On the road to North Norfolk

posted in: East Anglia, Home, Norfolk | 2

Travelling from A to B is always an opportunity to see things along the way that you wouldn’t necessarily visit and on the road to North Norfolk we stopped at one or two small places in addition to Wymondham Abbey.

Forncett St Peter

The first stop was in Forncett St Peter which has a tenuous connection with William Wordsworth,1 although we didn’t know it before visiting. The church is a Grade I listed building and it is set in a vast graveyard, surrounded by trees, and very quiet. The Saxon round tower is huge and in very good order. As always, the website to consult is that of Simon Knott.2

Forncett St Peter
The Church of St Peter in Forncett St Peter
Forncett St Peter
Door at the base of the round tower

Inside the Church of St Peter

The church is quite plain inside but the bench ends are extraordinary. There are beautifully carved little figures, all different, and it would be easy to spend quite a lot of time here with a camera and tripod. Another project! According to Simon Knott these are not Mediaeval, but a Victorian realisation of Mediaeval carvings.

Forncett St Peter
Looking down the nave
Bench ends in Forncett St Peter
Pews with carved bench ends


The small town of Hingham looked interesting so we stopped to see if the church was just as interesting as that of Forncett St Peter. It was, and the Church of St Andrew held a huge surprise – a connection with America. Apparently the town was fanatically Puritan in the 1600s and a large number of its leading citizens emigrated to America where they established Hingham in Masschusetts.3 Amongst these new settlers were the ancestors of Bill Gates, the Presidents Bush, and Nicholas Gilman, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Also Samuel Lincoln whose decendant Abraham Lincoln is commemorated in the church.

Abraham Lincoln bust in Hingham

The Church of St Andrew the Apostle in Hingham

Church of St Andrew in Hingham
Inside the Church of St Andrew in Hingham, looking towards the east end

This enormous church dates from the mid-1300s when it was built by Remegius de Hethersett. Clearly Hingham was a very prosperous market town at the time. The stained glass windows are astonishing and include stained glass from Germany at the East end, the best of its kind in Norfolk. And there is an Angel Roof.

Church of St Andrew in Hingham

But perhaps the most extraordinary sight is the enormous red stone tomb of Thomas, Lord Morley, dating from the 1400s. The 5th Baron Morley (1393-1435) was the lord of several manors in Norfolk and a high-ranking and highly-regarded soldier and subject of the king. He married Isobel de la Pole, a daughter of the 2nd Duke of Suffolk.

Morley tomb in Hingham church

And so on through Dereham on the road to North Norfolk to finally arrive in Reepham after a wonderful day.


  1. https://www.literarynorfolk.co.uk/forncett_st__peter.htm
  2. http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/forncettpeter/forncettpeter.htm
  3. https://issuu.com/onepresspublishing/docs/sng_web

2 Responses

  1. Di Rowe

    Beautiful photos of these ornate Churches! So loved reading of the history of Hingham and its Puritan roots. Thanks Candy for sharing your travel diary with us! Di Rowe

I would love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.