St Andrew's Church
ST ANDREW’S CHURCH
A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO VISIT
St Andrew's Church dates from the 13th Century, but various Norman mouldings point to an even earlier building on this site.
There is a reference to a church in Stokesby in the Doomsday Book.
This church was built before 1086 when the Doomsday book was commissioned by William the Conquerer.
It is recorded as:
Stoches / Stokesbei / bey: William d'Écouis. Church, 2 salthouses. 180 sheep.
This means that there has been a church on this site for over 900 yrs
St Andrew's church tower is from the Early English period (1200-75), and the first Rector to be recorded was Thomas de Ormesby in 1283.
In the ‘Church Bells of Norfolk’ dated 1872, there is an entry stating that in St Andrew's Church Stokesby there is a single bell inscribed ‘Edw. Tooke made me, 1679’. The bell is described as weighing 6cwt he also made the tennor bell in Filby Church .
Between 1856-8, there was a complete restoration: some ancient wall paintings were uncovered but were unfortunately obliterated by unknowing workmen.
The Cradle Roof of the nave is a copy of the original one; reed thatching is a local Norfolk craft. The Medieval Rood Screen has been removed, and the decorated iron ring on the main door is very old, probably the fourteenth century.
The first Register dates back to 1566 in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st and is beautifully inscribed on parchment.
The church possesses a Paraphrase of the Gospels and Act by Erasmus 1466-1536 which must be some 70 years earlier than our Authorized, or King James Version of the Bible.
Stokesby has some of the finest brasses in Norfolk. The earliest depicts Sir Edmund de Clere in a cumbrous helmet with raised visor and is dated 1488, his wife Elizabeth is with him in an elegant horned head-dress.
St Andrew's Church became Grade 2 listed building in 1962. In November 2022 St Andrew's was placed on the churches at risk register.
Sir Edmund de Clere
Elizabeth de Clere
The two boards on display in the church show some of the remains of brasses found in the church.
The rear pews have the original “poppy heads” from the Middle Ages: they depict a nun at prayer with her rosary, an eagle, a Talbot, a greyhound and a lion with a shield with cross (believed to be the arms of the Berney family).
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St Andrew’s Church