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Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 5 June 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 221548
OS Grid Reference: TF7704632600
OS Grid Coordinates: 577046, 332600
Latitude/Longitude: 52.8618, 0.6285
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TF 73 SE BIRCHAM GREAT BIRCHAM
7/17 Church of St. Mary.
Parish Church. C12 tower door, C13 north door, early C14 chancel, mid C14
nave and aisles. Knapped and rubble flint, cement rendered chancel, slate
roofs. South west tower, 4 bay nave and aisles, north porch, 2 bay chancel.
3 stage tower on axis with south aisle has ashlar plinth, string courses,
and buttresses with set offs. Ground floor stage has 2-light Decorated window
with tracery head, rectangular lancets at south-east angle to internal stair-
case. 4 lancets to second stage. Bell chamber has 4 2-light Decorated tracery
windows with flat parapet cornice above. Nave west gable has fine 5-light
Perpendicular tracery window with lower battlemented transoms and rich upper
lights with transoms, cusping and sub-cusping, label moulding with carved
head end stops. South aisle has 3 straight-headed Decorated 3-light tracery
windows in deep reveals with richly cusped and sub-cusped opposed tracery
spandrels. Decorated south door. South aisle east window has flowing tracery
with 2 cinquefoils and 2 quatrefoils in spandrels. 2 south and one east
buttresses. North aisle has one Perpendicular 2-light west window. 2 north
3-light and one east 2-light Decorated windows with same details as south
aisle. Perpendicular north porch has chamfered outer arch with capitals,
flanking flush work arches. 2 north, one east and west buttresses with set
offs. 3 flush work ogee headed niches above. Kneelers with crocketted
spirelets. 2 north and 2 south tracery windows. Chancel has one south and
2 north c.1300 'Y' tracery 2 light windows, one south Perpendicular 3-light
window. 5-light Perpendicular east window replacement of c.1850. Angle
buttresses. Interior: North porch north door C13 has paired columns with
bases and capitals, richly moulded pointed arch. North and south sides
articulated by rectangular chamfered frame with blank shields springing from
wall seats, with two outer and one inner blank arched headed niches. Fine
4 bay north and south Decorated nave arcade has 3 clustered semi-columns with
angle fillets and chamfered hollows with base seats. Moulded capitals and
bases. Double hollow chamfered arches and half columns responds with same
details at east and west. North and south doors have label head mouldings.
Fine late Norman c.1200 tower east door into south aisle has single
colonnettes with capitals and zig zag moulded arch refashioned presumably
later as pointed arch. South aisle piscina. Octagonal C13 Purbeck marble
font set on C15 Perpendicular shaft with moulded pedestal and capital,
octagonal plinth. Hexagonal C17 pulpit with arched carved panels and cherub
heads in spandrels, C18 wooden stairs with carved string and Gothick arched
head tracery between balusters. Pre-Reformation stone altar mensa with
consecration crosses set in floor in front. C.1850 box-pews with poppyhead
bench ends. C.1850 nave and aisle roofs. C.1850 west window stained glass
with texts. Fine Decorated chancel arch with moulded bases and capitals,with
lower and upper rood stair doors. C15 rood screen, 7 lights. Painted lower
panels, tracery dado and upper lights. Blocked C15 north door and blocked
north-east window. North and south 'Y' tracery windows have internal hood
moulds, on south with stained glass arms of Clare family, C14 patrons. C15
sedilia, 3 seats with carved spandrel and cinquefoil heads. Piscina. C17
Holy Table with "Donum GY 1640". C.1850 4 bay roof with carved wooden corbel
heads to wall posts.
Listing NGR: TF7704632600
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.