Shereford St Nicholas

What you need to know about this church

St Nicholas Church Shereford

Where to find this church

Church Information

St Nicholas church is located in Shereford, a Norfolk village in a rural setting about 2 miles west of Fakenham.

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Shereford St Nicholas church
Church from south-west
Shereford St Nicholas church
11th century font

Visiting Shereford St Nicholas

The church of St Nicholas in Shereford sits in a very rural position seemingly in the middle of nowhere with not much of a village surrounding it. Nevertheless, it would take you only maybe half an hour or so to walk into the centre of the market town of Fakenham to the east.

The south nave wall here declares its age, built in the 11th century, by having pieces of ferricrete, a rough brown stone, among the flints, particularly in its lower areas, but also marking the height of the original wall. The west nave quoins, and the one to the north-east, are made of flints and ferricrete, with brick repairs. The tower could also be much the same age, though its two belfry openings now appear to be 13th century. The tower used to have a battlemented parapet (see the photo by George Plunkett from 1950), but since 1974 it has been capped with an overhanging lead cone (like a dustbin lid). On the north side, it is apparent that there used to be a north aisle, added in the 13th century, and its piscina is still there. The north doorway has a pointed arch and dog-tooth pattern down its sides, all typical of the 13th century, though it has lost its shafts. The chancel east window is a 19th century interpretation of 14th century tracery. The two east quoins of the chancel are chamfered (sloped). Between the south nave windows is an early flint-framed, double-splayed window of the 11th century. The south doorway is round-headed, with roll mouldings and four shafts with volute capitals, all about 1100.

The tower arch has a stone round arch in the nave, but inside the tower this arch is formed of flints, so is likely to be about 1100. The 11th century font is tub-like, with a scallop pattern around the lower edge of the bowl, which stands on a nearly square stem with four engaged shafts.

The chancel piscina has a shaft by its bowl, so it may have been an angle piscina, now a bit altered. In the north-east corner is a coffin slab, with a long cross, which has a double omega pattern and a cross patée head, dated about 1160.

Conclusion: open and welcoming rural church with many early features

Shereford St Nicholas church
Shereford St Nicholas church
Tower arch