Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Norwich (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TG 23733 09020


TG 2309 SE 12/71

BISHOPGATE (north side) Church of St. Helen


GV I Medieval hospital and parish church. C13, C14, C15 with major C16 and later alterations. Flint and brick rubble; stone dressings; slate roof replacing lead roofs stripped in 1809-10; 3 red brick chimneys. Aisled infirmary hall, nave, chancel, south transept, south porch and south-west tower with additions, including first floor in chancel and infirmary hall and stair towers on the south side. South porch of 3 bays with no vault is all that remains of the C13 building. Upper floor repaired 1754. Chancel rebuilt by Bishop Despenser c1380, has four 3-light and one 2-light early perpendicular windows on north side, those on the south side replaced by smaller C18 windows with wooden intersecting tracery. East window of 7 lights is partly blocked by C16 inserted chimney stack and is flanked by diagonal buttresses. Interior has inserted C16 floor on massive re-used moulded beams. Pump ward on ground floor has north range of cubicles, those on the south side removed. Stair cut through south wall and partly contained within an extension adjacent to the south transept has moulded handrail and acorn finials to newel posts. Eagle Ward on first-floor has original ribbed chancel waggon roof with bosses and 252 painted spread eagles. Full set of panelled cubicles with fluted pilasters. Fireplaces at east and west ends. Church comprises nave and aisles of 3 bays and a south transept, all rebuilt c1480 by Bishop Goldwell. North aisle has 3 flat-headed 3-light windows, another with 2-centred head, and a 3-light east window. Three 3-light clerestory windows. A 4-light window in the south transept is flanked by diagonal buttresses. Interior has quatrefoil piers; blocked chancel arch; small C15 window in west wall of south aisle; arch-braced roofs on corbels and lierne vault in south transept. Poppyhead bench ends; box pews and raised pulpit at east end and Ivory family pew in south transept, dated 1780 and inscribed with names of William Ivory, son of famous architect, and his wife. Infirmary Hall. late C14. Four bays; south aisle demolished. 3-light window with 2-centred head at west end of north aisle. C16 stair tower on south side has C18 three-light window with intersecting tracery. Similar smaller clerestory windows. Blocked west window of infirmary hall has C16 brickwork (with some repairs) and 4-tier moulded wooden mullioned and transomed windows with leaded lights. Interior has inserted floor with C19 cubicles in Parker Ward on ground floor and in Fawcett Ward on the first floor, reached by stairs with moulded handrail and acorn finials to newel posts. Arch-braced roof; large fire-place at east end concealed by tongue and groove boarding. South-West Tower. Legacy for construction in 1375. Four stages with diagonal buttresses. 2-centred window; string course; 2-light traceried belfry windows and brick parapet. Weather vane. Part of the Great Hospital founded in 1249 by Bishop Walter de Suffield. After C16 alterations men were accommodated in the west wards; women in the former chancel.

Listing NGR: TG2373309020


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 11 Jun 2001
Reference: IOE01/04161/08
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David N. Gifford. Source Historic England Archive
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