St Nicholas Church

Chapter II

St Nicholas Church

 St Nicholas Church 1870

"Say, sacred edifice, thiyself with years

" Grown grey - how long hast stood

" Thy weather-braving tower, and silent marked

"The humanleaf in constant bud and fall ?

" The generations of deciduous man

"How often hast thou seen them pass away !" - Hurdis.

Five rows of lime trees form pleasant avenues from the Marketplace to the Parish church, (many old and decayed trees have, in late years, been removed and new ones planted. It is earnestly to be hoped that the hand of innovation, more destructive than that of time, will never be permitted to displace them altogether) of which sacred edifice it is no part of the design of this work to give a history, as that has already been done in the Continuation to Manship (p.109).

We have seen that, soon after the permanent settlement of the inhabitants, a small church, dedicated to St. Bennet was erected. This, at the commencement of the twelfth century, gave place to a much larger structure erected by Herbert de Lozinga, the first Bishop of Norwich, completed. in 1119, and dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron of mariners (Before the reformation the model of a ship was suspended in this church, as an emblem of the patron Saint; for says Peter of Langtoft -

"The bishop, Saint Nicholas, his help is ay redie

" To shipmen in alle cos, when thei on him crie."

Sir William Denny, in his Pelicanicidium, likens a church to an inverted ship. "The roof," says he, "is the keel; the walls, the sides; the floor, the deck; the east end, the prow or forecastle; the central tower, the mast; and the west end, the poop.")

It was very different from the church which we now see, for it consisted of a portion only of the present nave, having small aisles with lean-to roofs, a central tower, small transepts and a chancel.

Some Norman work still remains; and when the south aisle was taken down in 1869, for the purpose of being rebuilt, the Norman tower, with its superstructure of early English, was laid bare, and its original proportions distinctly seen (Among the additional M.S.S. in the British Museum (Kerrick's Collections, 6,751 and 6,759), there is a ground plan of St. Nicholas' church, before the aisles of the nave were enlarged, from which it appears that there was then a chancel transept. Floor Plan )

As the town augmented in population and wealth, so did the church of St. Nicholas increase in size, until it became, as it now is, the largest Parish church in the kingdom. (It covers more ground; measuring in length 230 feet, by 108 feet in breadth. Its internal superficial area is 238085 feet, whilst the areas of its nearest rivals are as follows: -

St. Michael......... Coventry.........23,080.

St. Botolph .....Boston............22,270.

St. Nicholas ....Newcastle ..... 20,110.

Holy Trinity .....Hull.............20,036.

Holy Trinity .....Southwark ..18,200.

4,000 persons can be accommodated on the floor of St. Nicholas' church.)

The borough rolls are full of entries respecting the repair and enlargement of this church from time to time, some of which are very curious. In 1296 John, servant of Gilbert de Hardele, sued Simon le Parmenter, for breach of contract for not providing a ship to carry stone, for the use of St..Nicholas' church, he having received 2s. " in earnest." The plaintiff recovered, and the defendant was amerced.

Large as this church is, there was, nevertheless, an intention of extending it; for in 1330 a new building was commenced at the west end, called "Bachelor's aisle," as its cost was to be defrayed by the young men of the town. It was to be 107 feet from north to south, and 47 feet from east to west. Considerable progress had been made, the walls being sixty feet from the ground, when the works were suddenly stopped by an outbreak of the plague. They were never resumed, and what had been erected was allowed to fall into ruin. The walls however remained until 1650, when some of the great stones were taken down and carried to the haven's mouth, where they were employed in the repair of the piers. In 1658 Colonel Briscoe and Lieut-Colonel Stile obtained a further portion to be employed in strengthening the fortifications; and, 1714, the churchwardens obtained a faculty from the Bishop of Norwich (This faculty is printed in extenso in the East Anglian, vol. ii. p. 208.), authorizing them to pull down what thus remained. of the "new work," as it was called, and to use the same in the construction of St. George's chapel, and thus an interesting and magnificent ruin was finally destroyed.

