Record Details

NHER Number:5156
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary's Church, West Tofts


This early 14th century church was altered in the 15th century and largely rebuilt in the mid 19th century by the Pugins. It is one of Britain's finest Gothic Revival churches. It is now in the Stanford Training Area and cannot be visited.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 8360 9289
Map Sheet:TL89SW

Full description

Early 14th century, altered 15th century, but largely rebuilt in late 19th century by the Pugins as one of Britains finest Gothic Revival churches. Now in Battle Area - many fittings dispersed.
See (S1) and photos in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 5 January 1983.

June 1960. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description:
Disused church. Medieval tower and nave; chancel and south chapel of c.1850 designed by A.W.N. Pugin for the Rev. Augustus Sutton. Flint with ashlar and some brick dressings. Decorative plaintile roofs with traceried ridge tiles. West tower; nave with south porch, north aisle and south transept; chancel with vestry to north. 15th century west tower with diagonal buttresses. Flushwork decoration on buttresses and plinth. Plinth with the names of benefactors carved in raised gothic lettering. 2-light panel- traceried west window. 2-light bell-openings beneath 4-centred arches. Crenellated parapet with crocketted corner pinnacles. Nave and north aisle heavily restored including refacing and new tracery. North aisle with double pitched roof and 5 2-light windows and one 3-light window in Decorated style. South wall with 3 2-light Y-traceried windows. South porch and doorway in 14th century style. South chapel with an arched tomb recess below. East wall with a small lancet cutting into angle between chapel and chancel. Chancel taller than nave with a Sanctus bell cote on gable. Gabled buttresses. 3 2-light south windows in Decorated style, a 5-light east window in similar style and 3 similar 2-light windows to north. Vestry incorporates a picturesque timber framed stair turret leading to organ loft. Interior. Plain chamfered tower arch supported on carved angels. Early 14th century 4-bay arcade with quatrefoil piers supporting hollow-chamfered arches of 2 orders. 2 19th century crossing arches in 14th century manner: to west with wave moulding and more elaborate to east with filletted shafts to responds and deep arch mouldings. South chapel with elaborate tomb canopy in memory of Mary Sutton. Painted stone and 6 marble shafts supporting tri-lobe arches with crocketted gables. Cusped angle piscina in nave. Painted parclose screen in north aisle with tracery in late-Medieval style;the sanctuary has an elaborate 14th century cusped tomb recess. Chancel screen with tracery, painting and rood loft. Some remaining choir stalls in chancel and a wooden triple sedilia. Cusped piscina. Very elaborate stone and marble reredos with carved figures beneath canopies. Fine encaustic tiles. Cantilevered organist's balcony with painted figures (organ removed). Painted chancel roof. 14th century octagonal font with angel corbels. Stained glass by Hardman. B. Haward, 19th century Norfolk Stained Glass, 1984. This building is situated in the Stanford Battle Area.
Information from (S1).
E. Rose (NLA).

January 2013
Cobrar report on church which is undergoing the return of its windows and furnishings and has been repaired. Full exlanantion of the involvemnt of AWN Pugin and his son Edward Welby. They were responsible for the rebuilding of the north aisle and the chancel along with a new vestry/organ Loft and the Sutton Chantry. The latter contains the tomb Sir Richard Sutton's wife Elizabeth and is comparable to medieval shrine with elaborate decoration and deemed to be one AW Pugin's most important works. Second chantry in a parclose screen at east end of north aisle. Fine medeival 13th century arcade and late medieval west tower with the names of the 'begyners of the werk' in raised lettering around the plinth. See (S3)
S Heywood 25 January 2013

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FONT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WINDOW (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: RESTRICTED: TL8392D,E,G,H,K-M,P-S..
---Monograph: Batcock, N. 1991. The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 51. Microfiche 5:G12. No 32; pp 51, 72-76.
---Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. 2003. Report on the Archaeological Implications of the Proposed Repairs..
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Unpublished Document: Tricker, R.. 1991. St Mary's West Tofts, Norfolk History and Guide..
---Unpublished Document: DIF/JMC (Council for the Care of Churches). 1986. West Tofts, St Mary the Virgin, Norfolk (Norwich). 21 November.
---Photograph: Ashley, H.. West Tofts, Norfolk, St Mary's Church.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1994. Going a little too mad. 24 July.
---Website: Knott, S.. 2004. St Mary, West Tofts. 25 June 2010.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 770-771.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Working with saints is both a pane and a pleasure. 21 February.
---Photograph: 1990. Photographic record of West Tofts Church. Print.
---Photograph: Photographic record of West Tofts Church Lynford. Print.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. Centuries of church history amid battle area. 18 July.
---Photograph: Photographs of St Mary's Church, West Tofts. Black & white.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Photograph: BYK 2-14, BYM 19-22.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Spotlight on the buildings that open a window on our past. 10 October.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2015. Exhibition shows the treasures hidden away in the battle area. 7 April.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1983. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1077249.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Heywood, S. Conservation based research and Analysis of St Mary's Church at West Tofts.

Related records

5689Related to: All Saints' Church, Santon (Building)

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