The Church of St Peter Mancroft at Norwich, Norfolk, England 

The Church of St Peter Mancroft at Norwich, Norfolk, England

HomeHome    SearchSearch    PrintPrint    Login - User: anonymousLogin    BookmarkBookmark

Tree: The Full Family Tree
Notes: The present St. Peter’s stands to the south of the provision market and was built in the mid 15th century. The dedication of the church is to St. Peter and St. Paul but it is known locally as St. Peter Mancroft. The symbols of the two saints appear on either side of the north porch door and again inside the church.

Mancroft is a corruption of the Latin for ‘great field’ or ‘great open space’, recalling the positioning of the market by the Normans on open farmland to the west of the Castle. The old Saxon market on Tombland was disrupted by the building of the Cathedral. The parish encompasses the market and was the hub of post Conquest, cosmopolitan activity in the city. The church lies on a sloping site and until the mid 19th century a substantial brook ran behind the present buildings on the east side of the market giving access to water for the market and for the numerous animals in the city. The present church replaces the earlier one built at the behest of the first custodian of Norwich Castle, a royal castle garrisoned for the King. Of the earlier church nothing remains.

The architecture of the present church is typical of the Perpendicular period of English Gothic; a cruciform with a massive west tower, large windows and graceful columns reaching to a row of clerestory windows. The great east window contains the largest surviving collection of medieval painted glass in the city. Much of it is thought to have been made by Flemish glass makers, some of the immigrant workers who found their way to Norwich when it was the second city in England after London. In the English Civil War five windows were destroyed in a huge explosion nearby, the east window contains fragments from these windows and is a kaleidoscope of colour and imagery. The interior of St. Peter’s is flooded with light.

The closely ranked pews are the Victorian replacement of graceful Georgian box pews. Immediately inside the north door, in the correct liturgical position, is the elaborate font, given to the newly built church by John Cawston, a wealthy Norwich grocer. The top commemorates Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. It was once highly coloured, as was much of the interior of the church. The Lady Chapel on the south side is simply furnished with furniture designed by a local craftsman and is a memorial to the men from the Royal Norfolk Regiment who were imprisoned by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942. Both the St. Anne Chapel to the south east and the Jesus Chapel to the north east have beautiful altar frontals designed and embroidered by Isobel Clover. The reredos designed by J.P.Seddon was gilded by Ninian Comper. The north transept houses treasures given to the church over the centuries, including memorabilia of Sir Thomas Browne, the great 17th century physician, antiquarian and naturalist. The cup given to the church by Isaac Fransham, a distinguished lawyer, is there and his monument is nearby. Francis Windham’s tomb is in the Jesus Chapel, a member of the Felbrigg family, he lived in Norwich and acted as Recorder, the law officer, for the city in the reign of Elizabeth I.

All around the walls are monuments for former worshippers – note the brass tablet in the north aisle to Sir James Edward Smith, the founder of the Linnaean society, a brilliant son of Norwich who, on purchasing the collection of the Swedish botanist Linnaeus, began the great scientific study of the natural world which was to found Kew Gardens and put England in the forefront of knowledge.

Dominating the west wall is the Collins organ, a modern, mechanical instrument installed in the church 20 years ago. The ringing chamber surmounts the organ and the loft houses the famous Mancroft bells. The exterior south door is flanked by figures of the Virgin and the Angel Gabriel. From the Castle mound you can see how the east of St. Peter’s was aligned with the great gatehouse of the Castle reinforcing the original connection between the church and the Castle.

Location : Latitude: 52.6278012, Longitude: 1.29256725


Matches 1 to 5 of 5

   Family   Married   Family ID   Tree 
1 MYHILL / JEFFERSON  05 Jun 1780The Church of St Peter Mancroft at Norwich, Norfolk, England F80 The Full Family Tree 
2 MYHILL / COSSEY  18 Nov 1807The Church of St Peter Mancroft at Norwich, Norfolk, England F429 The Full Family Tree 
3 MYHILL / MYHILL  8 Apr 1846The Church of St Peter Mancroft at Norwich, Norfolk, England F223 The Full Family Tree 
4 MYHILL / SPAUL  25 Jul 1847The Church of St Peter Mancroft at Norwich, Norfolk, England F93 The Full Family Tree 
5 BATCH / ABEL  02 Jan 1854The Church of St Peter Mancroft at Norwich, Norfolk, England F536 The Full Family Tree