Record Details

NHER Number:11006
Type of record:Building
Name:St Andrew's church, Frenze, Scole


Frenze village is almost deserted; the remains are this church, Frenze Hall (NHER 45743), a small scattering of farmbuildings and the occasional house. It comes as no surprise then that St Andrews may be the smallest church in the whole of Norfolk! The present building dates to the 13th and 14th centuries, but this may be just the nave of a previously larger village church, as it has undoubtedly suffered truncations on at least one or two occasions. It may have continued futher to both the east and west, and even have had a west tower, although if so this was removed as early as the late 15th century. St Andrews was closed in 1976 due to a lack of attendees, and has since passed into the hands of the Churches Conservation Trust. Inside, much of the floor area is filled with tomb slabs and brasses, and the church contains no less than six effigy brasses, most of which depict the Blenerhaysett family who owned the manor here. The octagonal font, despite appearing plain, is actually fascinating as each of the eight faces of the bowl is carved with a different type of tracery, all of them current to the first half of the 14th century. There is also a very fine early 17th century pulpit and family pew, and a lovely medieval bench-end carved with a monkey. A touchingly unfussy church, of particular interest for the surprising quantity of its brasses.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 1354 8042
Map Sheet:TM18SW

Full description

This village is in Domesday, Nomina Villarum, seven taxpayers in 1329, eight in 1332, ten in 1428, no relief 1449, six houses 1805. No institutions in church 1484-1597.

(S1) says formerly had two collars to every pair of rafters - present roof modern. (S2)'s drawing, early 18th century, shows west turret, south porch with ?round-headed entrance, then eastwards a Dec window, ?or cusped Y, lancet then cusped? Y-tracery window. Yet in text he says Frenze has a square steeple! and draws a lozenge window. A 'stump cross' by corner of chancel. 'Tis kept in a most slovenly manner'. In large volumes he notes: no chancel arch, but a rood beam. Piscina in north window sill. Altar stone with five crosses set in floor near a brass - very many of these. Piscina and sedilia.
Newspaper cutting (S3) and architects' drawings (1996) in file.
E. Rose (NAU).

Appropriate section of ref (S4) in file.

A unique monumental brass from this church was displayed in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. See (S5).
A. Beckham (HES), 5 March 2020.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)
  • CROSS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRASS (Medieval to 21st Century - 1475 AD to 2050 AD)
  • TOMBSTONE (Medieval to 21st Century - 1500 AD to 2050 AD)
  • BELL (18th Century to 21st Century - 1707 AD to 2050 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Publication: [Unknown]. [unknown]. Palimpsests Behind 'Norfolk' Brasses (N).
---Article in Serial: Manning, C. R. 1864. Lost brasses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VI pp 3-26. p 25.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TM 18 SW 4 [2].
---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 345.
---Article in Serial: Helen M. Spiers. Plain exterior saved it in Cromwell's days..
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Publication: Cautley, H. M. 1949. Norfolk Churches.
<S2>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. c. 1740.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1979. New life for tiny 'gem' of a church. 13 December.
<S4>Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No 14; p 50.
<S5>Article in Serial: Goodall, J. A. 1987. Death and the impenitent avaricious king. A unique brass discovered at Frenze, Norfolk. Apollo: the international art magazine. pp. 264-266.

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