Framingham Earl St Andrew

What you need to know about this church

St Andrew's Church Framingham Earl

Where to find this church

Church Information

St Andrew’s church is located in Framingham Earl, a Norfolk village about 6 mile south-east of the City of Norwich.

This church is usually open to visitors 1st Saturday every month for one or two hours only

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Tower west view
South doorway

Visiting Framingham Earl St Andrew

St Andrew’s in Framingham Earl belongs to the few churches which are usually locked, and it is very difficult to see the interior, as no keyholder is listed, and the “regular” opening times are, well, a bit limited (see info-box above). When we wanted to take photographs of the interior a couple of years ago, I had arranged a date with the parish before, and we were shown the church by an extremely friendly and welcoming gentleman. But why they keep it locked in this way, I have no idea. And there is a lot to see inside.

Although the windows have been replaced with 19th century copies, the nave is basically 11th, with the south doorway having a round-headed arch with eight roundels on the outer arch, with a band of broad labels next, then a roll for the inner arch. The two capitals are different, with that on the east covered with eight-rayed stars, and the west one has cable over billet pattern. The nave is built of flints of varying sizes, but the tower appears to be perhaps a later build, of smaller, more uniform in size flints. As there are vertical lines in the south and north sides, perhaps the west half has been rebuilt? There is a plain circular parapet. The nave has flint quoins, a sign of early 11th century work.

The chancel still has circular double-splayed, flint-framed windows near its west end, one on each side. Nearer the east end, again on both sides, is a shallow early pilaster, a sort of flat buttress, and probably the first chancel had a rounded apse at the east end. Now it has a 14th century square end. The other windows have been updated and enlarged over the centuries, and the east window has 14th century style tracery.

Entering the church one is immediately aware of the sturdy 11th century Norman arch with diamond patterns on the outer arch, chevrons within its mouldings and then a band of labels. Either side of the arch are square-headed squints (to give a view of the chancel) with zig-zag patterns, but these are 19th century additions.

The 19th century font stands below the tower. The west window holds some 15th century glass of St Margaret trampling a red dragon. A north nave window has a St Catherine, with her spiked wheel of the same era. There is a gallery at the west end of the nave, and this accommodates the organ. The sophisticated 18th century Jacobean pulpit came here in 1900 from a church in Suffolk, at Sotterley.

The chancel fittings are 19th century, but one can see the inner reveals of the 11th century circular windows near its west end. The piscina has open tracery above an ogee arch with lots of cusping. It is 14th century in style, but was restored in 1925.

Conclusion: beautiful church that is unfortunately nearly always locked

View into the nave
Framingham Earl St Andrew
St Catherine's window