Church of England Diocese of Norwich Attleborough

A brief history of St Mary's

St Mary's dates from Saxon times when St Edmund spent a year with priests at Attleborough before his coronation in 856.

Originally the church was in the shape of a cross with the Norman tower at the centre but in 1386 Sir Robert Mortimer partitioned off the chancel for the use of a college of 5 priests and built the present enlarged nave for the use of the parish.

The old chancel was demolished in the Reformation.

Among the interesting feature of our church is the beautifully carved Rood screen given in 1475 by the Mortimer family, which extends across both aisles. Originally it was intended to separate the college of priests from the congregation. It has paintings of St John the Baptist, St Mary, St John the Evangelist, St Thomas a Becket, the Holy Trinity and St Bartholomew. Above the screen is a loft.

In 1842 the churchwardens wanted to sell the screen for £40 but were prevented from doing so and instead it was moved to the west wall. It was restored to its present position in 1931.

Other points of interest are a C17th alms box, a wall painting of St Christopher, and a C15th door carved out of a single piece of oak leading to a small room called the parvise. The north porch housed Attleborough's parish fire engine in the C19th.

As you visit our church, either in person or on the website please join the Christian community who have worshipped here since Saxon times. Make the doors of our church wide enough to receive all who need love, fellowship and a Father's care and narrow enough to shut out envy, hate, pride and uncharitableness.