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

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

Breckland (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TM 04886 95393



11/1 Church of St Mary (formerly listed as Church of 16.7.58 the Assumption)


Parish Church. Norman cruciform church, the chancel demolished 1541. Central tower Cll in lower stages, early C13 upper. South transept c.1290's, north transept mid C14, nave and aisles probably mid C14, north porch late C14, but completed in C15. EXTERIOR : Flint with ashlar dressings. Arched west door with hollow, roll and keel mouldings below string course. 5-light'window above in two identical intersecting 3-light forms of petal tracery. Moulded jambs and voussoirs. 2 stepped buttresses and angle buttresses define aisles which have one 2-light ogeed window with 2 reticulations within larger unit. South aisle has plinth with knapped flint panels. Buttresses divide aisle into 5 bays each containing one 3-light petal tracery window above string course. Second window bay blocked to give access to single storey 1950 flint vestry. Aisle and clerestory parapeted with string course. Further string course at springing of window heads rises to form hoods. 4 windows to clerestory each 3-light with super mullions below hood moulds. South transept south window 3-light mouchette. Diagonal buttresses and shouldered parapet. To east roof line of south chancel aisle remains. This wall much rebuilt with C16 4-light Perpendicular window. Large diagonal buttress to south-east of tower C16. Blocked semi-circular roll moulded arch to tower with C19 3- light petal window. Remains of crossing piers with imposts and C11 water- leaf capitals north and south. 3 C19 round-headed lights above. Double string course separates C13 belfry from earlier courses. 2-light plate tracery belfry windows with punched quatrefoil in head. Crenellated parapet. North aisle east : flint plinth on base course with knapped panels. String course below 3-light petal window, renewed. Hood becomes string course. Parapet rebuilt in brick. Diagonal north buttresses. High flint base course continues through transept and north nave aisle as south aisle. 3-light petal window in transept with continuous hood and shouldered parapet as south transept. North aisle with 3 3-light petal windows and details as south. In second bay a 2 storeyed porch of knapped flint : diagonal buttresses with 2 crenellated set-offs and 2 string courses. Entrance arch of 2 orders double wave mouldings separated by fleuron frieze. Capitals with head carving and hood above on head stops in squared panel. Flushwork panels above alternate with angels and heraldic shields. 2-light panel tracery window lights parvise. One ogee statuary niche to left, right and above. Plain gabled parapet. External stair to west with brick quoins and external door. Inner north door with mid C14 mouldings. Porch has tierceron star vault with bosses. INTERIOR : 5 bay arcade of elongated (north-south) lozenge piers with rolls and fillets on high polygonal bases. Moulded. capitals below arches of 2 sunk waves. Wall arches to aisles on engaged columns with bases and capitals. Clerestory windows in spandrels of arcade arches. Nave roof late C15 : wall plate with diamond studs; wall posts drop to carved corbels and support tie beams on arched braces with traceried spandrels. Ridge piece, purlins and common rafters all moulded. Similar, but simpler, aisle roofs. C11 crossing piers and arches intact, those to east incorporated in C16 wall : Semi-circular arches on shafted piers with simple waterleaf capitals below stylised scallop. Rood screen, c.1475, of 10 bays each side of central opening extending across nave and aisles. Arched aisle openings. Dado panelled with blind ogee lights. Main lower arches and sub-cusped below coving to west. Moulded and painted muntins. Coving has tierceron net vault behind arched drop pendants. Part of similar coving survives to east. Plain cornice in form of parapet below rood beam painted with shields of English dioceses in 1610. Much C15 painting survives, figural and decorative. Early C18 pulpit comprising hexagonal drum with raised and fielded panels to each facet, all with foliate borders. One or two putti heads carved below moulded top rail are also in foliate surround. Contemporary moulded stem and plinth. Stairs with iron twist balusters, moulded hand rail and carved tread ends. Eagle lectern and steps 1816 of cast iron. Steps have handrails resting on snakes and terminating in palm leaves. Mural painting over chancel arch in oil of c.1500. Annunciation above string course, horizontal bar of Cross with foliate ends surrounded by figures of Moses, David, Jeremiah, angels and others. Composition interrupted by 2 Norman windows opening into tower. Each has engaged columns below round arches with chevron and dog tooth moulding. Fragment of painting of St. Christopher over south door also c.1500. Oak door to stairs leading to Parvise early C15 : depressed segmental arch with tracery carving and many orders of mouldings. 2 C15 misericord in south aisle stalls. Some C14 stained glass in west window.

Listing NGR: TM0488695393


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: 01 Mar 2007
Reference: IOE01/16235/22
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Kenneth D'Maurney-Gibbons. Source Historic England Archive
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