St. Peter & Paul

The church of St. Peter & Paul was built in approx. 1345. The porch dates from the Perpendicular period (15th century). The doorway has a rolled mould with head stops typical of that time. Above the entrance is a fine carving of a Norman Head with a beard and moustache, wearing chain mail headdress. Note these features as you walk round the outside of the church: first there is a two light perpendicular window in the nave, followed by a South Transept. The transept window is a very fine four light perpendicular window with a centre transome. It has excellent Victorian stained glass, dated 1858.

 

It has a fourteenth century priest ‘door’ and a pair of windows of the same date; this is the “decorated period”, which is earlier than the nave windows. At the east end is a three light perpendicular window.
On the north side may be found the position of the rood staircase, where bricks show in the wall. The north side of the nave has two windows of differing dates: the eastern one is later in date because it has a less pointed arch.

 

There was a north doorway, now bricked up, next to the organ, which was installed in the 1970′s and came from a chapel in South Creake.
The west tower is of the early Perpendicular period. It has diagonal buttresses reaching to the top stage and a turret staircase very neatly fitted into the buttress. The tower is surmounted by low battlements with flushwork decoration of a later date.
There are gargoyles on the north and south sides. The west window is another two – light perpendicular window with a horizontal embattled transome. The belfry contains three bells:

 

  1. “John Draper made mee 1633.”
  2. “Ave: Maria: Gracia: Plena: Don.”
  3. “Johannes de Gudding fecit meBells.”

 

Two and three were cast in King’s Lynn in the mid fourteenth century and may have been brought here from Wendling Abbey when that house was closed in the sixteenth century.

 

The interior of the church.
The screen was removed in 1979 owing to severe woodworm. Notice that the roof apex is not central with the chancel arch.
The choir seats have some very old poppy heads at each end, probably about fifteenth century. There is an open piscina with flower drain, but no covering, and it has a plain sedilia adjacent. The terazzo marble floor and reredos in the sanctuary is a special feature.In the north wall is a cavity which possibly could have been used as an Easter Sepulchre.A brass at the east end of the nave marks the grave of Henry de Wendling who died in 1620. The nave roof has carvings on the base of the corbels worth noting.

 

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this church is the font; it was made by a local craftsman which is unusual because most fonts are made at the quarry site to save the cost of transporting an un-necessary weight of stone. This one has received the attention of vandals, who removed the heads of all the figures and the base. The eight sides depict the seven sacraments as follows:

 

East – Matrimony, SE – Extreme Unction, South – Baptism of Christ, SW – Baptism, West – Confirmation, NW – Penance, North – Mass, NE – Ordination. There is a large chest made from some ancient carved pews, and a Jacobean cupboard is used for storing the hymn books. The chalice and paten were made in Norwich in 1567 by Peter Peteregs.  There is a nice quatrefoil arch at the entrance to the turret stairs.


 

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