Record Details

NHER Number:3275
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary Magdalen's Church, Sandringham


A 14th and 15th century parish church of carstone with stone dressings, originally consisting of a west tower, nave, chancel and south porch. It was transformed by 19th century rebuilding, firstly in 1857, then in 1890, when transepts, a north aisle and a south chapel to the chancel were added and the interior rebuilt. Inside, the nave roof is from 1921, that of the chancel 1890. As a result of connections with the Royal family, who have regularly attended services for more than a century when staying at Sandringham House (NHER 3272), it is at first hard to take in all the interior fittings, the chancel being the most lavish of all Norfolk parish churches. There is no part of the chancel that is not either painted or encrusted with rich decorative schemes, almost all of which were introduced after 1910 as a memorial to Edward VII and paid for by the Royal family and friends. The fittings include a solid silver altar and reredos of 1911 and 1924, an oak and silver pulpit of 1924, an aluminium and ivory statuette of St George of 1892 and a 16th century Spanish silver processional cross. There are also memorials to Queen Victoria, Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, George V and Queen Mary and George VI, though of course none of them are buried here. Some fragments of medieval stained glass survive, but most of the glass is 19th and 20th century. A tomb slab of 1544 with brasses is set against the porch wall. In the churchyard to the west of the tower is a 10th century inscribed square font cut from a solid block of marble, a gift from the then Duke of Edinburgh in 1886.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6912 2859
Map Sheet:TF62NE

Full description

May 1977. Visited.
Carrstone. Perpendicular tower with ornate traceried soundholes. Perpendicular south porch with niche, parvis and blocked upper side windows. Perpendicular chancel arch. North door apparently original, reset, and some of the headstops on north and south windows may be. Old photograph taken after Teulon's alterations of 1858 but before Blomfield's in 1890 shows Perpendicular nave windows, lancets in chancel, and east window apparently by Teulon. Blomfield added transepts (Perpendicular south window of south trancept is window from wall reset; but is it original or Teulon? E. Rose), and south chapel to chancel, and rebuilt the interior.
Wooden panelled baptistry under tower with marble Florentine font given by Edward VII; silver altar and reredos of 1911 and 1920; wood and silver pulpit 1924. Statuette of St George, aluminium and ivory, 1892. 16th century Spanish silver processional cross. Some fragments of Perpendicular stained glass. Tomb slab with brasses, 1544, against porch wall. 19th century memorials. Chalice, 1568; paten 1707; flagon and alms dish 1851; complete set in gold 1927. In churchyard west of tower is a 10th century Greek square font, inscribed, brought from Rhodes.
E. Rose (NAU), 26 May 1977.

(S1) has drawing of ornate crossed coffin slab not seen in the church in 1977; was it removed in the restoration?
E. Rose (NAU), 5 February 1986.
Press cutting (S2) in file. Listed (S3).

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • COFFIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 62 NE 5 [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. pp 626-627.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. Bells will ring out for Diamond Jubilee. 3 May.
<S1>Monograph: Boutell, C.. 1854. Christian monuments in England and Wales: an historical and descriptive sketch of the various classes of sepulchral monuments which have been in use in this country from about the era of the Norman conquest to the time of Edward the Fourth. 2. p 19.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978. Pillar of the Church. 14 December.
<S3>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1077615.

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