St. Nicholas' church probably attained to its greatest state of magnificence towards the close of the 15th century. It was then open from end to end; the windows were filled with stained glass, (Upon opening a door at the foot of one of the turrets at the west end in 1847; some bushels of minute fragments of stained glass were found, no doubt the remains of demolished windows.) the walls were covered with poly-chromatic decorations ; and the floor enriched with sepulchral brasses. A stone reredos, richly carved and decorated, stood at the back of the high altar (An altar stone, marked with five crosses, was discovered some years since. In the wills of' the 13th. and 14th centuries may be found numerous bequests to the high altar),which latter was laden with rich and massive church plate and. jewelled, reliquaries.(Sacrilege was in the middle ages considered one of the blackest crimes, yet it was occasionally perpetrated. In 1348 a chalice was stolen from St. Nicholas' church, but was recovered by the bailiffs in a broken state, and it was by them delivered, in thev, presence of witnesses to a silversmith to be repaired. Previously to the reformation, this church was particularly rich in plate (see F., p.88; and P.C., p.116); and possessed some relics which were much prized, especially some oil supposed to have been consecrated by St. Nicholas, the gift of Prior John Hoo, and a holy thorn set in silver. There still grows in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem a peculiar thorn, specimens of which are occasionally sent to this country, and preserved in the cabinets of the curious).Other altars there were in. the chancel aisles, and in the numerous side chapels belonging to the several guilds or to private persons of influence and importance, (For an account of the guilds and their chapels, see M. i., p143). A richly-carved. rood loft stretched. across the west, end of the "middle aisle" of the chancel, upon. which a, cross was displayed; and lights burned day and night before the images of saints, dispersed throughout the church (Some of the stone steps, leading to the roof loft on the north side, still remain with the aperture for the door; but there is no vestige of a screen).

Benedictine monks in the costume of their order, and singing men in surplices had their appropriate seats, while the services of the church were performed by priests and chaplains, dressed in magnificent robes, varied in accordance with their degrees, the duties they had to performe, and the season of the year. Black (of which there were several velvet copes, some of them spangled with gold, and others with bells of gold), were seldom worn, except on Good. Friday, Rogation Days, and on occasions of mourning. Violet was also a mournful colour. Red and. purple were used on occasions of great solemnity; of these there were two copes of red satin of Bruges, and others of red velvet (Red is still worn by Roman catholic priests in England on the anniversary of an English saint's martyrdom). There were tunics also of red satin and velvet.

Green and blue (the emblems of faith and. hope) were used on particular festivals; one vestment of green was wrought with birds, another was of branched silk, and another of velvet: of blue velvet there were several copes. White signifying purity, was worn on the festivals of confessors, virgins, and angels. The principal vestment, composed of cloth of gold., and eleven tunic were the gift of Sir John. Fastolfe.

In Process of time the seeds of the reformation, sown by Wickliff which had long been germinating, began to bear fruit; and early in the 15th century, the bishop of Norwich was called upon to suppress the heressies which were spreading in his diocese.

In 1428 Margery, wife of William Backster, a wheelwright at Martham was accused. The evidence against her was given by another woman, named Joan Cliffand, who deposed that being asked by Margery what she did every day at church, she answered that she kneeled down and said five paternosters in worship of the crucifix, and as many Ave Marias in worship of Our Lady, upon which Margery denounced the worship of images as being of no avail. Having stated her belief that the sacrament of the altar, after consecration, was the very body of Christ, Margery denied it, giving cogent reasons, and affirmed that such doctrine had been "falsely and deceitfully ordained by the priests, to induce simple people to idolatry." She denied the necessity of fasting in Lent, or on other days appointed by the church, saying that people had better eat their fragments of meat on such days, than "goto market and bring themselves into debt to buy fish." Margery also asserted that it was useless "to go on pilgrimage, either to our Lady of Walsingham or to any other saint or place;" and offered that her husband should come secretly at night to Joan, and "read the law of Christ unto her." It seems that Margery had some suspicion of Joan, for she said to her -" it appeareth by your countenance that you intend. to disclose what I have said to you," but Joan sware she would not. Then Margery said to her "if you so accuse me "unto the Bishop of Norwich, I will do unto you as I once did unto a "certain friar, a carmelite of Yarmouth, who was the best learned friar "in all the country." Margery had rebuked the friar for begging, saying that it was no alms to give him anything, unless he would leave his habit and go to the plough, which would please God more than following the life of some friars; and at his request she " declared to the friar the gospel in English." Afterwards the friar accused her of heresy, and she made a counter accusation against him, "for which her husband would have killed him;" and so the friar, for fear, held his peace " and went his way for shame." Margery also told Joan that she would never confess to a priest, "because he had no power to absolve any man from his sins," but that "men ought to confess themselves only unto God. It was also proved against her that, upon going to Margery's house on Saturday after Ash-Wednesday (horrible to relate) a brass pot was found standing over the fire, with a piece of bacon and oatmeal seething in it. The depositions in this case raised nearly all the questions at issue, between the catholics of that time and those who protested against what they believed to be the errors of Rome. Ecclesiastical censures and severities were able for a time to suppress the "new doctrines," but could not extinguish them. They continued to spread until some of the priests themselves were converted to them.

