Record Details

NHER Number:2229
Type of record:Building
Name:St Peter's Church, Walpole St Peter


St Peter's Church is the most visible result of the great medieval wealth and success of the surrounding area, where the silts and muds of the drained fens provided rich agricultural land. The church itselfwas begun in the early 14th century of which the ground storey of the tower survives. The church was damaged in the flood of 1337. Rebuilding was interrupted by the Black Death in 1348. The chancel was added in 1420s as were the aisles clerestorey and porches. The building itself is one of the largest parish churches in Norfolk, with a total length of almost 50m. It has nave, chancel, aisles, tower and both a north and south porch; the latter rising to two storeys in hieght. The church has many attractive features, but the screens, pulpit, font cover, chandeliers and lectern should be mentioned.


  • St Peter's Church, Walpole St Peter.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • A passageway under the chancel at St Peter's Church, Walpole St Peter.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • The sundial at St Peter's Church, Walpole St Peter.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TF 5020 1686
Map Sheet:TF51NW

Full description

West tower base 14th century, with reused Norman fragments; contemporary arcade responds. Remainder of church in exceptionally good Perpendicular style over period before 1425 to after 1514; very ornate interiors. Changes of plan evident in construction. North porch a later addition; early 17th century battlements and woodwork. Grand late 17th century west screen.
16th century font, lectern; medieval and 17th century benches.
See full report (S1) in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 25 October 1999.

This is one of the sixty five Norfolk churches selected for (S2).
D. Gurney (NLA), 17 February 2006.

October 2011 survey
Circa 1320. The church begins. The bottom storey of tower survives with the nave responds
1337. Great flood interrupts work and causes damage
1348. Black death
Circa 1350 – 1370. Tower and nave completed with eastern bays forming the chancel.
1420s. New chancel. New aisles. Heightened nave with clerestory and roof. South porch.
1630s. West screen with box pews and stalls in south aisle. Chancel parapet (repaired?). Very good Laudian furniture including font cover, west screen and pews.
1701. Chandelier given
1728. Door in south porch for noisy school children.
1812. Replacement of south aisle and chancel roofs
1909-11, 1925 and 1928-32. Campaigns of repair under direction of William Weir.
Information from (S3)
S. Heywood (HES), 17 October 2011.

Monument Types

  • CHAPEL? (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • CHURCH (Medieval to 21st Century - 1066 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FIGURINE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Manning, C. R. 1864. Lost brasses. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VI pp 3-26. p 24.
---Aerial Photograph: TF5016 A-G,M,N,P-T; TF5017 C-D.
---Photograph: JLX 12-34.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1902. Hundred of Freebridge Marshland. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol X. pp 79-90.
---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. pp 745-747; Pl 25.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. pp 362-364; Pl 15b.
---Leaflet: Guide to Walpole St Peter Church..
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Grants given to 18 county churches. 17 February.
---Monograph: Hart, S.. 2010. Medieval Church Window Tracery in England. p 127.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. Churches trust gives cash aid. 25 September.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1999. Rector's fury over grant 'no'. 19 October.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. (NLA). 1999. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Publication: Jenkins, S. 2000. England's Thousand Best Churches.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. 2011. The Parish Church of Walpole St Peter, Norfolk. Conservation Based Research and Analysis Report..

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