St Michael (Miles) Coslany


The church is noted for its remarkable display of flushworkpatterns made with white stone against black flint. That on the south aisle is original fifteenth century work; that on the chancel is a remarkably good copy of 1884. The east window dates from this restoration, too.

The tower is tall, and has been heightened, as the blocked lower belfry windows show. The parapet has shields in lozenges. The mediæval west doors are traceried and have angels in the spandrels.

The south aisle (and demolished porch) were added in 1500, by Alderman Gregory Clark; the chapel at its east end was added around the same time by Robert Thorpe, as his chantry chapel. The north aisle was built by Alderman William Ramsey in 1502-04.

The nave was rebuilt in the early sixteenth century, by the Stalon brothers, who were both Sheriffs. Unusually, there is no clerestorey – one would  have added further light.



The huge Perpendicular windows are also a feature of the building.

The south porch was demolished in 1747, as the abrupt ending of the south aisle and mean appearance of the south door bear witness.

The whole building was thoroughly restored in 1883-4. The chancel was rebuilt and refaced, and a new east window inserted – the old one had been blocked up. At this time, the coloured shields were placed on the corbels, each bearing the attributed coat-of-arms of a saint.




Despite its piecemeal development, the interior of St Miles is an impressive space. It would have been divided up by screens in the Middle Ages: the Rood screen across the chancel, and parclose screens cutting off the chapels.

The arcade pillars are typical late Perpendicular in style.

The font is a simple fourteenth-century design.

There are several monuments. One, defaced, in the north chancel aisle, is probably that of William Ramsey, its builder.

The mediæval furnishings were swept away in the sixteenth century.

In 1741, the chancel was raised by three steps, and paved in white Portland stone ‘with black marble dotts at the corners’ – this was later relaid outside the west door, where it still is. Also at this time, a huge altar-piece was erected (which caused the east window to be blocked). It was eighteen feet high, ‘divided into five parts … and curiously painted’. It was removed in the restoration of 1883, and may be the one now in St John Maddermarket. Its paintings are in Trowse Church.

This is one of the five towers of Norwich where bells are still rung, and the tower holds eight of them

Late twentieth century – the major alteration was the erection the gallery and enclosed spaced under it at the west end, and the removal of all surviving fittings.


There are many interesting monuments in the church.The most impressive is to the notable judge Edmund Hooke. For a full writeup on the learned gentleman, and much more information on this intricate monument click here.

Stained Glass
To see magnified pictures and information on all the stained glass in this and other churches across Norfolk visit


Churches managed by NHCT are highlighted in in bold below. Click to visit a church.
All Saints Westlegate St. George Tombland St. Julian St. Michael at Plea
St. Andrew St. Giles St. Lawrence St. Peter Hungate
St. Augustine St. Gregory St. Margaret St. Peter Mancroft
St. Benedict St. Helen St. Martin at Oak St. Peter Parmentergate
St. Clement St. James Pockthorpe St. Martin at Palace Plain St. Saviour
St. Edmund Fishergate St. John de Sepulchre St. Mary Coslany St. Simon & St. Jude
St. Etheldreda St. John Maddermarket St. Mary the Less St. Stephen
St. George Colegate St. John Timberhill St. Michael(Miles) Coslany St. Swithin