In l535, whilst Sir Cotton, a priest, was preaching a sermon in the parish church, William Swanton, a chaplain, openly denounced the practices of Rome, maintaining that no honor should be given to saints, or to the pictures or images of them within the church; that a christian man profited nothing by praying for their intercession; and ended by saying that holy water was "good sauce for a capon." He was supported by twenty-four persons, and a great tumult took place. Six years afterwards four merchants openly derided the elevation of the Host, speaking "heretical words;" and Thomas Hammond, a fish-merchant, bargained with one Thomas Alleyn for the sale of a last of white herrings, within the church during divine service. These disorders called for suppression, and the offenders were fined; and the corporation made an order that whoever thereafter disturbed or "disquieted" any preacher, "should be committed to ward, there to remain at the discretion of the bailiffs." Some account of the further progress of the reformation and of the subsequent ecclesiastical affairs of the parish, will be found in P. C., p. 147. (A popish priest at Yarmouth having sent up to the privy council certain questions concerning the sacrament of the Eucharist, the same were referred to J. Boleyn and John Foze, who answered them. Harl. M.S.S., No. 416).

The church books inform us that, in 1465, there was in the church "our lady's organ," and in 1485 they speak both of the "old organs" and the "new organs," and in the following year the "great old organ," and in 1550, "Jesus organ." Manship says that, when he wrote in 1619, there was in the chancel on the north side, "a fair pair of organs," and near thereto sat eight priests and "a competent number of singing men." Organs continued to be used in the reformed churches until the puritans got the upper hand.

By an ordinance of Parliament made in 1644, "no organs were to remain in churches, choral books were to be torn, painted glass windows broken, sepulchral brass inscriptions defaced, and cathedral service totally abolished;" notwithstanding which the people of Yarmouth contrived to preserve "a fine old organ " until 1650 when it was destroyed. At the time of the restoration not a single instrument is known to have been in existence throughout the kingdom: and nearly a century elapsed before an organ was replaced in this church, by which time the chancel and north aisle and north transept had been separated, and divine service was performed in the south aisle, the nave itself being occupied by a huge gallery.

The organ of St. Nicholas' church was built by Jordan Byfield, and Bridge, at that time the best organ builders in England, who had agreed to unite their talents so as, without competition, to produce the best instruments that could be made. It was erected in 1733, and to celebrate the opening, a sermon (afterwards printed) was preached by the Rev. Dr Macro, (from Eph. V19), in which he cautions the organist not to let "the harmony of its sounds be frisking, airy, or ludicrous, which tends to dissipate the thought and break the attention of the mind."

This organ was long considered as the best in England for the excellency of its tone. It has lately been enlarged by Hill and. son, of London, under the advice of Mr. Henry Smart, at an expense of £800; and, under a faculty obtained for the purpose, it has been removed from the west end of the south aisle to the north transept.

The following is a description of the organ as now constituted: (This noble instrument is ably presided over by Mr. Henry Stonex, a pupil of Dr. Buck of Norwich. The appointment of organist was long in the hands of the corporation, and during the last century there have been organists, good, bad, and indifferent. The most distinguished were Heighington, Eager, and Warne. Previously to the appointment of Mr. Warne, "the blind organist," there was one whose musical talents were appreciated solely by his father, a very aged man. On one occasion, when the son was playing his best, the father exclaimed, "a second Handel!" "Yes," said a stranger who sat next him, "quite a second-hand one." As the organist was utterly regardless of the vocal accompaniment, the playing and singing were seldom in accord.)

 

Great Organ

     

Choir

 

1

Double Open Diapason(metal)

16 feet

 

1

Slider for Lieblich Bourdon

16 f.tone

2

Open Diapason

8 feet

 

2

Open Diapason

8 feet

3

Open Diapason

8 feet

 

3

Dulciana

8 feet

4

Stopped Diapason

8 feet

 

4

Stopped Diapason

8 f.tone

5

Slider for Gamba

8 feet

 

5

Principal

4 feet

6

Principal

4 feet

 

6

Flute

4 feet

7

Principal (No 2)

4 feet

 

7

Fifteenth

2 ranks

8

Twelfth

3 feet

 

8

Mixture

2 ranks

9

Fifteenth

2 feet

 

