Record Details

NHER Number:5570
Type of record:Building
Name:St John the Baptist's Church, Garboldisham


This medieval church was rebuilt in 1862. Parts of the chancel, including two doors, are 13th century. Elements of the nave and aisles date to the 14th century. The mid 15th century west tower is built of knapped flints and limestone pieces arranged in a chequer board pattern. It is thought to be the work of master masons based in North Lopham.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 0042 8162
Map Sheet:TM08SW

Full description

July 1958. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Descritpion:
Parish church. 13th century, 14th century and 15th century restored 1862. Flint with ashlar dressings and slate roofs. West tower, nave, aisles and chancel. Tower 15th century in 3 stages of chequered flint and stone masonry. Diagonal buttresses with flushwork, some forming geometric designs on bases with flushwork frieze. Blocked west doorway and roof line of porch below 3-light cusped window with depressed arch. 2-light louvred belfry windows with reticulation unit above 4-centred lights. Elaborate crenellated parapet with flushwork terminating in corner finials. Nave and aisles have plain parapets designated by string courses. South aisle has 4 3-light mid 14th century windows of intersecting type with mouchettes under hoods on head stops. 4-centred south door with moulded jambs and flat buttresses. Clerestory of 4 2-light square-headed windows with ogeed lights and supermullions. Chancel reconstructed 1862 by G.E. Street. South side has arched priest's door with original hood mould, reticulated segmental window above and arched 2-light window in Early English style. 2 flat buttresses. 5-light east window of composite character. Lean-to vestry north of chancel. North nave with 4 3-light windows as south. Elaborate north porch of dressed flint and ashlar c.1500 commemorating William Pece : diagonal buttresses on plinth inscribed with Gothic characters, arched opening in square hood with fleuron jambs flanked by one canopied niche each side below shallow gable also with Gothic inscription and central shield. Roof of porch has decorated wall plate, principal on arched braces, 2 moulded purlins and ridge piece. Interior. 4 bay arcade of octagonal columns (second bay has circular columns) with moulded bases and capitals supporting double hollow chamfered arches. Clerestory windows are over apex of arches. Tall tower arch with circular responds and continuous hollow chamfered jambs. Chancel arch responds triple roll moulded with moulded arch. Nave roof c.1500 : tie beams on arched braces to wall plate, in turn supported on corbels; one tier moulded butt purlins, plain ridge piece and star bosses. Aisle roofs similar. 13th century octagonal font on 19th century plinth and stem. The bowl is decorated with square roll moulded blank panels. North-east chapel screen 15th century of 4 bays and central ogeed opening, all above dado 19th century or later. Dado panels painted with saints above base of - route tournants and below Perpendicular tracery head. 19th century arch from chapel to chancel. 3 bench sedilia under chancel south window and double cusped and sub-cusped piscina. Base of chancel screen 15th century with 4 bays each side of opening : quatrefoils and shields to base and Perpendicular tracery above. 19th century chancel roof of collars on large arched braces to wall plate. Carved timber Royal Arms over south door.
Information from (S7).
H. Mellor (HES0, 26 June 2017.

13th century chancel, mostly rebuilt 1862. Nave and aisles, chapel 14th century. West tower mid 15th century. North porch has inscription of 1500.
See report (S2), photographs (S3) and press cuttings (S4) and (S5) in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 31 May 1989.

Sketch map of Garboldisham before 1776 including the location of St John the Baptist's Church (S6).
H. Mellor (HES), 16 September 2015.

December 2005.
The tower is constructed of alternate/chequered knapped flints and limestone pieces, with angled buttresses. The 1862 rebuilding removed most of the 13th century features in the chancel; the priest's door and vestry door are original 13th century. Vestry door shows there was a vestry present in the 13th century; vestry also rebuilt in 1862. North porch is extremely elaborate, built of knapped flint, angle buttresses, flushwork basal frieze of letters.
Information from (S2).
Work began on tower in 1460s. It is thought to be the work of a workshop of master masons, Aldrich of North Lopham. They are believed to have also built the towers at North Lopham (NHER 10884) and St Mary's Church, Ixworth, Suffolk.
Information from (S7).
D. Robertson (NLA), 16 December 2005.

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MORTAR (VESSEL) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOD SCREEN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 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: TM0081 H,K,L.
---Serial: Blomefield, F. 1805. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. Vol I.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1901. Hundred of Guiltcross. The Churches of Norfolk. Vol VIII. pp 28-34.
---Publication: Cotton, S.. 1980. [unknown].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 348.
---Leaflet: Cotton, S. and Tricker, R.. [unknown]. St John the Baptist, Garboldisham. A Brief Guide..
---Monograph: Hart, S.. 2010. Medieval Church Window Tracery in England. p 72.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Leaflet: Cotton, S. and Tricker, R.. [unknown]. St John the Baptist. Garboldisham, Norfolk. A Brief Guide..
---Photograph: EQL 2-4.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1306996.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1989. Building Report.. Building Report. 8/12/89.
<S3>Photograph: Rose, E.. EQA 21A to 24A.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1981. [Photograph of St John the Baptist's Church, Garboldisham]. 8 January.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1989. Repairs reveals church secret. 13 May.
<S6>Illustration: Unknown. Unknown. Sketch map of Garboldisham before 1776.. Film. 1:10560.
<S7>Article in Serial: 1998. Excursions 1997.. PSCA. Vol XXXIX.

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