Record Details

NHER Number:7297
Type of record:Building
Name:St Mary's Church, Little Fransham


A medieval parish church, dating mainly from the early 14th century, but containing reused Norman masonry. The church contains a square font, dating to about 1200. Pottery dating from the Middle Saxon to the post medieval periods has been found in the churchyard, as well as medieval floor tiles.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 9020 1228
Map Sheet:TF91SW

Full description

Nave of about 1300 with cusped Y tracery windows, north door blocked. Southwest window blocked, but no corresponding northwest window. Chancel Decorated with elaborate windows and priest's door; old wooden sedilia in lowered window, cusped piscina with 'petalled' bowl. Good chancel arch with marks of roodscreen. Base of south porch Decorated but brick upper storey dated 1743 with clamp irons. Tower, which stood west of present west wall, fell in 1700, and domestic style transomed 15th century window reset in west wall. Nave roof with hammerbeams, longitudinal braces, and tracery above beams. Chancel roof also old, higher than nave, has lateral braces and tie beams. Square 13th century font some old reused woodwork in benches and good carving on reader's desk. 18th century floor tombs and wall memorials. In nave northwest corner 19th century memorials set in geometrical pattern, above coffin shaped stone patterns in floor. Royal arms George III. Elizabethan chalice, footed paten. Outside priest's door is a cross base, square socket in octagonal surround in square base.
Visited by E. Rose (NAU) 7 October 1976.

Dr S. Cotton noted bequests to two north chancel windows in 1404, to making south porch 1438, 1526 for lead. Confirmed by A. Rogerson (NLA) who adds a rare 17th century bequest referring to the 'marble chancel floor I have just laid...'
Rev Armstrong's entry on the 1st August 1885 states 'a wretched church, where the poor sit on backless benches and the rich farmers have high pews in the chancel'.
Information from (S1).

1981. Flower bed on east side of west boundary ditch of churchyard.
1 medieval coarseware sherd, 1 glazed Grimston sherd.
Part of Fransham field walking finds, see (S2).
Identified and found by A. Rogerson (NAU)
E. Rose (NAU) 26 October 1984.

Further medieval sherds and floor tile

1994. Field walking finds.
Complete medieval floor tile in same flower bed as earlier finds.
See (S2).
A. Rogerson (NLA) February 1996.

A. Rogerson (NLA) notes: Font may be Norman. Much reused Norman masonry in chancel, especially in gable above chancel arch seen from inside chancel, where the chancel is higher than the nave. Perpendicular windows are by the Master of Walsingham, see Fawcett's articles.
E. Rose (NLA) 21 May 1999.

23 May 1999. Mole hill finds. Field work No: L184.
Context 2. 1 Glazed Red Earthenware.
Context 3. 1 Ipswich.
See (S2).
A. Rogerson (NLA) 24 May 1999.

Monument Types

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

Associated Finds

  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PISCINA (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF9012.
---*Fieldwork: Fransham Survey. L184. AJGR.
---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.
---Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1152560.
---Monograph: Bryant, T. H. 1903. Hundred of Launditch. The Churches of Norfolk. pp 80-85.
---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. pp 521-522.
---Leaflet: The church of St mary, Little Fransham..
<S1>Publication: Armstrong, H. B. J (ed). 1949. A Norfolk Diary. Passages from the Diary of The Rev. Benjamin John Armstrong. p 277.
<S2>Archive: Fransham Field Walking Boxfile.

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 - 2023 Norfolk Historic Environment Service