9

Clarionet

8 f.tone

10

Tierce

1.75 feet

 

10

Slider for Claribella

 

11

Sesqui-altera

5 ranks

   

Pedal Organ

 

12

Mixture

3 ranks

 

1

Double Open (wood)

32 feet

13

Cornet

5 ranks

 

2

Open Wood

16 feet

14

Double Trumpet

16 feet

 

3

Violoncello England's)

16 feet

15

Posaune

8 feet

 

4

Principal

8 feet

16

Trumpet

8 feet

 

5

Trombone

16 feet

17

Clarion

4 feet

   

Couplers

 
 

Swell Organ

   

1

Swell to Great Sub. 8ve

 

1

Lieblich Bourdon

16 feet

 

2

Swell tp Choir

 

2

Open Diapason

8 feet

 

3

Swell to Great

 

3

Gamba

8 feet

 

4

Swell to Pedal

 

4

Stopped Diapason

8 feet

 

5

Swell to Pedal

 

5

Principal

4 feet

 

6

Great to Pedal

 

6

Fifteenth

2 feet

 

7

Full Pedal

 

7

Mixture

4 ranks

   

Six Composition Pedals, viz

 

8

Suabe Flute

4 feet

   

4 to Great Organ

 

9

Piccolo

2 feet

   

2 to Swell Organ

 

10

Slider for Contra Fagotto

16 feet

       

11

Oboe

8 feet

       

12

Horn

8 feet

       

13

Trumpet

8 feet

       

14

Clarion

4 feet

       

15

Vox Humana

8 f.tone

       
 

In the vestry there has been long preserved a very curious library table, having six shelves for books suspended between two discs, and so regulated by concealed wheels, that, in revolving, the shelves remain horizontal, thus allowing the reader to consult a large number of open books spread out upon them.

Click to Enlarge
(See illustration . A copy of this desk, made by Mr. Norman, of the Market place, is now in the library of the Middle Temple).

Upon removing the plaster from the west side of the south transept in 1869, a noble early English doorway, of remarkable delicacy of detail, was uncovered, of which no living person had any remembrance. It is represented on the page, and may have been the "marriage door," mentioned by Manship.

Click to Enlarge
.Old English Doorway

It was anciently the custom for a couple about to be married to appear at a particular door, where the priest joined their hands and performed the greatest part of the ceremony. They then entered the church and proceeded to the altar, there to receive the nuptial benediction and to hear mass.

Chaucer, in his Wife of Bath, says-

"She was a worthy woman all her life,

Husbands at the Church Dore had she five"

The origin of this custom may be traced to the desire, which prevailed from the earliest times, to make the ceremony as public as possible. Many years elapsed, after the disruption of Roman Catholicism in this country, before the nuptial ceremony was wholly performed within the church. Selden affirms that dower could only be lawfully assigned at the church door; and Littleton says that the bridegroom "when he cometh to the church door to be married there, after affiance and troth plighted, endeweth the woman of his whole land, or of the half, or other lesser part thereof, and there openly doth declare the quantity and the certainty of the land she shall have for her dower."

The unusual position of this door, which has every appearance of having been an external one, was probably occasioned by the south transept being connected with the priory by a cloister, so that the priests and monks could alone enter by the south door.

The tower and spire of St. Nicholas' church were always conspicuous as a land and sea mark; and in 1798, when an invasion was apprehended, the churchwardens were provided with a red flag, which if hoisted was to be repeated from every church tower in the county, to communicate an attempted landing as rapidly as possible.

The Spire was 186 feet high. It was struck by lightning in 1683, and the woodwork having ignited, the fire was extinguished by John Grice, for which service lie was presented by the corporation with a silver tankard, having a view of the church engraved upon it; and the same man, in 1695, was paid £4 for taking down and putting up the weathercock. When this spire was removed, the flat top of the tower was used as a telegraph station. (In 1732 "a man," says Ives, sen., "slid from the church steeple upon a rope.")

There appears to have been a bell foundry in Yarmouth, for a bell in Martham church bears the name of "Thomas Doo, bell founder of Yarmouth, 1674."(Rev. J. J. Raven, who in 1869, published The Church Bells of Cambridgeshire, and has extended his researches in campanalogy into other counties, the result of which it is to be hoped he will give to the world.)

