All Saints, Great Fransham

All Saints dates from the 13th century but evidence of earlier activity on the site has been uncovered in the churchyard in the form of early Saxon pottery fragments. The church is simple in design with plain glass windows that bath it in light, giving it a wonderfully airy feel. 

During the second world war in 1944, a flying bomb landed on a nearby farm, causing damage to the church’s windows and dislodging roof tiles. Fortunately, efforts were made to protect the building from the elements, saving it from further destruction.  

The church’s font dates from either the 14th or 15th century and was originally sited in St Etheldreda, Norwich, which is now used as artists’ studios. The octagonal design features a shield on each facet of the bowl and a carved head on each corner.

In the nave, you can see evidence of the original south aisle in the form of an early English four-arch arcade. It was demolished in around 1800 and a wall was built between the piers. When the church underwent restoration in the late 19th century, this wall was rebuilt and windows were added. At the same time, the roof was also renewed, the pews replaced, and the wooden panelling was installed in the chancel.

In the sanctuary is a high-back chair of oak that was donated to the church in 1888 by the then rector, George Preston, in memory of his late wife. The previous rector, Vincent Raven, is also responsible for carving and donating the high altar table, lectern depicting the arms of Magdalene College Cambridge and the fine poppy head benches in the chancel. The chancel is also home to a memorial of Thomas Case, an attorney and common council man who died in 1793. 

1. All Saints, Great Fransham
2. All Saints, Great Fransham
3. All Saints, Great Fransham
4. All Saints, Great Fransham
5. Font from St Etheldreda, Norwich
6. All Saints, Great Fransham
7. Font detail
8. All Saints, Great Fransham
9. Arcade of old south aisle
10. All Saints, Great Fransham
11. All Saints, Great Fransham
12. All Saints, Great Fransham
13. Thomas Case memorial
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15. Poppy head bench carved by Vincent Raven
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17. Poppy head bench carved by Vincent Raven
18. Lectern carved by Vincent Raven
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20. High altar table carved by Vincent Raven
21. All Saints, Great Fransham
22. All Saints, Great Fransham
23. All Saints, Great Fransham
24. Oak chair donated by George Preston
25. Former south aisle arcade