Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

Medieval Stained Glass in Great Britain

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Norfolk: Heydon, Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul

O.S. TG 114274

The tall west tower received substantial legacies to its building between 1460 and 1488. There is a two-storeyed vaulted Perpendicular south porch and a fourteenth-century north porch. The arcade is of fourteenth-century date, but the roof and aisle windows to north and south are Perpendicular. The original fourteenth-century clerestory, on the pattern of Cley, has been altered. The chancel has Perpendicular windows, and on north side is the Bulwer mausoleum of 1864. 1 The principal interest of this church, apart from the extensive late fourteenth-century wall-paintings in both aisles, is the lost north window (nV) recorded by Martin and Blomefield. 2 This had a representation of Christ, almost certainly as part of a Pietà, surrounded by young men blaspheming, their words given on texts in rhyming Middle English couplets, with a lamentation said by the Virgin Mary written below. Each young man swears by a different part of Christ’s body. This was extensively studied and published by Woodforde in 1950, who compared it with wall-paintings at Broughton (Bucks.), Walsham-le-Willows (Suffolk) and Corby (Lincs.). 3 Nelson described the Blasphemy Window in 1913 as though it were still extant, but this was probably a misunderstanding. 4

Blomefield and Parkin also describe other glass in the church, saying that the windows were formerly adorned with many saints, confessors and martyrs. They give details of a life of St Margaret in a south window, including speech texts and tituli. 5 In the north windows, probably in the tracery lights, they saw five Apostles and a prophet. The arms of Morley were in several windows. 6 Woodforde’s notes mentions quarry work of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in sII; this has since gone. 7 The surviving fragments of fifteenth-century glass have been gathered together in the tracery lights of sIII in the chancel.


Pevsner and Wilson 1997, p. 548. Return to context
The wall-paintings are of The Three Living and the Three Dead, scenes from the life of St John the Baptist, St Margaret and the Adoration of the Magi (Pevsner and Wilson 1997, p. 549). The descriptions of the lost window are in NRO, Rye MS 17, II, f.210v, and Blomefield and Parkin 1805–10, VI, p. 253. Return to context
Woodforde 1950, pp. 183–92; see also Nichols 2002, p. 85. Return to context
Nelson 1913, p. 150. Return to context
The St Margaret Window is discussed in the Catalogue entry for North Tuddenham. Return to context
Blomefield and Parkin 1805–10, VI, p. 253. Return to context
Woodforde MS, p. 56. Return to context
Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi

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