|The Church of St Edmund the Martyr|
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is a small building mostly in the Early English style. There are narrow
lancet windows and there is a Priest’s door on the south side of the
chancel. The Nave and Chancel are of the same width and separated by a
carved screen. The roof was lead covered. The 14th century font is
octagonal, having carved Shields with Castles triple towered. The
Castells, or de Castells were sub-tenants of the Manor here. The organ
is now in the chancel the nave having had two vestries constructed
where the organ used to stand. The harmonium was sold and an organ
bought from Bodium Manor House, Sussex in 1946 at a cost of £146.00 as
a celebration of victory. The list of Rectors dates from 1302, Richard
de Hedersede – by Nicholas de Castello and Cecilia his wife. The oldest
register dates back to 1541. There were three bells in the 6th year of
Edward V1 one inscribed ‘Iohn Brend made me 1635’ and four in the
square tower in 1784. This tower fell on a Sunday after the Service on
June 1st 1796 and was never rebuilt but restoration work took place in
1797. Some of the old foundations still remain on either side of the
pathway leading to the Church.|
The print is marked "Ladbroke about 1823"
An Estimation of the expense of Repairs [ ? ] to be Done to the Church in the Parish of Horningtoft made this 29th Day of May 1797 by Thos Neal Junr.
This is a photograph of the original which is held in the Norfolk Records Office, Norwich. Click on the image to view transcription and photograph in more detail.
restoration work took place in the late 1860’s early 1870’s, the
Steeple on the South side being removed and the roof reconstructed with
pin tiles. On the Terrier for 1933 there is a note at the bottom.|
According to an old book of the Churchwardens the Old Church Bell was sold to Warner & Son on the 21st Feb 1870 for the sum of £12.15.7 which sum was applied in helping with the Restoration of the Church which was carried out (according to the same book) about that date Warner & Son supplied the new bell for the sum of £7.16.10 as shown in the aforesaid Churchwardens book.
the diary of B J Armstrong 20 April 1870|
Went to the reopening of Horningtoft Church, after being all but rebuilt. The difference in the church now to what it was when I preached there many years ago is striking indeed. The ancient screen is repainted and gilded; there are beautiful seats; a proper altar with Cross, vases and candlesticks. The choristers, having three banners, and clergy, all in white stoles, proceeded from a neighbouring farmhouse singing “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” The collection amounted to £17. It is wonderful what can be done in a small place where the incumbent has taste and energy and where there are no obstructives to hinder!
|In 1951 electric light was installed in the Church, in the place of the old coke stove there are six cowl fires. The old oil lamps were given by the Parochial Church Council to Keswick Church. (Terrier 1955).|
the 1970s the Church was threatened with closure but with grants the roof
was repaired again, floor was replaced, old pews removed from the nave and
replaced with chairs and decorated inside with villagers helping with the
work. This is the only meeting place in the village and is used for Parish
Council Meetings, events to raise moneyfor the church, Christmas bazaar
etc. It has also been used for a Barn Dance, Harvest Supper and a Beetle
The north and part of the west of the churchyard was enclosed by large leylandii which were cut down in December 1999 and the Millennium project was to raise money to remove the stumps and repair and extend the wall which lies at the west end. It is now once again possible to see the Church from the road.
|A Heritage Society was formed and a grant was secured from the Local Heritage Initiative and an award from the Nationwide Building Society for historical research and the churchyard wall restoration. A Heritage Weekend was held in June 2001 and again in 2003, much of the information collected for these events is available in the church, which is open during the day, and on this web site.|
©Horningtoft Heritage Society