Monument record WLL 002 - St Mary Magdalene's Churchyard, Little Whelnetham.

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Remains of Circular Structure E of Church. Scheduled


Grid reference Centred TL 8885 6001 (102m by 70m)
Map sheet TL86SE


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

Remains of Circular Structure E of Church.
A circle of flint walling about 26 feet in diameter and 3 feet thick (i.e. too thin for a tower), with a slightly inset porch to the W, but no E apse, somewhat offset from the axis of the church. A single buttress on the N & S sides with remains of oolite quoining. Masonry suggests early Norman but hardly Saxon date. Probably a chapel but precise purpose unknown as no documentation discovered (S1).
July 1967: `Excavation by vicar and churchwardens of site exposing remaining portion of western side, and have ... followed round the wall, giving a plan now like this' (sketch plan showing circular plan part disturbed by graves, 26 feet in diameter, with entrance (not inset) to W, buttress to N and possible buttress to S. Notes main axis not in line with church (S3).
1981: Inset porch not visible as W end grass covered. Buttresses also not apparent slight depression on S side posssibly marks site of buttress. Some loose flint brick and oolite on structure. Brambles beginning to cover N side (S1).
'In the churchyard the remains of a circular flint building. It has been suggested that this was originally either a bi-apsidal chapel (as at the Saxon Abbey at Winchester) or a Saxon Watch Tower' (S2).
1991: Vestiges remain in graveyard of church which is quite well tended. Inside broken circle of stones there is a derelict sarcophagus.

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <M1> (No record type): SAM file:.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Department of the Environment. Scheduling information.
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner N & Radcliffe E. 1974. The Buildings of England: Suffolk. 2, 342.
  • <M2> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: (S3).
  • <S3> (No record type): West S E, copy of letter to Mr Rigold, July 1967.
  • <S4> Photograph: Air Photographs. NAU, TL 887 587, JFX 13-16 & JFY 1, 20 July 1992.

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Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Jun 26 2009 10:20AM

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