Monument record BCC 006 - St Mary's chapel and hospital/St Mary's Flats

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A chapel and leper hospital dedicated to St Mary Magdalen stood on the W side of Ballygate Street, Beccles on a site now known as St Mary's Hill, near Leman's School.


Grid reference Centred TM 4182 9007 (50m by 50m)
Map sheet TM49SW


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

A chapel and leper hospital dedicated to St Mary Magdalen stood on the W side of Ballygate Street, Beccles on a site now known as St Mary's Hill, near Leman's School. It was first mentioned in 1267 and was still maintaining the poor in the C17. Messent stated that the original buildings have been demolished, but re-used materials may be seen in some walls in the vicinity. The present St Mary's (House) is early C19 according to DOE and there appears to be no earlier work incorporated in it (S2).
Letter to John Wymer as Secretary SIA from Beccles Society (Chairman Doctor E S Nicholson) 10 May 1979, says suggestion from Right Reverend Abbot Aelred Watkin that leper house built on site of an earlier earthwork. Asking for help with exploratory dig since low on SAU's priorities (S4). Excavation apparently carried out in May 1979 before the building of five bungalows on the site, and report was published by Paul Durbidge. Human skull found 27 August 1980 by workmen digging trench for gas pipe. Excavation found reinterred bones and undisturbed burial. No dateable evidence. Site report written by Adrian Pye, Field Officer Lowestoft Archaeological Society, 27 August 1980. Includes sketch plans and sections (S5)(S8).
File note from R D Carr 12 November 1983, report of further development to NE. Visited, topsoil stripped but very badly smeared/tracked over, nothing visible in plan and no early finds. Not considered worth second visit (S7).
Not the same chapel as BCC 009.

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <R1> (No record type): Knowles, D. & Hadcock, R.N.. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (2nd ed). Knowles and Hadcock, Medieval religious houses, 1971, 313, 341.
  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Victoria County History of Suffolk (Vol I 1911; Vol II 1907). VCH, Suffolk, 2, 1907, 132-133.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish Files. Parish file: (S3)(S4)(S6)(S7)(S8).
  • <R2> Bibliographic reference: Messent, C.J.W.. 1934. The Monastic Remains of Norfolk and Suffolk. Messent C J W, Monastic remains of Suffolk, 1934, 107.
  • <S2> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TM49SW8, 1978.
  • <S3> (No record type): Popham J, Suffolk Preservation Society, letter, 14 December 1978.
  • <R3> (No record type): DOE (HHR), Borough of Beccles Suffolk, September 1971, 8-9.
  • <S4> (No record type): Nicholson Dr E S, Beccles Society, letter to SIA (Wymer J J), 10 May 1979.
  • <S5> (No record type): Pye A (LAS), site report, 27 August 1980.
  • <S6> (No record type): SAU (Carr R D), letter to Pye A (LAS), 25 February 1981.
  • <S7> (No record type): SAU (Carr R D), file note, 12 November 1983.
  • <S8> (No record type): SAU (Newman J), site report (of 1979/80 finds?), May 1992.

Finds (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 10 2012 11:21AM

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