Record Details

NHER Number:3774
Type of record:Building
Name:St Cecilia's Church, West Bilney


A medieval parish church, which contains a substantial amount of early building material, suggesting that a Late Saxon church stood on this site. The present building has a Norman nave, and a 15th century west tower. The tower has now been restored, after being threatened with demolition in 1990.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 7166 1527
Map Sheet:TF71NW

Full description

August 1960. Listed, Grade II*.
Listing Description:
Redundant parish church; C14. Restored 1881. Flint and carstone, stone dressings, pantiles. West tower, nave; chancel lost. 3 stage west tower mainly of small flints and carstone, diagonal buttresses, limestone plinth; embattled parapet, part lost to north, having flint panels, gargoyles to west and east, coped asbestos roof behind parapet. 2-light Perpendicular west window with panel tracery; 2nd stage with small trefoil headed light, small lancets to north and south faces; 3rd stage with 2-light bell openings with eyelet under 4-centred arch. Tower clasped by nave at east angles. South nave, mainly carstone, some galleted carstone, some iron conglomerate, 2 buttresses; south doorway with continuous moulding; south door dated 1866. One opening with Y tracery under 4-centred arch and hoodmould. End 2.5 metres of dressed limestone and galleted carstone, set back c0.08m from facade from c.1.5m above ground and upwards; brick quoins to angle to left. East window as to south nave possibly reset, all window openings probably renewed. East gable set back c.0.08m above eaves level. North nave with 2 buttresses and 2 openings as to south, that to right with grotesque figure stops and carstone rubble infill to facade below; to east of left buttress a small C12 blocked semi-circular opening with decorative head. Memorial plaque to left of red stone with shield of arms (barry of 4, three estoiles in chief for Freke) limestone surround with skull and date 1706. North doorway as south, doorway blocked behind door. Interior: arched recesses to north and south, that to north wide, that to south with hollow chamfer; 2-tier renewed butt purlin roof with moulded pine principal rafters and purlins; queen posts, ties and collars. Moulded rear arches to north and south doorways; C14 octagonal font with deeply cut octofoils alternating with flowers to faces. Tower with C18 creed and commandment boards to north, Hanoverian Royal achievement from between 1801 and 1816 to south. Fittings of 1881.
Information from (S1).
H. Mellor (HES), 26 June 2017.

Norman nave with much conglomerate, remodelled 15th century when tower reconstructed.
Demolished chancel, partly rebuilt perhaps in 18th century.
Unusual survival of pew arrangement.
See (S1) and (S2).
E. Rose (NLA) 29 October 1990.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Serial: 1987. SPAB News.. Autumn, p 4.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. Scheme for church redundancy. 30 January.
---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. p 762.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. History will go on show in church. 11 May.
---Photograph: BYH 13.
---Correspondence: English Heritage. 2013. Minor amendment notification e-mail from English Heritage. Listed Building Entry 1077671, Church of St Cecilia, East Bilney.. 28/10/2013.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1077671.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1990. Building Report. Building Report.

Related records - none

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