Record Details

NHER Number:3942
Type of record:Building
Name:All Saints' Church, Narborough


Set in the centre of the village, this church consists of an aisled nave, chancel, south porch, southwest tower, west vestry and north organ chamber. The oldest part is the Norman north door, the rest being largely of about 1300, extended in the later 14th century and remodelled in the 15th century. After being later reduced in size, the church was heavily restored in 1865 and 1906. Inside are important monuments, mainly to the Spelman family. The churchyard has a very important group of World War One Royal Flying Corps graves and an 18th century summerhouse from the former rectory garden.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 7466 1296
Map Sheet:TF71SW

Full description

June 1960. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description:
Parish church constructed of flint with ashlar and some brick dressings and a slate roofs. The church consists of a tower at the western end of the south aisle, an aisled nave and chancel. The west wall of the nave was formerly flush with the west wall of the tower. 13th/14th century tower with one diagonal buttress, one south facing buttress to south east angle and one facing- north at north west angle. There is a lancet window to the ground floor, single quatrefoils at first floor level to the east and south and a flat headed loop to the west. A carved gargoyle is visible at the former join with the nave roof. 3 original 2- light Y-traceried bell-openings and one 3-light panel-traceried replacement to east survive. The parapet is crenellated. The vestry, dated 1906, is located to the north of the tower. 12th century semicircular headed blocked north nave door is partially obscured by a lean-to boiler house. The north aisle contains a blocked late-Medieval doorway and 4 2-light and one 3-light 19th century traceried windows in a Perpendicular style. The taller eastern- most bay was heightened to accommodate the organ. The east window dates from the 14th century and consists of 3 lights with a complex reticulated motif. The south aisle has 4 3-light 19th century traceried windows in a Perpendicular style. The flat heads appear to retain their original hood- moulds with carved head label stops. The east window has a segmental head also with original hood mould and stops. There are 2 arched tomb recesses on the south wall. The south porch dates is of 19th century date. The south doorway dates from the late 13th/14th century with carved decoration to head. There are 8 2-light clearstorey windows with flat heads and tracery. The chancel has 2 3-light panel traceried windows and a moulded priest's doorway to the south. There is a fine 5-light panel traceried east window and a 3-light window to north the with diagonally set marble plaque below in memory of Sarah Tyssen of Narborough Hall (died 1814).
Internally, there is a hollow-chamfered tower arch of 2 orders and no responds, a 14th century 3-bay north arcade of quatrefoil piers with filletted inter- mediate rolls and facetted capitals/bases and wave-moulded arches of 2 orders. There is no chancel arch. The south arcade is probably of 15th century date and consists of 4 bays on octagonal piers with every other facet of each pier concave (except for westernmost pier and respond). The church contains some very fine monuments pertaining mainly to the Spelman family including some late Medieval brasses, a heart tomb with bust effigy, a large Jacobean monument in memory of Clement and Ursula Spilman with their full-size effigies, a monument in memory of Clement Spilman (1679):- a standing statue in coloured marble and a wall tablet to John Spelman (1662).
Information from (S2).
H. White, (NLA), 14 August 2009.

Church with apparent Norman north door, otherwise basically of 1300, extended later 14th century, remodelled 15th. Reduced in size at a later date, heavily restored in 1865 and 1906. Contains very important 17th century monuments, not all of which are in their original positions.
Graveyard contains a very important Great War military cemetery, and an 18th century summerhouse taken in from the former rectory garden. Report of foundations of chapel.
Report (S1) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 21 September 2005.

1996. Metal detecting. Medieval coin.
1999. Medieval pottery from yard.

See file for details and (S1).
Listed grade I. (S2). Press cuttings (S3), (S4) and in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 15 February 1999.

2005. Repairs.
Repairs to the floor of the North aisle revealed the base of the previously unlocated tomb of John Eyre (1553), the brasses from which are now in the chancel.
See (S5).
D. Holburn (HES), 26 September 2011.

August 2009.
The tracery in the east aisle window is of 2 quatrefoils within circles, which is transitional between the Decorated and Perpendicular period and indicates a date of around 1377. A sundial is located on the buttress of the tower. There is a single bell, made in 1607 by John Draper of Thetford. The font is of the perpendicular period with fleurons alternating with shields on the 8 sides, featuring a Star of Bethlehem, HIS, a Cross with a ring of glory, Crown and swords crossed with a palm branch. A double piscina is located in the chancel and another in the north aisle.
See (S6) for further information.
H. White, (NLA), 14 August 2009

Two brass memorial plaques have been stolen from the church. These plaques depicted scenes from the crucifixion and nativity while also having the names of 11 men who died in the firs world war.
See (S7) for further information.
M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 15 February 2013.

Monument Types

  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SUMMERHOUSE (17th Century to 18th Century - 1700 AD to 1799 AD)
  • MILITARY CEMETERY (World War One - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Fawcett, R. 1980. A Group of Churches by the Architect of Great Walsingham. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVII Pt III pp 292-294. p 277.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Correspondence: 2005. Various.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Church lottery grant hits brick wall. 19 July.
---Unpublished Document: Diocese of Norwich. 2009. Norwich DAC summer outing 2009. 15th July.
---Publication: 1832. Woodward Correspondance. p.69.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, B. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 551-552.
---Leaflet: All Saint's Church, Narborough.
---Publication: The Nar Valley Group of Parishes. 2007. Voices of the Nar - celebrating a decade in the life of the Nar valley group of parishes. All Saints' Church, Narborough.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1903. Hundred of South Greenhoe. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol XII. pp 141-155.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E. (NLA). 2005. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1306406.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. Memorials in brass restored at Narborough. 4 June.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1995. Historic summerhouse to be restored. 28 July.
<S5>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. 2006. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2005. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt I pp 124-136. p 130.
<S6>Unpublished Document: 2009?. All Saints Church, Narborough.
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. War plaque theft hits village church. 6 February.

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