Record Details

NHER Number:1682
Type of record:Building
Name:St Peter's Church, Shernborne


A formerly decayed medieval parish church, largely rebuilt in 1898, the work being paid for by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. It now consists of a nave with a south aisle, chancel, south porch and west bell cote. Although a lot of the old church stonework was re-used, the only parts easily recognisable are the bases of the south aisle arcade and part of the arches above. A ledger slab on the north wall of the chancel has a fine brass of Thomas Shernborne and his wife. The church also boasts one of the finest Norman fonts in England, a mighty piece with a square top and rounded bowl on four short columns, with not an inch of uncarved stone.


  • The Norman font in St Mary's Church, Shernborne.  © D.P. Mortlock


Grid Reference:TF 7137 3242
Map Sheet:TF73SW

Full description

Rebuilt in 1898. Former building was in Decorated (14th century) style with nave, south porch, bell turret; blocked windows on north retained tracery; south aisle had been demolished earlier but as well as blocked arcade there were two large blocked windows on south. Chancel had been in ruins in 1580. East end of south aisle had been Shernborne family chapel, with memorials, and was still standing 1769; one brass still exists. The 1898 church reuses old walling but on new lines; Decorated arcade piers were re-erected; the old doorway from chancel to organ chamber reused; other stonework reused indoors and windows.The former church has also round-headed doorways, but these were modern, and two of the windows had been shortened. The chalice is of about 1520.
Information from (S1) and other referencess in (S2) and (S3).
E. Rose (NAU), 1980.

Norman font with Adoration of Magi; see (S4), (S5) and (S6). Listed (S7).
E. Rose (NAU).

Two chairs are from a set given to Queen Victoria from Canada which were formerly in the drawing room at Holyrood House, the others are in Anmer Church.
Information from [1].
E. Rose (NLA), 4 February.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Mortlock, D. & Roberts, C.. 1981. The Popular Guide to Norfolk Churches..
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 644.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Shernborne.
<S1>Serial: Bryant, T. H. 1906-1907. Hundred of Smithdon.
<S2>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S3>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Records / Pastscape.
<S4>Publication: Clapham. 1934. vo+.
<S5>Publication: Dunkenfeld-Astley, H. (ed). 1908. Memorials of Old Norfolk. pp 217-236.
<S6>Publication: Zarnecki, G.. 1953. Later English Romanesque Sculpture. pl.99.
<S7>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1153045.

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