The Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross,
History pages © 2004 Binham Parochial Church Council. Photography by Eric Field and Ronald A Chapman. Text by A R Hundleby
|Parish & Community||Building & History||Other Churches in the Group|
The east wall was formed after 1540 by extending the former pulpitum
upwards and adding a simple Tudor domestic window. The two blocked
doorways are original. There is a piscina, the stone bowl used
for washing the sacred vessels, and in the south wall a triple
sedilia, or seating for the clergy. Above this is an interesting
nail-studded frame set into the wall.
The font is a good example of an East Anglian Seven Sacraments font, octagonal, with sculptured panels of the sacraments, in the perpendicular style, the eighth panel showing the Baptism of Christ with a crown above.
The Norman triforium,
clerestory and wall passage with the later Early English, beautifully
carved stiff-leaf capitals
as rich as the crocket capitals on the portal outside.
The remains of the
former rood screen together with Christ the Man of Sorrows
which is displayed on the south wall, can
at the west end. This was painted over after the Reformation
with Gothic black-letter texts from Cranmer's Bible of 1539,
which followed on from the translations of Tyndale in 1525
and Coverdale in 1535. The text is from
1 Timothy 6:10-12 For coveteousness of money is the roote of all evyll.The
original medieval painted saints are now showing through. This illustrates vividly
change in medieval
theology from pictured illustration, to the word of God, when
the Bible in English was placed in every church and read systematically.
The beautiful altar table is Jacobean, with fat turned legs and
stretchers. Behind this, on the east wall hangs a dossal designed
by Isobel Clover and embroidered by Susan Gurney in 1970.The
design echoes the Norman arches and the bearded head of the misericord.
It adds colour and dignity to the whole church and relieves the
bareness and austerity of the east wall.
The organ was built for East Harling church by Mack of Yarmouth
in 1880. It was brought here and re-built by David Miller MBE
of Royston in 1982.