Church of England Diocese of Norwich Bedingham

A history of the church

The interior is very light, with clerestory windows above the nave and the chancel. The church's main east window, with its Y tracery, is Early English (late C13th). The south transept has a particularly fine C14th window at its southern end. The east window of the north aisle contains some interesting glass (the gift of King's College, Cambridge). There are early C15th Figures of saints in the centre and brilliantly coloured scenes of St Stephen and St Paul (crafted at a later date) in the two circles.

Near the tower is a fine C15th octagonal font, raised on two steps, with panels around the bowl showing roses and symbols. The two roses carved in the stonework are Tudor roses. The symbols are of the four Evangelists: the winged man for Matthew, the lion for Mark, the bull for Luke and the eagle for John. To the west is an angel playinga musical instrument whilst sitting on the clouds.There is also a lion without wings. Supporting the bowl are demi angels. Around the stem are four seated lions hence the name lion font. The faces on the font have been chiselled away, probably at the time of the Reformation when such representations were thought to smack of idolatry. The font would originally have been kept full of holy water and there would have been a locking cover to prevent removal of its contents.

The two rear pews are decorated with a male and female head respectively, possibly reflecting the medieval custome of separating men and women during services. Other (originally backless) pews have poppy headed ends, probably C15th. The back of the third bench from the rear, on the south side, seems to have been made in part from a screen; it is inscribed with a request for prayers for one Simon Tillas and his wife. In the aisles are Geotgian box pews, graduated in size according to the status of the occupants.

The beautiful C15th painted rood screen retains much of its original colouring and has attractive tracery. The pulpit is late C17th, an unusual feature in a country church.

In the chancel are monuments to the Stone family, lords of Bigod's Manor from the C16th to the C19th. The late C17th communion rails are striking, with elegant barley sugar and dumb bell sections. Unusually, there is a dropped sill sedilia flanked by Purbeck marble pillars and a pair of niches, the eastern one containing a piscina. There is also a piscina, with a stone credence shelf at the back of its niche,in the south transept.