The Church of All Saints retains fabric of the C11 and C15 date. It was restored in1883 by J B Pearce at which time the north transept and vestry were added and the roof structure was replaced.
Reason for Listing
The C11 and C15 Church of All Saints, Market Lane, Great Melton is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: The nave and chancel date to the C11 and C15 and include evidence of early architectural features. All three stages of the distinctive, west tower are of C15 date.
* Materials: The incorporation of Roman brick in the quoins and well-executed use of flint and stone exhibits craftsmanship in the construction of the church.
* Alteration: The sympathetic, late-C19 restoration by J B Pearce, a noted local architect with listed buildings to his name, adds to the interest of the church.
* Interiors: The piscine and sedile, which are probably sited in their original medieval position, may be incorporated medieval stonework. The Victorian wall paintings and tutored stonework in the chancel, transept and tower arches adds to the significance of the church, as do the C15 poppyhead pews and C14 sarcophagus lids from the ruined St Mary’s Church, fixed in the south porch.
* Group Value: The church has group value with the adjacent tower of St Mary’s Church, and to the east, the ornate Lodge to Great Melton Hall, dated to 1818, and the remains of the early-C17 Great Melton Hall, all listed.
The village of Great Melton in South Norfolk was divided into two distinct parishes: St. Mary's and All Saints which were consolidated in the early C18. The churches are located next to each other. In approximately 1710, after an Act of Parliament, the Church of All Saints was abandoned and the congregation worshipped at St Mary's until this church, too, became dilapidated. In 1882, the decision was made to restore All Saints at a cost of approximately £1,000, and to abandon St Mary's.
Although it is said that All Saints was founded by the Irish monk St Fursey in the early C8, the earliest fabric of the church is dated to the C11, and incorporates Roman tiles and flint work in a chevron pattern. The original tower was round, but this was replaced with the current tower in the C15. Pevsner records that a donation towards the construction of the tower is recorded in 1430. The south porch was probably constructed at the same time. During its restoration in the late C19, the roof was reconstructed, a new north transept and vestry were added, designed by J B Pearce, and the parapet of the tower was rebuilt. The Church of All Saints was listed at Grade II in November 1959.
MATERIALS: Knapped, coursed flint with reused Roman brick and stone dressings. Slated roof.
PLAN: Aisle-less nave, chancel and south porch with unbuttressed west tower. North transept and vestry added by Pearce.
EXTERIOR: The substantial nave and chancel walls are constructed largely with C11 and C15 fabric, comprising coursed flint facings and some re-used Roman brick quoins. Most of the window openings and tracery are C19. In the north wall of the nave is a blocked doorway with a non-radial, re-used brick surround. To its right is a recessed, arched niche. The tower is mainly C15 with C19 openings and stone quoins in the lower stages. The parapet, openings and tracery are of 1883.
INTERIOR: The roof has a scissor-brace truss. The tower, chancel and transept arches are Perpendicular (C14) in style. Over the chancel arch is a C19 wall-painted script which reads ‘HOLY HOLY HOLY, LORD, GOD ALMIGHTY’ beneath which, on either side of the arch, are painted panels with scrolls and foliate motifs.
The altar has a coloured marble reredos flanked by wall paintings of kneeling angels. In the south wall of the chancel, there is a sedile and a piscina with an ogee arch and figurative label stops. The East window was formerly in St Mary’s Church; the stained glass by Gibbs and Howard commemorates Charles Eyres, the Rector who died on All Saints day 1875. The window in the south wall of the chancel, also by Gibbs and Howard, was given by Alfred Day, Rector, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1897. The east window in the south wall of the nave depicts St Wolstan of Bawburgh. The west window in the south wall of the nave, given in 1962, depicts St Fursey, the supposed founder of the parish. Near to the door is an aumbry.
FIXTURES AND FITTINGS: Most fixtures and fittings are of 1883, apart from in the porch, where two C15 poppyhead pews and two C14 sarcophagus lids from St Mary’s are fixed. The C19 font may rest on an earlier pedestal and has a carved wooden cover. Attached to the north wall of the aisle is a decorative war memorial to the parish dead of both World Wars. In the north transept is an early-C20 organ, and in the attached vestry there is a late-C19 fireplace.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.