Norwell
St Laurence

Archaeology

Core fabric mainly C13-C14

Restoration between 1857 and 1875

The south door The south porch

South doorway, mid-later C12

Nave, N. and S. Aisles, chancel, C13-14

South transept, arch C13; windows C15

North transept, early-mid C14

South porch, C14

Clerestory, mid late C15

Tower, C13 with belfry and C15; buttressed 1713

Significant Interior Features

Nave

Trumpet stop Head of a
muzzled bear

Tower arch and chancel arch late C13; note trumpet stops of chancel arch (1280 - 1300)

Carved heads on south wall of nave; possibly roof brackets before being moved to present position, central head is of a muzzled bear (C12 - C13)

Clerestory added in C15; note flat-headed windows

Chancel

Five single lancet windows, typical of C13

East window C14

Three-light window in south wall C14

Sedilia C13

South aisle

S. arcade : 2 round pillars with square plinths and octagonal waterleaf capitals (1200); nail heads on trumpet stop on west wall

Tomb recess C14

North aisle

Toothy corbel head

N. arcade, 2 octagonal pillars, moulded capitals, c1225-1250; note parts of original wall C12 in westernmost pillar

Traces of buttress of pre-C13 tower on west wall

Carved corbel head C13

South transept

Arch late C13; note keeling on pillars

Tomb recess 1280-1290

Aumbry and piscina C14

North transept

Wooden roof 1450-1500; note carved bosses including green man

Tomb recess 1280-1300

Aumbry C14; note reused C13 tomb marker

Rood stairs C13

Medieval Cross Slabs

(1) Head of slab re-used in paving immediately outside and to the east of the threshold of the south porch (the church guide mentions another section of the same slab re-used in the same paving – not seen). Relief design, round-leaf bracelet cross with disc at top of shaft.

(2) Intact slab lying loose at east end of south aisle, carved in bold relief. Eight-armed cross with a ring of round-leaf bracelets, with disc at top of shaft and stepped calvary base.

(3) Part of head of slab e-used as east side of aumbry in north wall of north transept, cut into by grooves of rebate of door and a horizontal shelf. Simple but well-executed design, incised; round-leaf bracelet cross with disc at top of shaft.

Descriptions and drawings of the cross slabs courtesy of Peter Ryder.

Timber and Roofs

  Nave Chancel Tower
Main C19 (1874-5) low pitched C19 (1857-8) C15 King-post
S.Aisle C19 (1874-5) low pitched n/a n/a
N.Aisle C19 (1874-5) n/a n/a
Other principal

North transept
C15, carved bosses including green man

South transept
C19 low pitched

Porch
C19 rafter roof

n/a n/a
Other timbers Panelled timber screen to tower arch (1967) n/a n/a
The interior of the
tower roof
15th century
doorway in
the tower

It is stated by Ewan Christian that C15 timbers from the roof of the chancel removed during the restoration were used in the choir pews.

Bell Frame

Steel low-sided frame with cast-iron headstocks and ball bearings 1932.

Walls

  Nave Chancel Tower
Plaster covering & date Plaster C19 Plaster C19 Plaster C19
Potential for wall-paintings nil nil nil

Excavations and potential for survival of below-ground archaeology

There have been no known archaeological excavations within the church or churchyard.

The footprint of the medieval church has survived intact, and the two principal phases of restoration in the 1850s and 1870s appear mainly to have impacted on the above-ground fabric, though not to the serious detriment of the medieval work. As such, this church is likely to retain complex and high-quality archaeological evidence from the C12th or earlier through to the C19th. Some reused pre-Conquest material has been identified in the structure of the north arcade.

The surrounding churchyard appears largely intact from its original design, with some extention to the south-east, and is expected to contain a large number of burials from the medieval period onwards. There are some good C18th grave-markers and at least one intact medieval grave-marker. The adjacent moated manor house may yield some domestic intrusion into the churchyard, especially on the south side where it is adjacent.

The overall potential for the survival of below-ground archaeology in the churchyard and surrounding area is considered to be VERY HIGH; below the present interior floors of the church is considered to be HIGH-VERY HIGH. The standing fabric of the building appears to be complex, multiphase and the archaeology in the standing fabric is considered to be VERY HIGH.

Exterior:Burial numbers expected to be high, intact, and multiperiod. Grave-markers are high-quality and important. Domestic material may exist especially near the south boundary.

Interior:The interior is complex and multiphase with evidence from the C12th onwards, and some reused pre-Conquest material. Below-ground deposits are expected to be complex and multiphase medieval with the possibility of pre-Conquest stratigraphy.