Record Details

NHER Number:7475
Type of record:Building
Name:St Faith's Church, Little Witchingham


This north wall of this church is Saxo-Norman. The aisle, chancel and tower date to around 1300. There are an some beautiful and important mid 14th century wall paintings including some depicting St George and the dragon and 'The Three Living and the Three Dead'. The tower was altered in the 15th century. The church is redundant and was restored from dereliction in the late 20th century and is now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1154 2023
Map Sheet:TG12SW

Full description

Restored 1974 after being derelict for over 30 years.
Nave northwest quoins of conglomerate. 13th century chancel, nave north door (blocked) and south door (reset in aisle wall. Also broad lancet in north wall. South aisle and most other windows of around 1300, also tower, but with 15th century flushwork parapet; tower arch moulded at top only. 15th century east window, with interior arch of earlier, larger window. South aisle east end shortened by a few feet in the 18th century - foundations visible - and rebuilt in brick with window reset. Chancel has piscina, and formerly had sedilia in base of southeast window, now blocked. North window lowered to form shelf. Blocking also on site of rood stair. Piscina also in east and south aisle. Early 14th century wall paintings - some of most extensive in E. Anglia - best in south aisle, also on north wall and even on north doorway. Base of old font. 14th century carved font from Whitwell church. Fragment of medieval crucifix on south wall exterior. Stone from Walsingham priory set in altar. Pulpit has gone to Lenwade mission church.
E. Rose (NAU), 31 March 1977.

Little Witchingham is mentioned in (S1) and received Black Death relief.
E. Rose (NAU).

(S2) visited the church around 1740 and noted three floor tombs in the sanctuary - 1670, 1650 and 1633, all of the Outlaw family. A brick was inscribed GW 1719. There was stained glass.
E. Rose (NAU), 18 September 1980.

In 1945 it was proposed to demolish the church and rebuild it at Bawdeswell.

18 November 1995.
Trenches (0.35m deep) dug south from chancel and from west tower and square soak-aways (0.70m deep). No natural seen. Very light pale/brown loamy sand beneath topsoil.
From spoil of trench south of tower:
One base and one body sherd medieval unglazed.
One body sherd sandy Ipswich.
Several late medieval/early post medieval Flemish 'yellow' glazed floor tiles. Sample of one fragment retained.
See (S3).
A. Rogerson (NLA), 20 November 1995.

May 1988.
Since the 1977 inspection more wallpaintings have been uncovered and now include The Three Dead and The Three Living on the west wall, a St George and the Dragon on the north, the Crucifixion and Resurrection sequence etc. The blocked sedilia is now hidden again. The upper rood door is of brick and remarkably round-headed - is it 16th century? There is conglomerate in the southwest nave quoins also.
New detailed inspection needed.
E. Rose (NLA), 6 May 1998.

March 2003.
More detailed survey revealed North wall Saxo-Norman. Aisle, chancel and tower around 1300. Extensive and important series of mid 14th century wallpaintings. Tower altered in 15th century and roofs remade, to be replaced again in the 1790s. Aisle reduced in 17th century. 19th century east window. Church restored from dereliction in late 20th century. Portions of cross in yard.
See (S4) in file.
E. Rose (NLA), 29 March 2003.

An elaborate Renaissance pulpit originally installed in this church is now preserved at St. Faith's church in Lenwade [NHER 12699].
H. Hamilton (NLA), 17 January 2008.

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Late Saxon to 19th Century - 851 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FONT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WALL PAINTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DOOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FLOOR TILE (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)
  • FLOOR TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG1120 A,B,E,F.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1975-1994. [Articles on the wall painting at St Faith's Church, Little Witchingham].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. [unknown]. [unknown].
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978. Ruined church back in business. 22 September.
---Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 12 SW 5 [2].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 601.
---Unpublished Document: Council for the Care of Churches Report.
---Unpublished Document: The Churches Conservation Trust. 1999. St Faith's Church, Little Witchingham, Norfolk..
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. [Photograph of St Faith's Church, Little Witchingham]. 12 February.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Monograph: Nomina Villarum.
<S2>Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. c. 1740.
<S3>Map: Finder's Map..
<S4>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 2003. Building Report.. Building Report.

Related records - none

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