Record Details

NHER Number:4788
Type of record:Building
Name:St Nicholas' Church, North Walsham

Summary

The church is dominated by the ruins of its 14th or 15th century west tower, once one of the tallest in Norfolk, which collapsed in 1724 and again in 1836. It has never been rebuilt, though a modern vestry squats in the base. To the north of the tower are the remains of an earlier tower, possibly pre-Conquest.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2833 3027
Map Sheet:TG23SE
Parish:NORTH WALSHAM, NORTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

The church is dominated by the ruins of its 14th or 15th century west tower, once one of the tallest in Norfolk, which collapsed in 1724 and again in 1836. It has never been rebuilt, though a modern vestry squats in the base. To the north of the tower are the remains of an earlier tower, possibly pre-Conquest. The body of the church is mainly 14th and 15th century, later subjected to Victorian restoration. The south porch is a late 14th century showpiece, luxuriously carved, decorated and pinnacled, with figure niches and the arms of Edward III and his son John of Gaunt. Inside the porch, the roof beams have fine original (though restored) bosses. Inside, the church is one vast hall, the feeling of space hardly interrupted by seven-bay arcades of clustered columns and pointed arches, with light pouring in from the aisle windows with their simple tracery. The east windows, in the French 'flamboyant' style, are Victorian replacements. There are many internal features, memorials and brasses of interest. A particularly fine 15th century font cover, much restored, hangs from its original beam. Over the tower door is a Royal Arms with Charles II on one side and the Commonwealth Arms on the other. Parts of a 14th century painted screen survive. The communion table in the south chapel is mid 16th century. Of all the internal monuments, the most ornate is the tomb to Sir William Paston (who died in 1608), founder of the local grammar school. This is an alabaster monument which shows Sir William reposing full length in armour, comfortably propped up on his elbow. A meticulous man, he commissioned this extravaganza himself two years before he died.
Anon.

Base of Late Saxon/medieval axial tower. Ruins of tower of about 1400 that fell 1724. Other work mostly 14th/15th century.
Full report (S1), press cuttings (S2) to (S6) and correspondence (S7) in file. Listed (S8).
E. Rose (NAU), 29 July 1975.

This is one of the sixty five Norfolk churches selected for (S9).
D. Gurney (NLA), 17 February 2006.

(S10) A bid has been put through to English Heritage in order to repair St Nicholas Church tower.
M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 13 September 2012.

Report, Summer 2013
CoBrar by Hugh Richmond in relation to repair of west tower ruin. Brief history of church with deatiled history of west tower. For details see (S11) and (S12).

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

  • Xaxial tower (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ROOD SCREEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • Xaxial tower (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG2830 D-J.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 23 SE 17.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 622-624; Pl 83.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988. North Walsham - picture of town.. 19 November.
---Monograph: Mortlock, D. & Roberts, C.. 1981. The Popular Guide to Norfolk Churches.. No 1.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1981. Fire engine moved out of church. 23 July.
---Leaflet: Page, C.H.W.. 1982. The story of St Nicholas Church, North Walsham, Norfolk..
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Late Saxon. Walsham (North).
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Photograph: CUN 22.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-East Norfolk and Norwich. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. pp 201-202; Pl 42.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Listing Notification. Notification. DNF5100.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. (NAU). 1975. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990. Gift reopens screen debate. 3 October.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1988-1989. [Articles on the Consistory Court Case at St Nicholas' Church, North Walsham].
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. Church building work underway. 19 October.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1991. Church facelift work begins. 11 February.
<S6>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. Now the choir can have an historic setting. 27 June.
<S7>Correspondence: John Sennitt & Associates. 1989. Letter to E. Rose (NAU). 25 October.
<S8>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1039527.
<S9>Publication: Jenkins, S. 2000. England's Thousand Best Churches.
<S10>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012-2015. [Articles on the fund raising and repair work at St Nicholas' Church, North Walsham].
<S11>Unpublished Document: Hugh Richmond. 2013. The church of St Nicholas, North Walsham.
<S12>Illustration: Nicholas Warns Architect Ltd. 2013. Plans and elevation for repair of ruined west tower of St Nicholas, N. Walsham.

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