Record Details

NHER Number:10910
Type of record:Monument
Name:St Andrew's Church, Fersfield, Bressingham


A medieval parish church, dating mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries, with 19th century restoration. A remarkable mid 14th century wooden effigy of a knight has survived, thought to be Sir Robert du Bois. The church also contains a memorial to the famous 18th century Norfolk historian, Francis Blomefield, who was rector of Fersfield.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 0656 8282
Map Sheet:TM08SE

Full description

Medieval parish church.
14th to 15th century work, with 19th century restoration.
Small west tower with pyramidal roof.
Memorial to Francis Blomfield, famous Norfolk historian and rector of Fersfield.
See (S1).

Informant [1] notes a bequest for a porch in 1493.

(S2) notes 2 aisles, chancel and small tower.
Foliate cross coffin slab.
Figure of woman in stone about 2.1m long in niche, 2 kneeling figures beside it, defaced.
Mid 14th century wooden figures of a knight, gilded, said to be Sir Robert de Bois who built the tower.
There was a carved and painted ceiling dated 1712, the thatch being removed in that year.
West gallery 1722.
At about that time the chancel was repaired and the wooden image covered with 'blew enamel and gilt'.
The chancel arch was repaired and two bones were found behind it in the wall.

(S2) draws two large arches and a smaller round headed one east of them, between the nave and an aisle.
His exterior drawings show a west porch tower with round headed entrance and a Perp window over, round headed cusped belfry openings, and pinnacles.
The north nave wall had a door and 2 Perpendicular windows to east; the north chancel wall a cusped Y tracery and a Decorated window.
The view of the south side shows an aisle with Decorated or Perpendicular west window, elaborate south porch, top of brick, 2 Perpendicular south nave windows.
Chancel windows are one Y tracery and one straight headed, possibly Decorated.
A separate drawing of a very fine Perpendicular East window to south aisle, 'St Annes Chapel'.
Carved benches mentioned.

In 1708 the bells were sold to raise money to repair the church, see (S3).
E. Rose (NLA), 10 February 2004.

(S4) notes an altar tomb on the south side of the churchyard to Elizabeth Barker who founded a charity school here where children were taught to spin hemp.
E. Rose (NLA), 7 July 2006.

August 2009. Conservation based analysis
The roof was repaired in 1936-39, 1948 and 1960-61. The tower and south porch were repaired in 1948-9. The church was tied with iron straps and bars during the 1930s repairs. An unusual characteristic of the building is the very tall and wide plinths which occur in the north nave wall and the south ailse wall. The interior roof structure of the porch survives.
See (S5) for details
H. White, (NLA), 12 October 2009

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: 1997. Eastern Daily Press. 5 April.
---Photograph: Unknown.
---Photograph: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts University of East Anglia. 1983. Photograph/postcard of Effigy of Robert du Bois Wood, English, c.1335, from the Church of St Andrew, Fersfield, Bressingham. Colour.
---Leaflet: Hunter, D.. 1994. A guide to St Andrew's Church, Fersfield, Bressingham. The Farthing Press.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
<S2>Unpublished document: Martin, T.. c. 1730. Church Notes..
<S3>Article in serial: Rutledge, P.. 2003. The Frere Papers.. The Annual. No 12.
<S4>Publication: Pursehouse, E.. no date. Waveney Valley Studies. p 161.
<S5>Unpublished document: Heywood, S.. 2009. S. Heywood Report. Conservation based analysis of St Andrew's church, Fersfield..

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