Our History

Church History

The present parish church of St Nicholas, North Walsham was commenced about the year 1330 although the earlier Saxon Church was partially enlarged and altered around the year 1275 as a temporary measure to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding town.  Work was interrupted by the 'Black Death' Plague in 1348 and again in 1361.  The fatal epidemic resulted in the lack of skilled craftsmen (a fact which necessitated the austere simple tracery in most of the windows).

There was another delay at the time of the Peasants Revolt in 1381.  Several thousand labourers, led by local dyer John Litester, fled for sanctuary in the parish church closely pursued by the warlike bishop of Norwich, Henry le de Spenser.  Showing no respect for the building to which they had fled, he had all who were captured killed instantly.  A considerable amount of damage was inflicted upon the church by onslaught and fire but this was soon restored and the church was completed and then consecrated by the same bishop by the end of the fourteenth century.

The church was then originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the change to St Nicholas only happening in later years after the reformation.  Her statue, however, still occupies its prime position in the centre of the main entrance porch.