The sessions rolls afford evidence that at an early period the church was fled to by malefactors as a place of sanctuary. If such an offender could reach the churchyard, without being apprehended, and there confess his crimes before the coroner or bailiffs, he was allowed to abjure the realm; a limited time being fixed within which he was to leave the kingdom at some appointed outport. Thus, in 1295, Richard Clerk of Norwich placed himself in the church of St. Nicholas, and acknowledged to have killed John Russell, and to have broken out of prison. He was allowed to take ship at Southampton within a month. In like manner, Simon Blaking confessed to several robberies and to have broken out of prison, and afterwards killed a Martham man. Port was given him to transport himself within fifteen days.

It was formerly considered necessary when one man undertook to pay another a sum of money, to specify the place where such payment was to be made; and, down to a late period (in bonds given as a primary or collateral security), it was customary to name the south porch of St. Nicholas' church for this purpose. This was not altogether imaginary, for in ancient times such payments actually took place in churches, until, by a proclamation of Queen Elizabeth, they were prohibited. Nevertheless the porch continued to be named as a place for the payment of money; for Mr. Warnes, by his will, made in 1694, directs an annuity, which he gave to Anne Markant, the sister of his widow, to be paid "yearly on the 1st of May, in the south porch of the church of Great Yarmouth."

The congregation has always been a very large one. Never probably were they more disturbed than on St. Andrew's day, 1544, when, during divine service, it being Sunday, news arrived that two French ships had pounced upon two crayers, then riding in Yarmouth roads laden with wheat for the King's service at Boulogne, and were making off with them. The townsmen "presently betook themselves to armour, and having manned a ship, pursued and overtook the enemy, and after notable skirmishing rescued the prizes, and brought six Frenchmen found in them prisoners to Yarmouth, where their purses paid passage before their departure."

During the seven hundred years this church has been in existence, how many eloquent sermons have been delivered in it! No preacher, probably, ever excited more commotion than did Dr. Camil, rector of Bradwell, in 1724. His sermon gave great offence to "a certain person of great power in the town," who summoned some of his brethren to meet him, and then sent for the clergy, and "made a violent speech," ending by telling one of them to inform the doctor that he "should never come into the pulpit again." Upon this Camil published his sermon to prove that it only contained "some warm expressions against the crying vices of the age," and insinuated that "the cap fitted." "For my part," says the preacher, "I am resolved to cry out and spare not; and the scandalous and opprobrious usage which the ministers of Christ sometimes meet with, shall not frighten me from discharging my duty; and neither the frowns of the great, nor the threats of the wicked shall hinder me from telling the house of Jacob their iniquity, and the house of Israel their sin." (There is an engraved portrait of him. His great grandfather came from Scotland and settled at Gisleham in Suffolk, in 1583. The original name was Campbell; and he bore gyronny of eight or,' and sa, a crescent ar. He died in 1732. Fancy the mayor offended at a sermon, calling the council together, and reprimanding the clergy, for too much freedom of speech in the pulpit!)

Dean Davies, when in Yarmouth, took the following method of rebuking the congregation for their impatience of long sermons, When the preacher had, one Sunday, finished his morning discourse, the Dean rose in the reading desk and commenced the afternoon service. "The grinning congregation," says Doran, "who found themselves subjected to this discipline would have been a study for Hogarth.(Saints and Sinners:- How startled would have been the congregation, in former times, to have seen a black man rise in the pulpit and deliver a sermon! This was Bishop Crowther; his ample lawn sleeves contrasting strongly with his face and hands.)

The floor of this church was filled with the graves of those who in their day were the most considerable burgesses. Unhappily the numerous brasses which recorded their names and deeds were, in 1551, ruthlessly torn from their stones and sent to London, there to be cast into weights for the town's use.(It might have been asked, with Dr. Corbet, the witty Bishop of Norwich, "

"Tell me, ye antii-saints, why brass,

With you is shorter-lived than glass ?

And why the saints have scap'd their falls,

Better from windows than from walls ?"

for it is said that some of the stained glass, with which the windows of this church were once so rich, remained until the end of the last century, when every particle was carefully removed.

A better taste now prevails; the first of a proposed series of memorial windows in the south aisle, is one in remembrance of the late Charles Cory, Esq., town clerk, erected by public subscription. It was designed by Mr. Seddon, the figures by Mr. Rossiter, and the glass executed by Messrs. Saunders.

Some few incised slabs alone remain. So utterly were all funereal monuments in this church defaced, that when Weever visited Yarmouth he could find no inscription or epitaph save this one-

"Elyn Benaker, mercy doth crave;

God on her soul, mercy mote have."

