Record Details

NHER Number:10910
Type of record:Building
Name:St Andrew's Church, Fersfield, Bressingham


A medieval parish church, dating mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries, with 19th century restoration. A remarkable mid 14th century wooden effigy of a knight has survived, thought to be Sir Robert du Bois. The church also contains a memorial to the famous 18th century Norfolk historian, Francis Blomefield, who was rector of Fersfield.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 0656 8282
Map Sheet:TM08SE

Full description

December 1959. Listed, Grade II.
Listing Description:
From circa 1300, but mainly 15th century. Comprising: nave with Perpendicular north windows. South aisle with south doorway and west window of circa 1300, and good Perpendicular windows. Chancel externally Victorian with lancets. 15th century south porch. Small west tower of unknown date, with pyramidal tiled roof and with small chamfered bell openings with cusped heads and Perpendicular west window. Built of flint rubble with stone dressings with tiled and lead roofs.
Interior: south arcade of two bays with double chamfered four-centred arches. Late 12th century font with 17th century cover. 17th century panelling in chancel.
Monuments: late 15th century effigy of priest. Wooden effigy of Sir Robert du Bois? 1311. Ledger-stone to Francis Bloomfield 1752/Norfolk historian and rector of Fersfield).
Information from (S1).

Informant [1] notes a bequest for a porch in 1493.

(S2) notes 2 aisles, chancel and small tower.
Foliate cross coffin slab.
Figure of woman in stone about 2.1m long in niche, 2 kneeling figures beside it, defaced.
Mid 14th century wooden figures of a knight, gilded, said to be Sir Robert de Bois who built the tower.
There was a carved and painted ceiling dated 1712, the thatch being removed in that year.
West gallery 1722.
At about that time the chancel was repaired and the wooden image covered with 'blew enamel and gilt'.
The chancel arch was repaired and two bones were found behind it in the wall.

(S2) draws two large arches and a smaller round headed one east of them, between the nave and an aisle.
His exterior drawings show a west porch tower with round headed entrance and a Perp window over, round headed cusped belfry openings, and pinnacles.
The north nave wall had a door and 2 Perpendicular windows to east; the north chancel wall a cusped Y tracery and a Decorated window.
The view of the south side shows an aisle with Decorated or Perpendicular west window, elaborate south porch, top of brick, 2 Perpendicular south nave windows.
Chancel windows are one Y tracery and one straight headed, possibly Decorated.
A separate drawing of a very fine Perpendicular East window to south aisle, 'St Annes Chapel'.
Carved benches mentioned.

In 1708 the bells were sold to raise money to repair the church, see (S3).
E. Rose (NLA), 10 February 2004.

(S4) notes an altar tomb on the south side of the churchyard to Elizabeth Barker who founded a charity school here where children were taught to spin hemp.
E. Rose (NLA), 7 July 2006.

August 2009. Conservation based analysis
The roof was repaired in 1936-39, 1948 and 1960-61. The tower and south porch were repaired in 1948-9. The church was tied with iron straps and bars during the 1930s repairs. An unusual characteristic of the building is the very tall and wide plinths which occur in the north nave wall and the south ailse wall. The interior roof structure of the porch survives.
See (S5) for details
H. White, (NLA), 12 October 2009

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

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. [Photograph of St Andrew's Church in 1959]. 5 April.
---Photograph: Unknown. [unknown].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Historic churches awarded millions of pounds for essential maintenance work. 4 March.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 336.
---Photograph: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts University of East Anglia. 1983. Photograph/postcard of Effigy of Robert du Bois Wood, English, c.1335, from the Church of St Andrew, Fersfield, Bressingham. Colour.
---Leaflet: Hunter, D.. 1994. A guide to St Andrew's Church, Fersfield, Bressingham. The Farthing Press.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1049662.
<S2>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. c. 1730.
<S3>Article in Serial: Rutledge, P.. 2003. Presidential Address: The Frere Papers.. The Annual. The Bulletin of the Norfolk Archaeological and Historical Research Group. No 12, pp 3-12.
<S4>Publication: Pursehouse, E.. no date. Waveney Valley Studies. p 161.
<S5>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. 2009. S. Heywood Report. Conservation based analysis of St Andrew's church, Fersfield..

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2022 Norfolk Historic Environment Service