An archaeological watching brief and some excavation at St James Pockthorpe in 1979 established the successive phases in the development of its plan. The earliest church, of the 12th century, consisted of a rectangular nave with a somewhat smaller (shorter and narrower) rectangular chancel to the east. A south porch was subsequently added to the nave. The west tower, with its flanking compartments, came next. Finally, in the 15th century, a south aisle was added which required the destruction of the first porch and led to the building of a new one abutting the tower block.