St Botolph, North Cove, Suffolk

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Feature Sets (2)


St Botolph's has a slim W tower of flint and brick, 13thc. in its lower parts with a later knapped flint embattled parapet. The nave and chancel are of flint, with brick buttresses and repairs on the S. The roof is of thatch. The only Romanesque feature is the S nave doorway, now under a 14thc. flint and brick porch. The N doorway and one N window are 13thc. The chancel contains 14thc. wall paintings generally considered among the finest in the county, and showing Passion scenes and a Doom. They were restored in the 1990s, when a good deal of 19thc. overpainting was removed.


N Cove is not recorded in Domesday, but Suckling identified it with 'Hetheburgfeld', which the present author is unable to trace. There was, at any rate, no manor called North Cove, the lordship being later styled Wathes Hall, after Robert de Watheby of Wmoreland who held the estate in the later 12thc. In c.1180 it passed to the fitz Jernegan family by marriage and continued in this line until the 16thc.

Benefice of Worlingham with Barnby and North Cove.


Exterior Features


Nave, S doorway

Round headed, two orders, of clunch.

1st order: Jambs with angle rolls and pseudo-inverted cushion bases carried on chamfered plinths, the shields of the bases defined by incised lines. They have no neckings, nor do the pseudo-cushion capitals, of which only the E has its shield defined by a pair of incised grooves, and a cross scratched on the cone. The imposts are plain and chamfered. The arch is carved with a distinctive form of chevron ornament; basically an angle roll carved with the double cone ornament, in which the curved surface of each cone is articulated with four rolls, like the cones of a scallop capital, and the joints between the small ends of adjacent cones are clasped by a ring of cable.

2nd order: En-delit nook-shafts cut in sections not matching the coursing of the nook, carried on cushion bases with angle tucks, and these on chamfered plinths. The plinths stand on an extra course, indicating that the sill has been lowered, and this is true of the inner order too. Capitals are cushions with shields defined by grooves and a projection on the angle. On the E capital it is a volute, and on the W an irregular boss; perhaps an attempt at nailhead. Neckings are chamfered and imposts plain chamfered as in the first order. The arch is carved with centrifugal chevron lateral to the face, consisting of a fat angle roll with cogwheel edge, and on the face outside it a row of drilled beading and a thin roll. The label is chamfered with a row of heavy nailhead on the chamfer, the edges outlined by thin angle rolls.

h. of opening (ignoring lowering of the sill) 2.03 m
w. of opening 1.02 m



  • T. H. Bryant, County Churches. Suffolk. 2 vols London 1912.
  • H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 244.
  • D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 3 E Suffolk. Cambridge 1992.
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 379.
  • A. Suckling, The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk, I. London 1846, 47-52.
Exterior from SE.
Exterior from N.


Site Location
North Cove
National Grid Reference
TM 462 894 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Suffolk
now: Suffolk
medieval: North Elmham (c.950-1071), Thetford (1071-94), Norwich (from 1094)
now: St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
now: St Botolph
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter