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St James' history

St James' Norton was in the care of Kempsey from Norman times; the Vicar from Kempsey received dues from the congregation of Norton in return for providing a priest to officiate services.  

 

The church of St James consists of a chancel, north vestry, nave, south aisle, south porch and western tower and has been repaired a great deal during the past century. The south aisle, porch and vestry were added in 1875.

 

The oldest portion of the existing church is the 12th century nave, which appears to have been lengthened in the 13th century. The chancel appears to have been rebuilt in the 14th century and the tower may have been added later that century.

 

Lancet Window

The Lancet window to the west of the north doorway was built in about 1220. It was added when the wall was extended. 

 

The Font

The octagonal font was also made around 1220 and is typical of the age when churches were given more freedom after the tradition of circle and semi-circle fonts were the norm of the previous thousand years.

 

The Tower

The bell tower seems to have been built around 1370, although it has no doorway to help us date it. The tower is unbroken from the ground to the top and towers built later then 13C would usually have been broken into courses. They were also usually topped with a spire; however Norton had neither the funds nor the congregation to allow this.

 

The Bells

There are 3 bells in Norton’s tower, all of which had their ‘tongues’ or ‘clappers’ renewed in 1925. The old ones are still on display in the church on the left of the South door. On renewal it was deemed better for the bells not be hung and pulled but instead to be struck with clappers.

 

The oldest bell was cast in 1450 by Richard le Bellyterre and it carried the inscription ‘Sancta Anna, ora pro nobis’ which means 'Saint Anne, pray for us'. Over the capital S and A are two engraved English crowns and above those are 4 Fleurs de lys.

 

The second of the bells is the largest and was cast by ‘I.M’ which was the makers mark of John Martin, who in ‘the great ringing’ era was Worcester’s busiest man.

 

The third bell is the smallest and was cast in Gloucester in 1716 by ‘AbeRudhall’ which could have been either

Abraham Rudhall senior or junior from ‘Abraham Rudhall and Son’.

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Contact us

Rev. Mark Badger

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

01905 820057

07828 233049

  

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