Kilverstone St Andrew
St Andrew’s church is located in Kilverstone, a Norfolk village just to the east of Thetford.
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Visiting Kilverstone St Andrew
Even though the church of St Andrew’s in Kilverstone is only about half a mile away from a large supermarket on the eastern outskirts of Thetford, you feel like you are in the middle of rural Norfolk. There is a small path leading from the main road down to the church, and the junction is easy to miss.
A lych gate, made in 1907, welcomes one to this churchyard, on the edge of the park of Kilverstone Hall, which was largely rebuilt in the early 20th century. The lych gate has a jaunty “hat-like” tiled roof, and amongst its carvings are squirrels in the spandrels of its arches. The sturdy round tower was built in the 12th century, with double belfry openings, with the round heads and jambs made of dressed stone. On the inside, these double arches are covered by a single arch of stone, the fashion of that time. There is a 15th century battlemented parapet at the top, and a ground floor pseudo-11th century west window, but this was made in the 19th century, as was the tower arch inside. At the level of the first floor in the tower are three slit windows with stone outer frames and inner jambs.
There used to be a north aisle, but a whirlwind took off its lead roof in 1735 and it was not replaced. The church was heavily restored in 1906/7, when all the windows were replaced in mock plate-tracery with differing openings at the top. The south porch has dragon heads spouts to the guttering. The narrow south doorway is late 12th century, though its outer arch was placed there in the 19th century. The inner arch has some chevron moulding. It rests on a shaft either side with a volute capital. The ironwork on the door is also 19th century.
Just inside the door is the 19th century font, with a slightly bulbous round bowl on a sturdy column. The nave roof was entirely replaced in 1906, and the carved pulpit, with a front panel showing the Risen Christ, dates from that time. Amongst the ledger stones is a large one at the east end of the nave for Ann Wright, †1691, with a very lengthy inscription.
There are kneeling angels on the prayer desk in the chancel, and the stone reredos has a central circular panel painted with Christ the Shepherd (carrying a lamb on his shoulders). The crest of the reredos has large crockets with a finial at the top.