Record Details

NHER Number:3105
Type of record:Building
Name:Holy Innocents' Church, Foulsham


This medieval church consists of a tall battlemented west tower, nave, north and south aisles, chancel, south porch and north vestry (now demolished). The chancel dates to the mid 14th century, the nave, aisles and tower to the late 15th. The decorated west door at the base of the tower includes the arms of Lord Morley, under whose patronage major building work was carried out. The church was destroyed in 1770 by a fire that also burned down much of the town. It was rebuilt by Sir Edward Astley, and it is from this time that the two bells date. After the fire, a fire engine was purchased and was kept in the church until the adjacent engine shed (NHER 38170) was built in 1853. Much of the interior is 19th century, but there is an alabaster memorial to Sir Thomas Hunt (died 1616), damaged by the 1770 fire. Some fragments of glass in the chancel windows also survived the fire.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 0329 2506
Map Sheet:TG02NW

Full description

Parts of north arcade may be 13th century or may belong to 14th century rebuilding of which the chancel, base of south porch and possibly tower base remain. Major rebuilding of tower in late 15th century and nave and aisles in early 16th, with alterations to chancel, under patronage of Lord Morley. Gutted by fire 1770 and restored; important roofs and bells of this period. Further 19th century restoration.
Important 17th century monument.
Church listed grade I (S1), 16th century churchyard tomb, west and south yard walls each grade II. (S1).
Runic inscription claimed in churchyard in 17th century, see unattributed cutting in file.
See (S2) in file, including photos of door found in 2004.
E. Rose (NLA), 1 September 2004.

Rev Armstrong's Diary mentions visting this church on 15th September 1854. Believes the place to have a 'dull look' and 'things look wrong here'. It is noted that the 'church tower is very fine and the entire building has been very handsome' but the 'few restorations are not in good taste'.
Information from (S3).

Before 9 November 2005. Casual find while grave digging.
Post medieval pottery sherd.
See description in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 14 December 2005.

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • RUNE STONE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

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

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG0325A-E,.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. A flagpole again after 100 years. 2 November.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. [unknown]. [unknown]. 5 September.
---Publication: Cattermole, P.. 2004. The Bells of Foulsham.
---Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. c. 1740.
---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 470-471.
---Serial: 1826. Supplement to the Excursions through Norfolk.
---Article in Serial: Cotton, S. 1981. Tradition and Authority in Churchbuilding. NARG News. No 26 pp 8-13. p 11.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. Churches trust gives cash aid. 25 September.
<S1>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entries 1050984, 1050985, 1169841 and 1169854.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 2004. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S3>Publication: Armstrong, H. B. J (ed). 1949. A Norfolk Diary. Passages from the Diary of The Rev. Benjamin John Armstrong. p 23.

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