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(Article 7 in St Mary's Church Loop)

1303 Nicholas de Coulteshale 1543 John Holland
1338 Robert de Stanhowe 1553 Philip Parrock
1373 Thomas de Leham 1553 Henry Grene
1391 John de Debenham 1599 Thomas Randal
1417 Thomas Alkok 1609 Robert Warren M.A.
1438 John Crowcher, S,T.B. 1619 Thomas Randal M.A,
1447 John Young 1631 William Smith
1433 John Bernard 1650 William Butler
1462 Thomas Topyn 1666 John Randolph, S.T.B.
1491 Thomas Adams, M.A. 1684 Robert Simpson, M.A,
1503 Andrew Swynne, M.A. 1728 Edward Bearne
1512 Alexander Trodes, 1755 Edward Innes


1772 Stephen Kinchin
1527 Richard Taylor, LlB 1778 Henry Pritchard

The Benefices of St. Nicholas and St. Mary -were consolidated 4th June, 1805.


1823 Francis Hunerford Daubeny 1953 Roger Cokayne Frith
1823 Henry Fardell 1970 Kenneth Gordon Haynes
1831 Edward Bowyer Sparke, M.A. 1976 Charles William Wall
1879 Henry Thomas O’Rorke, M.A.  (Photograph) 1978 Stephen Walter Davies
1912 Colin Arthur Fitzgerald Campbell, M.A  (Photograph) 1984 Owen Swan
1916 John Hilton Molesworth  (Photograph) 1987 James Harcourt Richards
1921 Cuthbert Cartwright  (Photograph) 1993 Peter James Shepherd
1925 Alfred Henry Phillips 1997 David Kightly
1933 Gordon A.W. Wilkinson, M.A., M.C.  (Photograph)    
1939 Anthony G.W. Cope, M.A.  (Photograph)    

Thomas Alkok, 1417-38, desires by his Will, proved 3rd October, 1438, to be buried in the Chancel of the Church and a stone laid over him.

John Crowcher, 1438-47, was Dean of Chichester.

John Holland, 1543-53, was Chaplain to the Duke of Norfolk.

Thomas Randal, 1599-1609, in his replies to King James’ queries, says that the Church was served by a curate named Ambrose Fiske and that there are 120 Communicants in the parish.

Thomas Randal, 1619-31, was also Rector of Hockwold.

William Smith, 1631-50, was also Rector of Hockwold.

William Butler, appointed 1650, was, according to Calamy’s Nonconformist Memorial, ejected under the Act of Uniformity of 1662. Calamy describes him as a man of sound judgment, an unblameable life, and most healthy constitution. He died aged 84 years A.D. 1696.

Edward Bowyer Sparke, 1831-79, formerly Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, was Residentiary Canon of Ely Cathedral and Registrar of the Diocese of Ely. He added the North Aisle to St. Mary's Church, which might be described as an enlargement of the building rather than an improvement to the look of it. Also, at his own cost, he built the Church of St. John, Little Ouse, in 1869. He was the son of Dr. Bowyer Edward Sparke, Bishop of Ely 18l2-36, and married Catherine Maria, sister of Edward Clough Newcome. His widow built the East Hall on the Lodge Road.

Colin A. F. Campbell, 192-16, before taking Holy Orders, war private secretary to the Earl of Kintore, Governor of South Australia, and clerk to the Executive Council. He was Domestic Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury 1894-95 and in 1915 became Archdeacon of Wisbech.

John Hilton Molesworth, 1916-21, was Rural Dean of Feltwell.


There was a Side Chapel dedicated to St. Catherine which may have been in the South Aisle where, at the East end, a piscina can still be seen; among those buried in this Chapel was Elizabeth, widow of John Morewood and sister of Francis Mundeford. She died A.D. 1542, and in her Will directs her executors to make provision for a yearly Obit to be kept for her. An Obit was a Memorial Service held usually on the anniversary of a person's death for the repose of his or her soul.

Blomefield's History of Norfolk says that there was an ascent of three steps to the Communion Table and "three curious stone arches and seats, for the bishop, priest and deacon at the head of them an arch for the holy water, and in the north wall a cupboard, once a repository, for relicks." The cupboard for the relics is either hidden by the oak panelling in the Sanctuary or has disappeared. The three seats on the South wall of the Sanctuary are the Sedilia; they are of the Decorated Style of Architecture which prevailed under the three first Edwards, 1272-1377, and were for the priest and his two attendants, the Deacon and Subdeacon, at Mass. The "Arch for the Holy Water" is the Piscina, and in his book on the Parish Church, Lamborn explains that "every Altar had its drain, the piscina, usually in a arched recess in the South wall, where the rinsings of the numerous ceremonial ablutions were poured away to sink into consecrated earth.

At the East end of the South Aisle is a stone staircase leading to the Rood-loft. The Chancel of a Church was divided from the Nave by a Screen, and upon the Screen was the Rood-loft; the loft was a platform and was approached by means of a staircase usually of stone, sometimes of wood; occasionally a ladder was used. Very few Rood-lofts exist, almost all of them having been taken down in Queen Elizabeth's reign. Rood is the old word for the Cross, and previous to the Reformation every Church had a large Cross over the Chancel Screen, and on the Cross was Christ Crucified while on either side were figures of St. Mary and St. John. The Screen, like other parts of a Church, is Symbolical and represents Death. As the Communicant passes through the Screen to receive the Bread of Life at the Altar, so shall he pass through the grave and gate of death to meet Christ in the life beyond. The Rood-loft was used for various purposes in some lofts there was an Altar; but the chief use was as a music gallery. On great festivals the Rood was illuminated by a number of candles and the beam on which the Rood stood became known as the Candle Beam.

On the South wall of the Chancel, removed there from the floor of the Nave to preserve it, is a brass to the memory of Francis Hetht, of Mildenhall, who died A.D. 1470, and Grace his wife. Also on the South wall of the Chancel is the brass to the memory of Margaret Mundford, who died A.D. 1520. It is an interesting brass, and was removed to its present position from the floor near the stone staircase leading to the old Rood-loft. She is shewn with the head-dress of that period, known as the Kennel Head-dress from its resemblance to the gable end of a dog kennel, while from her girdle hang her beads, her purse and pomander, i.e. a box containing an aromatic ball carried as a preservative against infection.

The inscription on the brass begins: Orate pro anima Margarete Mundford, i.e., Pray for the soul of Margaret Mundford; and ends with the short but beautiful prayer: Cujus anime propitietur Deus, i.e., On whose soul may God have mercy.

The Church has a timber roof of great beauty. The spandrels under the tie-beams are enriched alternately with finely carved angels and pierced tracery. Also on the tie-beams are figures of angels with out-stretched wings.

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