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Church of St Mark

A Grade II Listed Building in Hilgay, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.5526 / 52°33'9"N

Longitude: 0.3578 / 0°21'28"E

OS Eastings: 559952

OS Northings: 297581

OS Grid: TL599975

Mapcode National: GBR N60.TJH

Mapcode Global: VHJF4.530J

Plus Code: 9F42H935+24

Entry Name: Church of St Mark

Listing Date: 26 July 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391351

English Heritage Legacy ID: 493983

ID on this website: 101391351

Location: Ten Mile Bank, King's Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk, PE38

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk

Civil Parish: Hilgay

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Hilgay All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Ely

Tagged with: Church building

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1051/0/10003 TEN MILE BANK
Church of St Mark

Church. Built as a chapel of ease. 1846-7. Gault brick with a slate roof and stone-coped gables with kneelers. Gothic style, Early Pointed, with lancets. Simple rectangular plan with nave and chancel all in one space. East end has triple lancet window with fine mouldings forming narrow shafts in part. North side has three similar lancets and south side two, the space of the third now with the western, people's, door which was moved eastwards in 1934, no doubt to strengthen the corner against subsidence. The stonework of the original doorway was carefully re-used. This door is matched at the east end of the wall by the priest's door. Both have carved head stops to the hoodmoulds. The west window is a similar triple lancet to the east but the outer lancets were blocked in 1934 (date below window), no doubt because of the subsidence problems, which also led to the truncation of the bellcote and the housing of the bell in a wooden projection on the north side.
INTERIOR. The remarkably unaltered interior has a set of open pews, projecting from matchboard dado panelling to the wall end and with moulded symmetrical ends to the centre, surmounted by finely carved poppy heads. Font of 1852 with blind arcading and carved heads on colonnettes. Pulpit and also priest's desk with cusped blind arcading. Simple priest's vestry to south side of altar has screen with blind arcading. Communion rail appears to be made up of elements of c.1700 re-used. Floor is unusual in that it is suspended and has four iron ventilation roses.Lightweight boarded 7-bay roof with curved braces rising from hidden wall posts on stone corbels. These braces rise to the point where the principles and collars join and are linked to the posts with short iron bars. Later doubled collars. Windows have original lattice lights.

This church was built at a cost of £1000 which is thought to have been at the sole expense of the rector, Revd. W.J. Parkes. It is a virtually unaltered example of a simple place of worship built and furnished following the Tractarian principles detailed by the Ecclesiological Society and Oxford Movement in the late 1830's and 40's. The fine poppy heads to the pews are a particular feature. This is united with a building which is designed with this difficult site in mind; that is of drained fenland. The building is of the lightest permanent construction with simple lancet windows rather than heavier tracery, a lightweight roof to reduce pressure and a suspended and ventilated floor to respond to the possibly still waterlogged land on which the church was built. Its construction also reflects the zeal of the Oxford Movement in that it provided a place of worship much easier of access than the parish church at Hilgay to the enlarged population on the eastern side of the Great Ouse. This followed the growth in colonisation after the introduction of the first steam engine drainage in 1819-20 at Ten Mile Bank and its replacement with a larger engine in 1842, draining more efficiently than the many windmills previously used many thousands of acres. The construction also coincided with the arrival of the railway in 1846.

Not only of special interest in itself, this church also forms a significant rural group with the 1st World War memorial adjacent to its south side (q.v.).

Richard L.Hills, Machines, Mills And Uncountable Costly Necessities (a short history of the drainage of the fens), Norwich 1967, pp.76ff,119,161.
Information from Dr.J.W.S.Litten and Dr.G.Brandwood.

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