At Shernborne I said “now two Norfolk churches”. I gave you Shernborne followed by Mickley in Northumberland … . Sorry, Cambridge Geography degree should know the difference between Nor-folk and Nor-thumberland. We now have a quick trip back to Norfolk for the second of our churches. Dersingham is a much larger community than Shernborne. St Nicholas church is at TF694304. You can’t miss the fact that the church is open. They have a website. A nice leaflet about the church, and a quiz sheet – simple to do, easy to produce, an excellent idea. The posters in the porch show it is a community with lots going on.
It is a great Decorated church, dating to the C14, although the Nave windows have been altered later. It is built of the local carstone, and I should have got better photos outside.
Inside we have a good Victorian hammerbeam roof with some rather nice angels.
The Chancel Arch is C14, and the Rood Screen a little later. Carved birds and flowers in the spandrels and original paintwork which survived under thick paint until the Victorian restoration. Saints Agatha, Denys, Agnes, Hubert, Martha and an Archbishop. The modern ramp works well.
In the Chancel is this chest. It is probably the one mentioned in an inventory of 1360. The whole chest was drawn by J.S. Cotman in 1838 before half the lid was lost (how do you lose half a lid?). The initials are those of the Rector (RW, who we know was Richard de Wicklewood), and the Wardens (SA and RA – no one remembers the Wardens!!). The Latin inscription is “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”. The front panels show (1) the divine man for St Matthew, (2) the winged lion for Mark, (3) the winged ox for Luke, and (4) the rising eagle for John.
In the Sanctuary we have a lovely sedilia and piscina.
This table tomb has an incised drawing of John Pell (died 1607) and Joanna, his wife. He was Mayor of King’s Lynn and his signature appears in 1558 as a Church Warden – OK, sometimes Wardens are remembered! Henry VIII gave him some monastic lands at the Dissolution. There are six sons on the front side of the tomb, wearing gowns and starched collars. On the back are their three daughters, wearing farthingales and ruffs. Near the youngest son and eldest daughter will be found the years of their birth (1558 and 1556).
There are other memorials that are quite impressive, a War Memorial Chapel, and a wonderful piece of ?Victorian High Church art. A church worth exploring.