Record Details

NHER Number:4126
Type of record:Building
Name:St George's Church, Southacre

Summary

The oldest parts of this small church are the nave and, inside it, the massive font, both of which are Norman. The chancel is 13th century. In about 1300, the north aisle running into the chancel was made into a chapel and the north and south doors added. After alterations in the 14th century, further extensive work took place in the 15th and 16th centuries, during which time the west tower was rebuilt by the Harsick family, whose coat of arms is set over the elegant west door. Over the same period, the north porch was added, the nave and chancel heightened and new windows and roofs put in place. Unusually, the church seems largely to have escaped restoration in the 19th century. Inside there is far too much of interest to document in a summary. However a selected few items may whet the appetite. The tower screen was made up in the 19th century from pieces of the ornate 14th century rood screen. The Norman font has a restored 16th century cover with an inscription commemorating Geoffrey Baker, a Rector, who died in 1534. There are a number of interesting coffin slabs, including in the aisle a tomb with the figure of a Crusader Knight on it, believed to be of Sir Eudo Harsick, a 12th century crusader There is an exceptionally fine life-size brass of 1384 to Sir John Harsick and his wife who are portrayed holding hands, a brass to Thomas Leman of 1534 and scanty remains of an armorial brass of 1454 to Sir Roger Harsick. In the chancel is a low tomb recess, in which lies a strange, defaced and decayed wooden effigy, probably a 14th century member of the Harsick family. In the chapel is a magnificent alabaster and marble monument of 1623 to Sir Edward Barkham and his wife. Their recumbent figures lie on the tomb. He holds a book and is wearing over his armour the fur lined robe and chain of office as Lord Mayor of London. On either side of a gruesome panel of broken skulls and bones are the kneeling figures of two sons and three daughters. Fine contemporary iron railings block off the chapel from the aisle. In the churchyard are the remains of a medieval stone cross, consisting of the base of an octagonal shaft on an ornate but weathered base.

Images

  • A medieval tomb in St George's Church, Southacre.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:TF 8100 1432
Map Sheet:TF81SW
Parish:SOUTHACRE, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

June 1960. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description:
Parish church. Medieval and later. Flint with ashlar and some brick dressings. Pantile roofs. West tower; nave with north aisle and north porch; chancel with continuation of north aisle forming a funerary chapel. 15th century west tower with diagonal buttresses. Large 3-light panel-traceried west window with a 4-centred doorway below. Spandrels with blind tracery and a cusped hood mould. Harsyke family heraldic shields above doorway. 2-light cusped Y-traceried bell openings with 4-centred heads. Crenellated parapet. Wave- moulded nave south doorway. A 2-light window above in Decorated style with soufflet beneath a 4-centred arch. 2 panel-traceried 3-light windows beneath 4-centred arches. 2 2-light and one 3-light windows beneath flat heads with rectangular hood moulds. North aisle with 2 2-light and one 3-light windows beneath flat heads with rectangular hood moulds. 14th century doorway of 2 wave- moulded orders beneath a hood mould with carved head label stops. 4-centred double-ogee mouldedporch entrance arch with aniche to side and an ogee headed niche above. Single light cusped side windows. Priest's doorway hollow- chamfered with a hood mould. East and west aisle windows each of 3 cusped lights beneath segmental arches. 3 3-light uncusped clearstorey windows. Chancel with a fine late-Medieval east window of 4 Y-traceried lights beneath a very shallow 4-centred arch. 2 2-light south windows - flat headed to west, with soufflet beneath a 4-centred arch to each.
Interior. 3-bay main arcade with 2 14th century or 15th century bays on octagonal pier and polygonal responds supporting arches of 2 chamfered orders. 14th century westernmost bay of 2 wave moulded orders on filletted semicircular responds. Identical arch between chancel and north aisle. Tall tower arch of 4 chamfered orders without responds. Chancel arch of 2 hollow chamfered orders on polygonal responds. Restored hammerbeam nave roof with moulded principals and purlins and carved bosses. 15th century arch-braced aisle roof with embattled wall plate. Heavily restored arch-braced chancel roof. Chancel piscina with credence shelf beneath a cusped arch. 12th century font consisting of 3 shafts around a circular central pier supporting cushion capitals emerging from a square section bowl. Very tall 15th century font cover mostly a 20th century replica. 5 bays of a former chancel screen re-set beneath tower arch. Extremely eleaborate flamboyant tracery with reticulated motifs, fleurons and ogee arches with differing leaf carvings to each bay and turned shafts. Late-Medieval benches with embattled backs poppy head ends and 8 damaged carved arm rests representing lions. 3 late-Medieval brasses, of particular note in north chapel representing Sir John Harskye and his wife Katherine. In north aisle effigy of an unknown knight with crossed legs his feet resting on a lion. 17th century marble and alabaster monument to Sir Edward Barkham and his wife of exceptional quality with 2 full size effigies on a sarcophagus with Tuscan columns and weepers. Overmantel with heraldic aedicule flanked by a pair of carved statues representing Victory and Death. Winged hourglass to extremities. 13th century and 14th century glass fragments in north chapel. The chapel is divided from the north aisle by fine 17th century wrought iron railings.
Information from (S1).

Church with Norman font and probably the nave. Extensions notably in 1300 and perhaps earlier, altered 14th century, greatly altered 15th to 16th century. Very fine and important collection of brasses and monuments. Report (S2) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 9 September 1991.

Remains of cross approximately 20metres north
October 1985. Listing, Grade II.
Listing Description:
Cross shaft and base. Probably 14th century. Limestone. Octagonal shaft with alternating flat and concave sides. Crocket stops. Set onto trough-like base with remains of corner spurs.
Information from (S1).

January 1997. Cross in churchyard scheduled
Scheduling description:
The monument includes the lower part of a medieval churchyard cross situated in the churchyard of St George's church, South Acre, c.20m south of the church and c.5m north west of the churchyard gate. The cross, which is also Listed Grade II and is thought to be of 14th or 15th century date, is of limestone and is constructed in two parts. At the base is a rectangular socket stone measuring c.0.74m east-west by c.0.78m north-south with spurs at the upper angles, and this is hollowed on the upper surface to a depth of c.3cm. The upper part of the shaft and head are missing. The socket stone is partly buried and stands c.0.3m above the present ground surface, and the shaft rises to a height of c.0.85m above this, the overall height being c.1.15m.
Information from (S3).

Press cutting (S5), works specification (S6) and photographs (S7) in file.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CROSS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOD SCREEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL PAINTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • Xtile pavement (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Cozens-Hardy B. 1934. Norfolk Crosses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXV Pt II pp 297-336. p 325; Pl 325.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 81 SW 27 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 659-660.
---Leaflet: South Acre, Church of St. George..
---Publication: Nar valley group of parishes. 2007. Voices of the Nar - celebrating a decade in the life of the Nar valley group of parishes - St George's Church, Southacre.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Southacre.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1903. Hundred of South Greenhoe. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol XII. pp 227-236.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entries 1077275, 1306357 and 1306361.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. (NLA). 1991. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S3>Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF187.
<S4>Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF187.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1980. Screen. 30 May.
<S6>Unpublished Document: Birdsall & Walsh, Architects. 1990. South Acre: Norfolk. A Specification for the so-called Phase II. October.
<S7>Photograph: PZ 1-4.

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