Shimpling St George

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What you need to know about this church

St Georges Church Shimpling

Where to find this church

Church Information

St George’s is a redundant church in Shimpling, a small rural Norfolk village about 4 miles north-east of Diss. It is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

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Shimpling St George church
Tower from the south
Shimpling St George church
North porch

Visiting Shimpling St George

St George’s in Shimpling is another church that is now well away from any houses. It is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. The tower was built in the mid 14th century, and contains a lot of brickwork (English bricks were not made until mid 13th century). The round part, the tower stairs (on the south side) and the octagonal belfry were all one build, with many red bricks to be seen inside the construction and more prominently in the belfry. The stone-framed belfry openings have quatrefoils in their heads, and the flushwork tracery on the alternate faces is similar. In 1863 the 25 feet spire was added, now covered with lead. The west window in the tower is 1868 work. In contrast, the nave and the chancel walls are all rendered, so the fabric cannot be seen. The chancel still has windows from the 13th century, but it was reconstructed in the 15th century. Larger 15th century windows have been inserted in the nave. The north porch is unusual and made of timber framing with red brick infill, originally dating from 1514, though some of the brickwork is now 19th century. The barge boards on the front edges of the gable have a scalloped inner edge.

The tall narrow tower arch has the remains of the Rood screen below it. The 15th century font is a lion font with four seated lions round the stem. On the bowl, angels holding some Instruments of the Passion, the crown of thorns, ladder, spear, alternate with the symbols of the Evangelists: E eagle (John), S winged lion (Mark), W winged man (Matthew), and N winged bull (Luke). Just east of the north doorway by an old pew with a traceried back, is exposed a much earlier, lower floor, revealing tiles of 14th/15th century, some with a running deer motif. The nave roof is 15th century arch braced, with later collar beams, but only one head remains, (south-west), supporting the braces. There are embattled wall plates, running along the top of the walls. Below it are 15th century bench ends with pricket holes (to hold candles) in their tops, though the rest of the pew woodwork is 19th century.

There are some 15th century fragments of Norwich made glass in the nave windows. There are ¾ angels in the top of tracery of the north window near the door, with tight breastplates over full skirts. In the south-east nave window are more angels, two playing lutes and two playing harps, in the top tracery, with parts of angels at the heads of the main lights, and frames with typical Norwich leaves wrapped round a yellow rod, and a panel of a proud seated lion. The chancel has earlier glass of canopy work in the tracery of the side windows and the east window has two 15th century shields of arms for de Shimpling (N) and le Grys impaling Hales and Scogan (S).

Unfortunately, the quality and quantity of the photos (especially the interior ones) is not to my liking, meaning we have to visit this church again.

Conclusion: open and welcoming rural church with many early features

Shimpling St George church
View into the nave
Shimpling St George church
Font and tower arch