Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST LAWRENCE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

King's Lynn and West Norfolk (District Authority)
Castle Rising
National Grid Reference:
TF 66638 24866


TF 62 SE 6/4

CASTLE RISING Church of St. Laurence



Parish church C12, restored by A. Salvin c1849 at expense of Fulke Greville Howard d.1846, additions of 1883 at expense of Mary Howard. Carstone and Sandringham sandstone with dressings of Barnack limestone, very large undressed blocks of Sandringham sandstone at base of nave, plain tiles to roof. Nave, central tower, chancel, south porch and south transept. West facade: coursed carstone and sandstone, 2 limestone string courses, steep pitched gable rebuilt mid C19 in Sandringham sandstone; central semi- circular headed west doorway with two shafts to each side renewed, carved capitals; 2 orders of Romanesque decoration to arch above capitals; blank arcade above with semi-circular headed window in centre rising above arcade and richly decorated with 3 orders, 1st order with spiral shafts having grotesque capitals with arch above of large dogstooth lozenges, 2nd continuous order of small dogstooth lozenges, inner order with decorated shafts having grotesque capitals and zig-zag arch above; double arcade either side of 3 outer intersecting semi-circular headed arches with lozenge decoration, 3 smaller inner semi-circular headed arches with triangular ornament, treble shafts with grotesque capitals; gable above rebuilt c1846 with arcades of 2 blank arches either side of central light, but outer shafts shown on drawing by J.S. Cotman of 1813; central oculus with plain stone surround c1846. South nave with 6 high semi-circular headed lights of c1846, 2 to west of porch; small lean-to of 1883 to east replacing earlier structure. South porch in greensand c1883 with Romanesque style details; semi-circular south doorway in yellow limestone, single shafts renewed, single order above of lozenges. South transept of 1883 in Early English style mainly in sandstone: angle buttresses, 3-light south window, 2 lancets to east return, single lancet to west. North facade with varied treatment of carstone and sandstone, some roughly coursed herringbone work in carstone; north semi-circular headed doorway with renewed shafts having zig-zag decoration. Square central tower, raised late C19 by one stage in limestone ashlar having Romanesque style blank intersecting arcade, C19 saddle roof to match that of forebuilding of castle (q.v. 6/1), shallow stair turrets to south-west and north-west, small bullseye to right of south and east face from middle tower passage, now across gable line of former steeper attached roofs, large semi-circular headed opening partially obscured by roof of south transept. Chancel: limestone pilaster strips to north and south and at angles, cornice of figure corbels, south wall with 2 C12 semi-circular limestone arch heads with indented decoration, both blocked, one behind pilaster strip; 2 C19 lancets to south chancel, one C19 lancet to north; 3 C13 lancets to east with shafts and figure stops, string course with indentations as south chancel blocked openings. Interior: central tower with openings to nave, chancel and south transept. Semi-circular headed Romanesque arch to nave having two orders of zig-zag decoration with roll mouldings, traces of red pigment, 2 shafts to each jamb, those to south with cushion capitals, those to north with interlacing foliage to capitals, remnants of lettering painted on soffit; arch to tower from nave with plain roll mouldings; altar recesses either side to nave with renewed slabs, that to north under semi-circular headed recess having detached column at angle with nave and remnants of painting to jamb, recess to south with pointed C13 arch having nail head moulding and slender shafts with stiff-leaf capitals, that to left detached, right jamb of recess with squint to former chapel, now link of 1883 to south transept. Arcade of 3 Romanesque arches with zig-zag mouldings above arch to nave from tower passage. Early Transitional pointed arch to chancel, two orders of zig-zag mouldings to tower, 2 plain roll moulded orders to chancel, each rising from shaft with cushion capitals at angles of stepped jambs; deeply moulded C13 arch, part renewed, to south transept from tower, of 5 orders with slender shafts; arch to north obscured by organ, small doorway to tower to left; vault to tower with ribs of zig-zag moulding springing from shafts with cushion capitals at angles; arcade of 2 arches to south broken by insertion of C13 arch, passageway within tower below vault having single semi-circular headed openings from north, west and east and double opening from south part blocked by C13 arch below, a taller opening above is part blocked by gable of 1883 south transept. Chancel: Three C13 lancets to east each with 3 orders of nail head decoration above slender shafts with stiff-leaf capitals, outer shafts renewed; C14 banner stave locker to left with crocketted and cusped ogee head to niche; rest of chancel in C13 style restored from ruinous state in C19: blank arcade to reredos and east wall with black marble shafts and nail head mouldings as east lancets, arcade to piscina and 3 step sedilia to south in plain C13 style, piscina to north with nail head mouldings. 2-tier arch-braced roof. South transept of 1883 in C13 style, the previous transept having long since been lost, stiff-leaf capitals to west lancet. Nave: tall pitched roof of c1849; pointed arch to south to former chapel, now link to transept; semi-circular headed blocked archway to north; north doorway almost opposing that to south; west wall with high central window having double splay, to left and right but lower large blank openings with semi-circular heads and side shafts with cushion capitals; above central window an oculus of c.1849 within a semi-circular headed rear arch with side shafts and with dropped semi-circular sill. C11 font at nave crossing probably from earlier church now within ramparts of the castle (q.v. 6/1), square with plait rim and figure heads at angles, west and south face decorated, that to south with 3 cats (St. Felix, died 648, by one tradition is said to have started his mission to East Anglia c630 at Babingley 1.5km to north).

Listing NGR: TF6663824866


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 17 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/01876/04
Rights: Copyright IoE Graham Brown. Source Historic England Archive
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