Record Details

NHER Number:3889
Type of record:Building
Name:All Saints' Church, Westacre

Summary

The entire church is of 1638, constructed by Sir Edward Barkham to commemorate his first election as Lord Mayor of London in 1621 and to establish his credentials by using a debased Gothic style along with more up to date Classical features. Only the roofs and one internal door are 19th century alterations. It is an outstandingly important building, certainly unique in Norfolk, and contains an important collection of 19th century monuments, and 17th century woodwork.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 7807 1523
Map Sheet:TF71NE
Parish:WESTACRE, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

1960. Listed Grade I.
Parish church with 14th, 15th, 17th and 19th restorations. Formerly a dependancy of West Acre Priory, restored by Sir Edward Barkham, Lord of the Manor from C 1600 and Lord Mayor of London 1621, c.1638. An example of a Gothic survival or early Gothic Revival restoration. Knapped flint with ashlar dressings, slate roofs. 3 stage west tower has one 2-light 'Y' tracery C17 west window with drip mould head and flush keyed -arch above. Second stage has 4 rectangular lancet slits, Barkham coat of arms with cartouche on west face. Bell stage has 4 C17 pointed traceryless windows. Stone plinth, 2 ashlar faced west angle buttresses with set offs, bell stage string course, ashlar battle- ment parapets. Clock, 1907 with letters of Christ's Command "Watch and Pray" in place of numerals. 3 bay battlemented nave has 2 north and 2 south 4-light windows with distinctive C17 Gothic tracery of Perpendicular inspiration under drip mould heads and flush keyed keystone arches. South side has 4 and north 3 ashlared set off buttresses. Ashlar parapet with coat of arms on south. North porch has C17 classical doorcase with chamfered jambs. Capitals and moulded arch with central keystone with dears head. Flush keyed arch above. Porch interior has re-set C13 stone stead voussoir figure. South nave door has simple classical arched embrassure with keystone head under drip mould. Inscription EW 1538, presumably for 1638, above. 2 bay chancel south side has 2 'Y' tracery cusped light windows set under C17 round arch heads. South priest's door, 2 simple classical arches with keystone and drip mould, inscription above 1638 IFC. Battlemented parapet with coat of arms, one set off angle buttress. 4-light east window, tracery perhaps of c.1900 of Perpendicular inspiration, gable north transept vestry with 3-light Perpendicular style tracery, battlements and set off buttresses. Interior: C14 chancel arch, perhaps c.1638 re-cut capitals. Splayed stone soffits to nave windows dying into embrasure. Primitive tower arch perhaps c.1638 with stop angles and crude chamferings.
H. White, (NLA), 16 July 2009

14th century tower and chancel, 15th century nave, alterations 1638.
For full details see (S1), photos and press cuttings in file.
E. Rose (NAU) 28 June 1982.

1993.
Interior: Ten commandments, Lord's prayer and the Creed are displayed on two marble wall plaques. Hatchment on the north wall for Phillip Hamond of High House, West Acre, who dies in 1824. The east window was glazed by Burlison and Grylls in 1907 in memory of four Hamond brothers. The marble monuments are an important feature. The largest is for Anthony Hamond, who died in 1822, and features a draped Grecian sarcophagus beaing his arms and above it an angel pointing Heavenwards. The sculptor was Joseph Threakston (1772-1842). The monument on the east wall depicts a mother weeping over her daughter's sarcophagus, and is for Frances Hamond, d.1820. The monument on the north wall is for William Browne, rector of Bagthorpe, and is of black and white marble. The oak panelling on the east wall is said to be made from a tree planted by Elizabeth I in Compton park. The carvings to the left and right represent Liberty and Justice.There are carved oak panels in the raredos and in front of the altar which date from the 15th century. They were bought from Italy and incorporated into a bedstead. They were saved from being sold at auction and were incorporated into the church. Two candle stands in the sanctuary were made from the bedposts.
The Gatehouse adjoins the churchyard and dates from the fourteenth century. It has a lancet window for the upper chamber with a double hollow chamfered arch to the main doorway. Internally there is some impressive vaulting.
See (S2) for further details
H. White, (NLA), 16 July 2009

2005.
Second examination in light of recent knowledge shows that the entire church is of 1638, constructed by Sir Edward Barkham to commemorate his first election as Lord Mayor of London in 1621 and to establish his credentials by using a debased Gothic style along with more up to date Classical features. Only the roofs and one internal door are 19th century alterations. Outstandingly important building unique in Norfolk.
Contains an important collection of 19th century monuments, and 17th century woodwork (which however does not originate here). Bellframe believed to be a seventeenth-century reconstruction from old fragments
see (S3) in file.
See also (S5).
E. Rose (NLA) 27 October 2005.
Updated by H. White, (NLA), 16 July 2009

July 2009.
Clock face is of 1907. An extremely interesting stone panel in the north porch depicts a seated figure of the 13th century, apparently from the voussoirs of an arch. This piece probably comes from West Acre priory.
See (S4) for further details
H. White, (NLA), 19 August 2009

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Post Medieval to Modern - 1638 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds

  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLAGON (Post Medieval to Unknown - 1674 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF7815M-R.
---Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
---Graphic material: Various. Various. Architectural plans..
---Serial: Pevsner, N.. Pevsner.
---Leaflet: Westacre, Church of All Saints..
---Publication: Nar valley group of parishes. 2007. Voices of the Nar - celebrating a decade in the life of the Nar valley group of parishes - All Saints' Church, Westacre.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Photograph: CBF 14.
<S1>Unpublished document: Rose, E.. 1982. Building Report..
<S2>Unpublished document: Butler-Stoney, R.. 1993. The Church of All Saints, West Acre.
<S3>Unpublished document: Rose, E. (NLA). 2005. Building Report..
<S4>Unpublished document: Diocese of Norwich. 2009. Norwich DAC summer outing 2009. 15th July.
<S5>Article in serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2006. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2005. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 124-136. p 135.

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