Record Details

NHER Number:10048
Type of record:Building
Name:St Peter's Church, Forncett

Summary

This medieval church has a round tower and dates to the late 11th or early 12th century. Some of the bricks used in the tower window frames could be Roman. The chancel includes a 13th century door. Most of the rest of the church is 14th century. Inside there is an alabaster tombchest dated 1485. The eastern bell opening is notable for it's uncharacteristic decoration.

Images - none

Documents/files/web pages

Location

Grid Reference:TM 1649 9283
Map Sheet:TM19SE
Parish:FORNCETT ST PETER, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
FORNCETT, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Saxo Norman round tower with double belfry windows (triangular and round headed), circular windows at top and base and possible Roman brick in heads of windows.
(S1) dates tower to 1050 to 1100, source [1] dates it to late 11th century, source [2] to before 1066. Chancel has blocked window on south, cut by a 13th century priest's door. Rest of church Perpendicular, restored 1857. Late 14th century nave arcades with clerestories.
Rood stair, modern font, Jacobean pulpit, restored chancel piscina, ?alabaster tombchest dated 1485. Two ledger stones on tower, one dated 1535, one 1484 (1584?).
For full details see (S2) in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 3 October 1979.

November 2006. Building recording.
The tower of St Peter's church is one of the best known and admired round towered churches in Norfolk. The round western tower is a characteristic of Norfolk medieval churches and its rarity outside East Anglia makes it truly distinctive. The eastern bell opening, circa 1100, is a basic cushion shape with raised ribs. Additional decoration of incised volutes at each corner and a sunken patee formee cross on the outward face. Further leafy decoration emerges from the pronounced necking. The stone is a rough shelly limestone, probably from the Barnack quarries near Stamford. It is unusual to have decorated capitals at bell openings of parish churches at this period. It is of interest that the eastern bell opening was chosen for the decoration, as it is the least visible from the ground.
See (S3), (S4) and (S5) for further information.
J. Allen (NLA), 19 June 2007.
Modified by H. White (NLA), 12 November 2008.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to Post Medieval - 851 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRICK (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • WINDOW (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CAPITAL (Medieval - 1100 AD to 1100 AD)
  • TOMB (Medieval - 1485 AD to 1485 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TM 1692A-C.
---Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
---Serial: Pevsner, N. & Wilson, B.. 1989. The Buildings of England. Norfolk 2: North-West and South..
---Monograph: Cooper, T.. 2001. The journal of William Dowsing: iconoclasm in East Anglia during the English Civil War.. p 111.
---Newspaper Article: 1996. Eastern Daily Press. 10 February.
---Unpublished document: Heywood, S.. S. Heywood Report, Supplement to Principal Report of November 2006, The Church of St Peter, Forncett. Detail of Eastern Bell Opening..
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Late Saxon. Forncett.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. Forncett pays tribute with church memorial bell. 4 February.
<S1>Publication: Taylor, H. M. and Taylor, J. 1965. Anglo-Saxon Architecture.
<S2>Unpublished document: Rose, E. (NAU). 1979. Building Report.
<S3>Digital archive: Heywood, S.. 2006. Photo archive.
<S4>Serial: Heywood, S.. 2006. The Round Tower of the Church of St Peter, Forncett.
<S5>Unpublished document: Heywood, S.. S. Heywood Report, Supplement to Principal Report of November 2006, The Church of St Peter, Forncett. Detail of Eastern Bell Opening..

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