed arch. The middle stage contains small square windows on each side, and in the top stage the bell openings have two lights. The parapet is rendered and battlemented. The nave is in four bays and contains two-light windows with Decorated tracery. The clerestory has four two-light windows on each side containing Y-tracery. The chancel is in two bays, with three-light Perpendicular windows in the aisles, and a five-light east window.[1]


The arcades are carried on octagonal piers.[1] The font dates from the 15th century. The pews and the reredos are from the 1880s, and the screen, which incorporates the pulpit and a reading desk, was added in 1920 as a memorial to those who died in the First World War. The memorials include a marble wall monument to the Palladian architect Matthew Brettingham, who designed Holkham Hall, and other family members,[2][9][10] and one to a textile manufacturer, Thomas Clabburn, erected by "upwards of six hundred of the weavers of Norwich and assistants".[2][9][11][12] There is little stained glass; that in the east window dates from 1870, and the glass in the north chancel aisle, depicting SS Felix of Dunwich and Augustine of Canterbury, dates from 1901. A window by Morris & Co. in the south nave aisle, depicting the Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James and the angel at the empty tomb, dates from 1920 and is a memorial to a soldier of the parish who was killed in action in 1917. The two-manual organ was transferred from St Peter's Church, Hungate, (which is now a museum). It was built in 1875–78 by John Rayson, and restored in 1959–60 by Hill, Norman & Beard.[13][14]

War Memorials[edit]

There are four different memorials associated with the First World War in the church. The largest is the Roll of Honour inscribed on the chancel screen. This oak screen is imitative of a medieval rood screen with Gothic-style tracery above and panels below. According to the Faculty notes, it was designed by Mr. F. Varney of Messrs Morgan & Buckingham of Norwich and was made for a cost of £90 by Howard & Sons, the Norwich Ecclesiastical Wood Carvers. Two panels commemorate individual soldiers connected with the church (a Sunday school teacher and a member of the choir) and a panel on the far left has a record of the Roll of Honour's presentation by the Bishop of Norwich on 25 January 1920. It is unusual in mentioning the name of Private John Henry Abigail, shot for desertion 12 September 1917, a very rare example of an executed British serviceman of the 1914-18 war being listed on a local war memorial. The memorial also includes names of one man who served in the Australian Imperial Force; five who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force; one who served in the American Expeditionary Force; and one who service in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force.

There are additional memorials to individuals. Arthur Cannell of the 6th Cyclist Norfolk Regiment was killed in the Battle of the Somme on 4 September, 1916 at the age of 26. The brothers Lieutenant Bertie W. Benn and Lieutenant W. H. Benn (both promoted from the ranks) are commemorated on a plaque erected by their parents Mr. J and Mrs. E Benn. Bertie Benn was killed in the Battle of the Somme on 19 July 1916, aged 27, and W. H. Benn died in action in France on 2 August 1917, aged 26. A memorial stained glass window designed by William Morris & Co. is dedicated to Lance Corporal Leonard Harry Pert of the 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, killed at the Battle of Arras on 3 May 1917. The window depicts the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene kneeling before an angel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c English Heritage, "St Augustine's Church, Norwich (1051896)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 5 October 2013 
  2. ^ a b c d e St Augustine's Church, Norwich, Norfolk, Churches Conservation Trust, retrieved 25 March 2011 
  3. ^ Norwich, Streetmap, retrieved 23 February 2011 
  4. ^ Linnell, C.L.S. (1962). Norfolk Church Dedications. York: St. Anthony's Press. p. 17. 
  5. ^ Harper-Bill, Christopher (1990). English Episcopal Acta VI: Norwich 1071-1214. Oxford: OUP. 
  6. ^ Meeting as a church at St Augustine's, Norwich Christian Meditation Centre, retrieved 24 February 2011 
  7. ^ Diocese of Norwich: All Schemes (PDF), Church Commissioners/Statistics, Church of England, 2010, p. 6, retrieved 5 January 2012 
  8. ^ St Augustine's Church, Norwich, UK Church Directory, retrieved 5 January 2012 
  9. ^ a b Monuments in St Augustine, Norwich Historic Churches Trust, retrieved 24 February 2011 
  10. ^ Matthew Brettingham, Norwich Historic Churches Trust, retrieved 24 February 2011 
  11. ^ Thomas Clabburn, Norwich Historic Churches Trust, retrieved 24 February 2011 
  12. ^ See The Descendants of Thomas Clabburn, born 1760 at The memorial reads: "This tablet is erected to the memory of Thomas Clabburn, manufacturer, by upwards of six hundred of the weavers of Norwich and assistants in his establishment as a mark of esteem for his many virtues as an employer and a kind good man. He departed this life March 31st 1858 aged 70." Clabburn was a Silk Weaver, Manufacturer & Merchant in Magdalen Street, Norwich.
  13. ^ Norfolk, Norwich, St. Peter (now a museum), Hungate, (N06515), British Institute of Organ Studies, retrieved 24 February 2011 
  14. ^ Norfolk, Norwich, St. Augustine (N06497), British Institute of Organ Studies, retrieved 24 February 2011 

External links[edit]