Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

Medieval Stained Glass in Great Britain

[Image: Stained Glass Roundel]
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Norfolk: Frettenham, Parish Church of St Swithun

O.S. TG 244186

The church has a west tower, nave and aisles, and a chancel rebuilt in 1869. Ladbrooke’s print of 1823 shows no window where the three-light south chancel window sII now is, and a two-light Decorated window with a single quatrefoil tracery light where the south door of the chancel now is. 1 The western part of the south chancel wall, not visible in Ladbrooke, now has two nineteenth-century windows. The stonework of the present sII may have reused medieval tracery from another window in part, or perhaps a window was unblocked after the print was made. The two main quatrefoil tracery openings of sII contain the remains of a fourteenth-century representation of the Annunciation. It has been wrongly restored and replaced to portray a pair of standing angels facing away from each other. There are simple canopy tops with borderwork in the heads of the main lights of this window. The glass may have come from the window, or be from either of the Decorated windows at the east end of the aisles.

The earliest antiquarian record is that of Kemp, who saw in the chancel two Bardolf shields (Gules three cinquefoils argent) and Azure three cinquefoils or; Norris also saw these shields and placed them in ‘the south chancel window’. Kemp also records Or a saltire engrailed sable (Boutetort) in the chancel, but separately from the two other shields. 2 Blomefield and Parkin record the two Bardolf blazons in the chancel, but for the third shield give Or a saltire sable (Felthorpe). 3 At first sight, the Kemp version seems preferable, as Boutetort is a well-known family and the Felthorpe coat is otherwise unknown. However, in 1343 Peter de Felthorpe and then Roger de Felthorpe were instituted in turn as rectors of Frettenham by Cecily Bardolf, widow of Thomas Bardolf; Roger was followed by John de Cressingham in 1354. 4 No direct link between Frettenham and the Boutetort family has been found, but the family is connected with the Bardolfs, as each owned a manor in Cantley, where the Bardolfs presented to the church. 5 The Frettenham Bardolfs, however, were a cadet branch; the lords Bardolf of Wormegay were the main family, bearing Azure three cinquefoils or and owning many manors in Norfolk. The style of the extant glass suggests a date of c.1340 – c.1360, which would be consistent with the patronage of Peter or Roger de Felthorpe.

Although the glass may have been altered to fit its present condition and placed in sII in 1869 when the chancel was rebuilt, another restoration involving renewing and reglazing of windows is recorded in 1873. 6 A refurbishment of 1909 does not seem to have affected glass or stonework. 7


Ladbrooke 1823, I, pl. 93. Return to context
For Kemp, see BL, MS Harley 901, f.97r; for Norris, NRO, Rye MS 6, II, p. 58. Return to context
Blomefield and Parkin 1805–10, X, p. 420. Return to context
Ibid. p. 419. Return to context
Blomefield and Parkin 1805–10, VII, pp. 228–30. Return to context
Bryant 1905, p. 56. Return to context
Norwich Diocesan Gazette, June 1909. Return to context
Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

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