Since that period the chancel, transepts, and north aisle have been almost re-paved with sepulchral slabs, bearing inscriptions to the memory of many whose names will be recorded in these pages. Of those buried in this church and the adjoining churchyard, who were neither natives nor residents, or who cannot be connected with any particular locality, mention will be made in a separate chapter. (The most ancient monuments were conceived in a spirit of great piety and simplicity. Those of more modern date frequently exhibit a false taste, and bear -

"-the marks of earthly state,

And vain distinction."

Others display-

"The pride of heraldry and pomp of power";

nevertheless their mutilation or removal is unjustifiable end contrary to law. We all know that-"Sepulchral columns wrestle but in vain

With all subduing time; whose cank'ring hand

With calm deliberate malice, wasteth them."

But this inevitable result ought not be hastened by the hand of man.)

We are told by Manship, that a carnary or charnel house, built in the churchyard, was "fully finished" in 1308 by Sybilla, the widow of William Flath, "a woman of singular virtue and dignity;" for the purpose of containing the bones of the dead formerly there buried and again cast up by the making of new graves; and to enable her to do so she obtained a licence from the bishop of Norwich and a bull from Pope Clement V., subsequently confirmed by Richard II. Over it she built a mortuary chapel, "wherein divine service was by two priests, for that purpose by her appointed, solemnly performed." She died in 1311, having first endowed the carnary with an ample revenue arising from the rents of houses, vested in the corporation, who appointed two of their number to be "collectors of charnel rents." (F. vi., M. p.39, and P. C. p.115)

This chantry was dissolved at the reformation, the building fell into ruin, and in 1588 was levelled with the ground; the stones being employed in constructing the lower wall of the mount, to guard the town against the Spanish Armada; there says Manship, "to defend the bodies of the living, as they had previously done the bones of the dead." The latter were removed and buried under the east wall; and ultimately the lower part of King Henry's tower, at the N.E. corner of the churchyard, was appropriated for that purpose, and is now filled to a considerable height, so that entering the tower from the churchyard, the living may stand upon the bones of many generations. In the Cottonian view of the town this carnary is depicted, standing in the S.W. part of the churchyard, of an oblong shape, having a turret or pinnacle at each corner; but there was nothing to mark the spot, until, in lowering the path leading from the church gate to the west door in the present year, a portion of the foundation, of a most substantial character, was laid bare.

Since the publication of the Continuation to Manship's History, considerable progress has been made in restoring St. Nicholas' church, under the advice of Mr. J. P. Seddon.

The central tower has been reinstated, the Norman work being carefully preserved; and the four corner pinnacles have been replaced.

The chancel proper has been carried out to its original extent; and after the lapse of two centuries the church has been thrown open from end to end. A new oaken ceiling in panels, divided by ribs, has been placed on the middle aisle of the chancel.

The south aisle (except the lower portion of the west gable internally) has been entirely rebuilt from the original foundations. The noble triplet at the west end, formerly hidden by the organ, has been restored. The seven south windows, originally early English (subsequently filled with perpendicular tracery), have been rebuilt in the early geometrical style, alternately varying in detail. Between each pair of these windows, a buttress finished with a gabled canopy rises to the level of the parapet. A new roof of Memel timber has been placed on this aisle, of better construction than the old one, which had become decayed, and had thrust out the south wall. The ceiling, which is of oak, is of an elegant arched form (instead of the former awkward waggon shape); and is divided into panels by moulded ribs, and the original bosses with their shields of arms and curious emblems have been replaced.

These ribs and the wooden cornice, above that of stone, have been quietly but richly decorated with colour, producing a fine and pleasing effect, whilst the oaken ceiling is left untouched.

The pinnacle at the S. W. corner has been rebuilt from the foundation, to allow of which a huge modern buttress of red brick covered with cement had to be removed.

The works remaining to be done are :-To rebuild or thoroughly repair the west gables of the nave and north aisle, and rebuild the three dilapidated pinnacles; to replace the present ceiling in the north aisle by a loftier one, corresponding with that in the south aisle; to bring the great south porch into harmony with the new work; to rebuild the south transept, replacing the present perpendicular south window with one of early English, and to substitute for the present debased windows in the south aisle of the chancel, others corresponding with those of the south aisle; to restore the two east windows of the chancel aisles, and to put in these aisles new carved ceilings of panelled oak; to fill all the windows with stained glass, of patterns and colours harmonizing one with the other; and to crown the whole by placing a loftier spire upon the present tower.

BlotterLine
 

St Nicholas Church was destroyed by a fire bomb in the second world war and then rebuilt

This document is part of The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth and has been left in its original form. By Ron Taylor.

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