St. Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich

St. Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich

We know who Saint Peter was, but who is Mancroft? There is no "who." The name Mancroft is not a name. It is believed to be a corruption of the Old English term for a common field, "gemaene croft." In fact, the church, Saint Peter Mancroft, was built next to a common field which had become the site of the Norwich Market.

Saint Peters is the largest of the three churches of Norwich. The lesser two are Saint Giles and Saint Stephen. The church was most likely founded in 1075 by Ralph de Guader, Earl of Norfolk. Ralph was involved in a failed rebellion against William the Conqueror. Ralph fled the country and gave the church to his chaplain, Wala. Wala ran away too.

In 1388 the church was taken over by the Benedictines. The Benedictines rebuilt the church by 1455 and today it still has that no-nonsense perpendicular, 15th century style. The building period was short. That's the secret.

The outside is faced in limestone, most likely imported from Caen in France. There are two large porches each on the north and south sides. Over the north porch there is a parvis, a small room. Lighting in the interior is by a clerestory that runs the length of the nave. The timber roof is decorated with bosses of golden angels and suns.

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St. Peter Mancroft Church on Map

Sight Name: St. Peter Mancroft Church
Sight Location: Norwich, England (See walking tours in Norwich)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Norwich, England

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