Record Details

NHER Number:4225
Type of record:Building
Name:St Peter's Church, Upwell

Summary

St Peter’s Church is largely of the Perpendicular style, and sits on the bank of the River Nene that winds between the straggling houses of the town. Constructed of Barnack stone and ragstone, the church has a soft and weathered feel, and the embattled walls and octagonal stage tower are unusual features in Norfolk.

The previous 13th century church, to which the tower was originally attached, actually sat on ground occupied by the current north aisle. The present nave was began adjacent in 1310, the old church demolished and redeveloped into the north aisle by the 1460s, at the height of Upwell’s mercantile prosperity. Restoration during the Victorian period was inevitable, leaving a largely 19th century interior, although Georgian galleries in the north aisle and west end of the nave survive, as does the gorgeous angel roof.

The church also contains one of the largest pulpits in Norfolk, as well as an octagonal Perpendicular style font and a 14th century East Anglian lectern. St Peter’s also has a stunning number of monuments; inside are to early 15th century brasses of priests, as well as a touching brass inscribed ‘in memory of sixty seven individuals of various age and either sex who in the short period from June 21st to August 13th 1832 died in this rectory of Asiatic Cholera, a frightful and previously unknown disease in this country - Reader, why hast thou been spared? To what purpose hast thou been left until now?’

Outside in the churchyard are an almost intimidating number of 18th century headstones and monuments, of which no less than fifty-eight are listed by English Heritage.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 50576 02773
Map Sheet:TF50SW
Parish:UPWELL, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Fragment of Roman pavement reset in churchyard. Church contains much conglomerate. Present building is large, elaborate and magnificent. 13th century north tower, originally at west end. West wall of nave 14th century when nave moved to south of tower. Rest of nave, aisles, chancel and top of tower 15th to 16th century with remarkable roofs. Restoration in circa 1840s, unusually early interest; thatch hooks remain.
Exceptional churchyard memorials; site of Quaker chapel also.
See full report (S1) in secondary file.
Compiled by E. Rose (NLA), 23 January 2001.

This is one of the sixty five Norfolk churches selected for (S2).
D. Gurney (NLA), 17 February 2006.

Fifty-eight of the churchyard memorials are listed by English Heritage.

Monument Types

  • SUNDIAL (Unknown date)
  • TESSELLATED FLOOR (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • NONCONFORMIST CHAPEL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRASS (Medieval to Modern - 1400 AD to 2050 AD)
  • TOMBSTONE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1738 AD to 2050 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF5002 B,C.
---Leaflet: 1999. Welcome to St Peter's Church, Upwell. A Brief Guide to its History and Architecture..
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Unpublished document: Rose, E. (NLA). 2001. Building Report..
<S2>Monograph: Jenkins, S.. 2000. England's Thousand Best Churches..

Related records - none

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