Record Details

NHER Number:7125
Type of record:Building
Name:Holy Trinity Church, Hempton


A mid 19th century Gothic Revivial church, with mid 20th century transepts. Some of the materials used in the construction of the church are thought to have come from the medieval parish church of St Andrew, and St Michael at Thorn in Norwich.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9136 2915
Map Sheet:TF92NW

Full description

This has a back to front appearance as the Gothic Revival chancel, of 1855 is 'Decorated' style, is longer than the nave with transepts of 1952 to 1925. This latter in in a faint imitation of Perpendicular with tall brick arches inside. The stone parts of the walls of the new section are built with medieval material from St Michael at Thorn, Norwich; there is one shield shaped stone. The church contains a modern painting depicting the burning of St Michael's.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU) 28 October 1976.

The painting is said to be on the notice board from St Michael's.
Some material in older part of church is said to come from the old Hempton church (NHER 7120).
See (S1).
E. Rose (NAU)

September 2006. Listed Grade II.
Listing Description:
Church. 1856 by John Henry Hakewell for the Revd. Charles St. Denys Moxon, the first Vicar. Extended 1954 to the designs of John P. Chaplin of Norwich. 1856 chancel of knapped flint with ashlar dressings, the extension is largely of re-used ashlar and knapped flint from the church of St. Michael-at-Thorn in Norwich which was bombed during the 2nd World War. Plain tile roofs. The original building was designed and built as a chancel, and yet a complete place of worship, with provision for the addition of a nave at a later date. The chancel arch was constructed and filled with blocking which could be easily removed. The extension and completion of the church took place in 1954 with an ingenious design of a nave almost square in plan overall, divided into nave and aisles by a pair of very large opposing two-centred arches flanked by small, pedestrian sized, arches forming the arcades with the south aisle becoming a side chapel, dedicated to St. Michael (in recognition of the destroyed Norwich church), and the north aisle being enclosed to form the vestry with the organ loft over. The whole extension is covered with a single transverse roof joined to the extended roof of the chancel, the new roof descending down towards the ground at the sides.
This church was built at the behest of Fr. Moxon, the curate of nearby Fakenham, who became a priest after graduating from Cambridge with a First in law in 1850. He was enthusiastic in the cause of education and in bettering the condition of the working-man. He lived at The Grove, Hempton, and was appointed the first Vicar at the church's completion in 1856. Hempton had had a Priory of Austin Canons in the Middle Ages as well as a separate parish church, so he was refounding an ancient foundation (and the newpaper report of the opening services specifically referred to this) and the church was mostly paid for by him and his friends, but there was a grant of ?80 from the Incorporated Church Building Society, whose consulting architect became the architect of this church. From Moxon's writings it is clear that he wished to produce a church following the tenets of the Oxford Movement.
This church is an important small rural example of a foundation emerging directly from the Oxford Movement, the ideals of which have been maintained. The original element survives very little altered with surviving reredos, patterned windows, stencilling to the sanctuary ceiling etc. It was designed to be completed later and Chaplin's completion of the Victorian chancel is an original solution to the need for extra accommodation which pays tribute to the traditional basilican plan of nave and aisles divided by arcades in an unusual yet fitting design which is infuenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and possibly by Eric Gill's church at Gorleston-on-Sea. The extension is sensitive and historically significant for it carefully complements the scale and design of the original and yet reflects the difficulties of the post-war period, with its scarcity of building materials, by re-using those salvaged from a bombed church yet respecting them by their careful re-use, as well as other re-used materials. That the Victorian church was retained unaltered and so sensitively augmented is unusual and a significant testament to this later period, when contemporary design was often in favour for church building.
Information from (S2).
See also (S3) and (S4).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 12 November 2009.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (19th Century to 21st Century - 1856 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1900. Hundred of Gallow. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol VI. pp 59-62.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1391769.
<S3>Publication: FitzJohn, P.. 1956. The Story of Hempton.
<S4>Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 395.

Related records - none

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