Record Details

NHER Number:3130
Type of record:Building
Name:St Andrew's Church, Thurning


St Andrew's Church dates largely to around 1300. The north aisle has Y-tracery and the west tower has a cusped lancet to the west and cusped Y-travery bell openings. The nave south windows are in an early reticulated Decorated style. Outside, the ruins of a long chancel remain, and the Decorated style east window is thought to have derived from this.

There is a good Perpendicular style east window in the north aisle, and the arcade is Perpendicular style but much renewed. The nave roof dates to 1825, and it is evident that the old roof had a much steeper pitch. Inside, there are splendid dark wood box pews, communion rail and sanctuary panelling, originally made by Burrough in 1742 for Corpus Christi College chapel.


  • St Andrew's Church in Thurning  © Norfolk County Council
  • The east end of St Andrew's Church in Thurning  © Norfolk County Council
  • The ruined chancel at St Andrew's Church in Thurning  © Norfolk County Council
  • The ruined chancel at St Andrew's Church in Thurning  © Norfolk County Council
  • St Andrew's Church in Thurning  © Norfolk County Council
  • The north wall of the nave at St Andrew's Church in Thurning  © Norfolk County Council
  • Fragments of flushwork panels found in St Andrew's Church in Thurning  © Norfolk County Council
  • The interior of St Andrew's Church in Thurning  © Norfolk County Council


Grid Reference:TG 0805 2943
Map Sheet:TG02NE

Full description

Basically around 1300.
North aisle has Y-tracery west window. West tower has cusped lancet to west and cusped Y-tracery bell openings; one gargoyle. Nave south windows early reticulated Decorated style. Long chancelcollapsed in 17th century: ruins of north wall remain, south wall was used to build new east wall in which were reset Decorated style window (like south windows) and priest's door with mass dial. Nave north door (blocked) is similar to this with one head stop. Good Perpendicular style east window to north aisle; arcade Perpendicular style but much renewed - evidently an insertion. Two north windows are early 19th century additions. South porch has brick quoins above as if an upper storey has been removed; lower windows blocked. Nave roof of 1825, slate, king post and strut; old roof had much steeper pitch. Box pews, communion rail and sanctuary panelling made by Burrough in 1742, formerly in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, demolished (chapel) in 1823. Panelling added to existing pulpit and tester to form a three-decker. One box pew for each local farm - in aisle and along west wall. Otherwise benches; hat pegs on south wall because men sat on south and women on north. 18th century monuments. Good 17th - 18th century floor tombs. Paten, George II, given 1825; flagon given 1863. Clock in tower 1857. By south churchyard gate is a small stable for worshipper's horses.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU), 25 January 1978.

(S1) notes that the box pews in the north aisle face south but the loose benches face east (the layout of 1825 has been slightly altered). The altar is railed on the three sides.
E. Rose (NLA), 24 May 2002.

Late medieval/post medieval bell frame and post medieval bell.
See (S2) and (S3) in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 18 March 2004.

Two Corinthian columns from Corpus were later taken on to the Hall (NHER 3125).
E. Rose (NLA), 11 October 2005.

This is one of the sixty five Norfolk churches selected for (S4).
D. Gurney (NLA), 17 February 2006.

1978 description above is basically correct but the south and east windows are probably 40 years later than the work of around 1300. The Perpendicular style arcade may have been entirely reconstructed in 1825 when the woodwork was inserted. During repairs in 2006, many fragments of reused stone were found in the aisle floor, much of which may have been brought from Cambridge.
(S5) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 6 March 2006.

There are panels of flushwork beneath the aisles, used as foundations for the fantastic box pews. S. Heywood (Norfolk County Council) thinks they may be flushwork parapets which may have come from the chancel. The extant tower does have flushwork parapets. Recommendation made that the panels stay with the church and be put back under the floors with a trapdoor for access to public. (S6).
See (S7).
J. Allen (NLA), 17 May 2006.

Removal for resoration of the important internal woodwork of the 18th century, brought from the chapel of Corpus Christi College Cambridge in 1825, produced large quantities of reused stone used as supports; some of medieval date perhaps from the demolished chancel but most of an unusual ealry post-medieval Gothick form, which may also have come from Cambridge.
See (S8) and (S9).
D. Holburn (HES), 21 September 2011.

Monument Types

  • BELL FRAME (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • CHURCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD? to 2100 AD)
  • STABLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Associated Finds

  • BELL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1153202.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 695-696.
---Photograph: Rose, E. (NLA). 2006. LQS. 30-36.
---Leaflet: 1980. Thurning..
---Leaflet: St Andrew's Church, Thurning..
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Monograph: Yates, N.. 2000. Buildings, Faith and Worship: the liturgical arrangement of Anglican Churches 1600-1900.. p 202.
<S2>Photograph: Cattermole, P.. 2004. [unknown].
<S3>Unpublished Document: Cattermole, P.. 2004. Letter. 11 March.
<S4>Publication: Jenkins, S. 2000. England's Thousand Best Churches.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 2006. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S6>*Verbal Communication: Heywood, S. 2006. [unknown]. 12 May.
<S7>*Digital Archive: Heywood, S. 2006. Thurning church and fragments of flushwork parapets.
<S8>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 2007. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2006. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt II pp 261-273. p 272.
<S9>Unpublished Document: 2012. DAC Summer Tour Programme 2012: Salle; SS Peter and Paul, Reepham; St Mary, Whitwell; St Michael and All Angels, Wood Dalling; St Andrew, Thurning; St Andrew, Guestwick; St Peter.

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