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St Faith's Church, Little Witchingham
A small flint church seen between trees from the southeast, with a battlemented tower at the far end
St Faith's Church, Little Witchingham,
from the southeast
Coordinates: 52°44′18″N 1°07′56″E / 52.7383°N 1.1323°E / 52.7383; 1.1323
OS grid reference TG 115 203
Location Little Witchingham, Norfolk
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website Churches Conservation Trust
History
Dedication Saint Faith
Architecture
Functional status Redundant
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 22 July 1983
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic
Groundbreaking 12th century
Specifications
Materials Flint with stone and brick dressings

St Faith's Church is a redundant Anglican church in the village of Little Witchingham in Norfolk, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building, and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It stands in a relatively isolated position in country lanes, about 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Norwich and 3 miles (5 km) south of Reepham. It is notable for its sequence of medieval wall paintings.

History

St Faith's has its origins in the 12th century, although most of its fabric is from the 14th century. The tower was added in the 15th century. In the 1930s the church had fallen into disuse and it became a ruin. In 1967 Eve Baker climbed through a window and rediscovered the existence of medieval wall paintings. These were renovated and the church was repaired by the Norfolk Churches Trust and the Council for the Care of Churches. It is now vested in the Churches Conservation Trust. As of 2011 the church is kept locked because many of its floor tiles were stolen in 2008, but a key can be obtained nearby.

Architecture

The church is constructed in flint rubble with stone and brick dressings. Its plan consists of a nave with a south aisle, a chancel and a west tower. The tower is without buttresses, and its battlemented parapet is decorated with a frieze and flushwork panels. Along the south side of the aisle and chancel, and in the east end of the aisle, are two-light windows. The east window has three lights. In the north wall is a blocked doorway. The south wall of the chancel contains a fragment of a stone preaching cross, carved with an image of the Crucifixion. Inside the church the south arcade is carried on octagonal piers and the arches are decorated with zigzag patterns. The roof of the nave and chancel dates from the 18th century.

Wall paintings

The wall paintings date from the middle of the 14th century, and have suffered varying degrees of damage. The roundels in the arcades depict the Four Evangelists. Along the top of the south wall of the church is a painting depicting the apostles around the risen Christ. Below this is a sequence of paintings showing events in the Passion of Christ. Under these is decoration with vines and scrolling. The paintings elsewhere are not as clear. One shows parts of Saint George killing the Dragon, another is thought to have contained Saint Christopher, and another possibly is of The Three Living and the Three Dead.

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