St Andrews Church dates from the 13th Century, but various Norman moldings point to an even earlier building on this site.
The tower is from the Early English period (1200-75), and the first Rector to be recorded was Thomas de Ormesby in 1283.
In the ‘Church Bells of Norfolk’ dated 1872, there is an entry stating that in St Andrew Church Stokesby there is a single bell inscribed ‘Edw.Tooke made me, 1679’. The bell is described as weighing 6cwt.
Between 1856-8, there was a complete restoration: some ancient wall paintings were uncovered but were unfortunately obliterated by unknowing workmen.
The Cradle Roof of the nave is a copy of the original one; reed thatching is a local Norfolk craft. The Medieval Rood Screen has been removed, and the decorated iron ring on the main door is very old, probably fourteenth century.
The first Register dates back to 1566 in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st and is beautifully inscribed on parchment.
The church possesses a Paraphrase of the Gospels and Act by Erasmus 1466-1536 which must be some 70 years earlier than our Authorized or King James version of the Bible.
Stokesby has some of the finest brasses in Norfolk. The earliest depicts St Edmund Clere in a cumbrous helmet with raised visor and is dated 1488; his wife Elizabeth is with him in an elegant horned head-dress.
Edmund Clere Elizabeth Clere
The two boards on display in the church show some of the remains of brasses found in the church.
The rear pews have the original “poppy heads” from the Middle Ages: they depict a nun at prayer with her rosary, an eagle, a Talbot, a greyhound and a lion with a shield with cross (believed to be the arms of the Berney family).
Two of the carve pew ends (poppy heads) that can be
found on the pews at the rear of the church.
St Andrew’s churchyard harbours a rear lichen called ‘lecanactis’ which is usually found on the south coast of England. It can be seen on the north wall and east window of the church. This is the most northernmost location where it has been found.
We hope you have the opportunity to visit to St Andrew’s where Christian worship has been maintained for over 900 years.
There is a St Andrew’s Church Restoration Fund and your help would be much appreciated. Any donations can be placed in the box on the wall near the door.
Details of church services for St Andrew’s and all the churches in the benefice can be found in the porch or visit South Trinity Benefice page.