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St Edmund, Downham Market, Norfolk

(52°36′9″N, 0°22′38″E)
Downham Market
TF 611 032
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Norfolk
now Norfolk
medieval St Edmund
now St Edmund
  • Jill A Franklin
  • Jill A Franklin


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Feature Sets

Almost nothing earlier than its 13thc W tower is visible at St Edmund's, a striking building constructed of a combination of dark local carstone and even darker ferrugious conglomerate. In its present state, it dates from the 13th-15thc with much 19thc restoration in places. It has a chancel, an aisled nave and a N transept but there are also signs of a former S transept, indicating that the previous building on the site was cruciform. The small colonnette reset in a puropse-built recess in the external N wall of the N transept presumably came from an earlier church and is now the only Romanesque sculpture at St Edmund's.


The principal tenant-in-chief of Downham Market, which was in Clacklose hundred, was William of Warenne.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration


Closely similar capitals were used in a datable context inside Norwich Cathedral on the blank arcading of the masonry screen installed for the enthronement of Bishop Eborard in 1121, and also on the middle storey of the interior of the lantern tower. (Atherton (1996), 94, figs 29 and 30).

The profile of the ornament on the colonnette is convex, as on the pair flanking the bishop's image on the N transept of Norwich Cathedral, rather than fluted as stated in Pevsner. (Atherton (1996), 118, fig. 48).


I. Atherton, E. Fernie, C. Harper-Bill and H. Smith (ed.), Norwich Cathedral: Church, City & Diocese, 1096-1996, London & Rio Grande, Ohio 1996.

Historic England Listed Building 1342608

S. Lewis, (ed.), A Topographical History of England , London 1848, vol. 2, 84-88.

  1. N. Pevsner and Bill Wilson, The Buildings of England, Norfolk: North-West and South, Harmondsworth 1962, 2nd edn, 1999, rev. 2000, 2: 308-309.

A. Williams and G.H. Martin (ed.), Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, Harmondsworth 1992/2002, 1088, 1112, 1130, 1180, 1182.