Record Details

NHER Number:3277
Type of record:Building
Name:St Peter's Church, Wolferton


This is a large late 13th century church. Apart from the carstone walls and west tower, it was destroyed by a fire in 1486, after which it seems to have been given the roofs admired by 18th century antiquaries. By the 1880s it was in a sorry state, but thanks to the building of Sandringham House (NHER 3272), the subsequent revitalising of the local economy and the patronage of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), was given a thorough Victorian restoration by Arthur Blomfield, who also restored the other churches on the estate. He replaced the roofs in both the nave and chancel, and most of the coolly austere interior is his. However, there are three fine medieval survivals, a beautiful 14th century parclose screen to the south aisle, which must have come from somewhere else, a 15th century parclose screen to the north, and the dado of the rood screen, which has twelve faint figures on the panels.


  • St Peter's Church, Wolferton.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TF 6571 2818
Map Sheet:TF62NE

Full description

About 1300, altered in 15th century. Important 19th century restoration. See details (S1) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 5 September 1990.

August 1960. Listed, Grade II.
Listing Description:
Parish church, about 1300, restored after fire of 1486, and by A. Blomfield 1886 at the expense of the Prince of Wales. Uncoursed carstone with limestone dressings, tiled roof. West tower, nave, chancel; north and south aisles, south porch, late 19th century organ bay and vestry to north. Three stage embattled west tower with full height ashlared buttresses, limestone plinth; west door with continuous mouldings of three orders, string course above; two-light west window with cusped heads under a quatrefoil; traceried sound holes to second stage north, west and south of cinquefoil within wide stone surround; two-light bell openings with cusped reticulated tracery, string course below parapet of ball flowers within waves. North and south aisles alike: opposing doorways with deep continuous ogee moulding of two orders, figure stops, cusped ogee headed niche over south doorway, diagonal buttresses, gable parapet to east; some herringbone work in north aisle and to east return of south aisle; three openings to north and south: towards west (south aisle only) two trefoil headed lights with trefoil tracery under basket arch, to centre, three cinquefoil headed lights under four-centred arch; towards east, three ogee headed lights under segmental arch; double trefoil headed opening to west of south porch; west and east returns of aisles with cusped Y tracery openings, that to east of north aisle now externally blocked by organ bay. Five double light clerestorey openings to north and south nave. Large south porch with gable parapet and angle buttresses, arch of five orders with ogee mouldings, a cusped niche either side with stone dressings and carstone to rear, two-light reticulated openings to returns, roof renewed, octagonal plinth to right of south doorway. Lower chancel with gable parapet and cross; south chancel with central priest's door with continuous moulding, hood mould running into string course and steep pitched pediment integral with arch; low retangular blocked opening to left, double trefoil headed light to right; three-light multicusped reticulated east window renewed. Late 19th century additions of vestry and organ bay in carstone to angle of north aisle and chancel. Interior: five bay arcade to north and south, octagonal piers, double chamfered arches, the outer chamfers being hollow, hood mould with grotesque stops above arches, piers and arches reddened from fire of 1486. Floor to west bay lower; low octagonal plinth to east side of doorways, that to south a copy, benches to north aisle walls and around piers, small square recess to each wall; low double headed recess with figure corbel between arches to west wall of north aisle. Roof partly renewed in late 19th century, boarded lining, 15th century tie beams arch-braced from wooden wallposts of standing apostles, queen posts supporting collars having tracery above, hammer beams of clerics holding shields alternating with ties. Tall tower arch with polygonal shafts, figure corbel above, fireplace to south wall of tower with stone segmental arch. Chancel: arch with continuous moulding and polygonal shafts having chamfered arch above; 19th century roof of arch braced collars with fretwork tracery above; curved wind braces, three-stepped sedilia with arcade of cusp headed lights having shafts without capitals, attached piscina with trefoil head; choir stalls incorporate four 15th century poppyheads and some traceried panels. Wall painting above chancel arch of Christ in glory, late 19th century in medieval style perhaps copied from original wall painting, part above collar beam on fabric, stair to roof loft to left with wooden arch. Screens: late 15th century chancel screen with traceried painted panels much erased, renewed 19th century with traceried lights and rood loft with vine frieze; early 14th century parclose screen to south aisle renewed, delicate Decorated tracery, ogee headed tracery lights, grotesques to top rail and cusps of tracery, lion heads to crocketted finials on muntin buttresses; 15th century parclose screen to north aisle, traceried lights and tracery to panels with tudor rose and cusps; 15th century tower screen renewed, crocketted ogee tracery to some lower panels. Trefoil headed piscina to north aisle, multicusped piscina and some medieval encaustic tiles to south aisle chapel. 16th century table with very bulbous legs to north aisle chapel; oak table with frieze dated 1637 and with initials TE TE in marquetry, at time of survey by tower; Baroque 17th century lectern painted black with gilded classical ornament; eagle lectern of silvered brass from Church of St Mary Magdelene (NHER 3275) presented by Alexandra, Princess of Wales as a thanks offering for the recovery of the Prince of Wales from typhoid in 1871. Square sandstone mensa in pavement of west bay of south aisle; Two consecration crosses on each of north and west walls; alms box from structural timber with braced wrought iron lid having 15th century flower head rivets; Royal achievement 1844 in cross stitch on felt, south aisle.
Information from (S2).

Monument Types

  • ALTAR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • 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
  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Publication: Beloe, H.. St. Peter's Church, Wolferton.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Website: Knott, S.. 2006. St Peter, Wolferton. 1 May 2007.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 784-785.
---Leaflet: St Peters.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. (NAU). 1977. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1077588.

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