From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

St James Church, Castle Acre

Statistics
Category
County
Coordinates
Grid
Condition
Age
Admission
Church
Norfolk
52°42'08.7"N 0°41'10.5"E
TF 8159715023
Good
1070
Free
Map


  • History
  • Gallery
St James Church is located between the castle and the priory, in the mediaeval village of Castle Acre, Norfolk.

The church is probably built on the remains of an Anglo-Saxon church, although no trace remains. Acre, as it was known in Saxon times,was owned by Toki. William de Warenne was awarded the estate after the Norman conquest and built the castle and founded the Priory. The income from the church at Acre, was granted to the priory.

The church was rebuilt to the Norman standards of the time, but in the 14th and 15th centuries was rebuilt and enlarged. The village is located near the ancient Peddlar's Way footpath and catered to travellers along the old Roman road by providing inns and hostels and prospered.

The hexagonal font was made in the 15th century, with a beautifully restored painted cover, still with its original counter-balance mechanism for raising and lowering it. The cover towers like the spire of a church, decorated with detailed pinnacles.

The church was restored twice in the Victorian period, in 1846 and then again 1875, but it remains essentially a late mediaeval building.

Notes

On the south side of the church is a large blocked opening above a rebuilt priest's door. It has been suggested that this was a huge doorway to allow a mounted knight to ride his horse inside the church.