In Search of All Saints Church, Reepham

In search of All Saints

Thomas Martin was an 18th century lawyer and antiquarian with a particular interest in Norfolk and Suffolk churches. Among his collected papers is this outline plan of Reepham’s three churches in one churchyard, drawn before the demolition of All Saints.

A geophysical survey in 2015 found evidence of ground disturbance indicative of ruined walls or removed stone which were consistent with Martin’s sketch.

In July 2016, Reepham High School archaeological club joined a team of professional archaeologists, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to dig three exploratory pits, and to seek physical evidence of the remains of All Saints Church.

The dig area was open to the public on 14th July 2016 and attracted three classes from the Primary School and many visitors from the town and church communities.

Interesting finds included a fragment of clay pipe, a piece of sheep’s bone with tally marks cut on it, pieces of medieval glass, and remnants of a substantial wall at the east of All Saints’ nave.

Three Churches in one churchyard - Sketch

Thomas Martin Outline, Norfolk Record Office RYE 17/3

Fragment of Clay Pipe found in excavation, Reepham

Fragment of Clay Pipe found in excavation

Piece of sheep's bone with tally marks cut on it, Reepham

Piece of sheep’s bone with tally marks cut on it

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