Record Details

NHER Number:4015
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary's Church, Narford


A medieval and later parish church with early 20th century alterations. Parts of the nave may date back to the 12th century, and contains some interesting monuments including one to Sir Andrew Fountaine, who died in 1753. During the medieval period a chapel dedicated to St Mary stood in the churchyard, the remains of which were still visible in the 19th century. Fragments of Roman and Early Saxon pottery have been found in the churchyard.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 7644 1378
Map Sheet:TF71SE

Full description

1960. Grade II listed.
Disused church, Medieval and later. Chancel of 1902, Nave restored in 20th century. Flint with ashlar and brick dressings and pantile roofs. West tower; aisled nave with south porch; chancel.
Information taken from listing.
H. White (NLA), 12 November 2009.

13th century church with 14th century aisles. Tower of 1857.
Important monuments.
See notes in file.
(S1) in file.

The Chapel of St Mary stood in the northern part of the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Narford.
Slight remains were visible in the early 19th century.
Information from (S2).
R.J. Rickett (NAU) 26 April 1990.

Appropriate section from (S3) in file.

Early 2000. Field observation. In molehills to south of chancel and north of nave and chancel.
Pottery sherds: 1 handmade reduced body sherd with smoothed surfaces, faint horizontal groove and part of a stamped or impressed motif ?Early Saxon.
2 probably grimston unglazed, 2 medieval unglazed and 1 body sherd with 4 parallel ?comb impressed grooves, probably coarse Roman.
A. Rogerson (NAU), 18 July 2000.

September 2000.
Fragment of colonnette found within 18th century tomb disturbed during repair work.
See (S4) in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 25 September 2000.

March 2008.
Proposal to change concrete roof tiles to lead to combat water damage and to improve the visual appearance of the church within the estate landscape.
See (S5) for further information.
H. White (NLA), 19 November 2008.

A terrcotta version of the marble bust of Sir Anthony Fontaine was sold at auction in 1991.
See (S6) for further details.
H. White (NLA), 12 November 2009.

June 2008. Statement of significance.
The nave and chancel are of late 11th or early 12th century date, and the aisles are an early 14th century addition with a reused 13th century paired lancet. The tower appears to date from the 14th-century and pre-dates the heightening of the nave walls. The tower has a tall tower arch of two chamfered orders on carved corbels. The archway is partly blocked and includes a traceried sound hole inserted in 1857. The west face of the tower has a plain two-centred archway with an early Perpendicular two-light window above. The tower parapet includes an inscription with raised bronze letters and the initials AF on each side. The roof forms a shallow cone and is covered with lead. The date 1814 and the initials JFB are inscribed on the lead sheet. One bell remains and dates from 1424-1513. The roof is of seven bays and nine trusses, with the date 1894 and the name A Barker scratchedinto the timbers in two places on the north side.
See (S7) for further details.
H. White, (NLA), 29 January 2010.

June 2010. Listing amended from Grade II* to Grade I for the following reasons:
It retains an unusually large amount of medieval fabric. Its interior contains some very good quality fixture and fittings. The mid 19th century remodelling of the upper stages of the tower is of high quality. Its strong group value with the Grade I listed Narford Hall and the Grade II registered landscaped park, and its association with Sir Andrew Fountaine.
See (S8) for further information.
A. Cattermole (NLA), 17 August 2010.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: CUCAP PU 65-73. Unit TF7613 J,Q,T.
---Serial: Blomefield, F. 1807. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. Vol VI. p 239.
---Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England.
---Drawing: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Serial: Bryant, T. H.. 1898-1915. The Churches of Norfolk. Vols 1-19. Vols 1-19..
---Unpublished Document: 2011. Planning Application.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Correspondence: Nairn, S.. 1992. Letter. 16 June.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. Access to church is open again.. 30 March.
---Serial: 1819. Excursions through Norfolk. 2.
---Unpublished Document: Butler- Stoney, R. 2001. St Mary the Virgin's Church, Narford.
---Unpublished Document: Coucil for the care of Churches. 1987. Council for the care of churches report. St Mary the Virgin, Narford.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, B. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 553.
---Publication: The Nar Valley Group of Parishes. 2007. Voices of the Nar - celebrating a decade in the life of the Nar valley group of parishes. St Mary's church, Narford.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1903. Hundred of South Greenhoe. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol XII. pp 156-165.
<S1>Unpublished Document: 1987. Council for the Care of Churches: Narford, St Mary the Virgin, Norfolk.. 3 April.
<S2>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Records / Pastscape.
<S3>Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No 22; p 50.
<S4>Correspondence: Birdsall, N.H.. 2000. Letter.. 22 September.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Birdsall Swash & Blackman Architects. 2008. Design and Access Report for Narford Parish Church..
<S6>Publication: Southerby's. 1991. Southerby's sale catalogue. pp 104-108.
<S7>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. 2008. S. Heywood Report, Statement of Significance, St Mary the Virgin, Narford..

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