Church Micro 2899…Upper Sheringham
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Upper Sheringham is a small village, with a population of about 200. A century and a half ago, though, it was the main settlement in the area, and Sheringham, or 'Lower Town' as it was known, was just a small fishing village.
After the arrival of the railway in 1887 to the ‘lower town’ Upper Sheringham has slowly faded, losing the school, local services and in more recent years the pub. Despite this the village is a sought after residential area and holiday spot.
There was a church at Upper Sheringham at the time of the Domesday Survey of 1086 and the area came under the lordship of the [then] Earl of Buckinghamshire until he gifted it to the Augustinian Abbey of Nutley near Thames in Oxfordshire. The rector of Upper Sheringham was the Abbot who then appointed a vicarius or deputy. Following the Dissolution it passed to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford where it remained until revoked by Queen Elizabeth I in 1599. It finally passed to the Bishop of Norwich who retains it today.
All traces of the earliest church at Upper Sheringham have gone. The present building is mid to late 14th century but many of the windows are perpendicular in style from around 1450 when many Norfolk churches were modernised during a period of local prosperity. The prominent tower is also 14th century. It was raised in height and provided with a battlement parapet. However, the stair turret on the south side only reaches the ringing floor and doesn’t continue up to the belfry suggesting some need for economy.
The porch is a 15th century addition and many 15th century furnishings remain including a rood screen and loft, the later being one of the few remaining examples in the country.
Some contemporary bench ends also remain from the 15th century. A local story tells of a little mermaid swimming in the deep blue sea off Sheringham.
She was filled with an urgent desire to visit the then Parish Church at Upper Sheringham and after a difficult journey, she arrived outside the North Door utterly exhausted. Having recovered somewhat she pushed the door open and timidly peered inside. A service was in progress and the Beadle was horrified and told her to leave as mermaids were not allowed in the church, and he slammed the door in her face.
She was a very determined mermaid and when no-one was looking she crept back in and sat on the outside edge of the pew nearest to the door. And there she is to this very day - you can see her carved into the arm of the pew.
Other bench ends remain including a cat with a kitten in its mouth and a figure in a shroud possibly a chrysom child.
Among the stained glass is a most unusual photographic memorial to Augusta Upcher dated 1863.
All Saints Church remained the Parish Church for Upper an Lower Sheringham until 1953, when the Chapel of Ease of St Peter in Lower Sheringham became the Parish Church for a new parish and Upper Sheringham was united, for ecclesiastical purposes, with the neighbouring village of Weybourne.
At the front of the church to the left of the main door there is a memorial stone to the crew of a US plane which crashed locally on 4th January 1944, whilst returning badly damaged from a mission and in gratitude to those who aided the survivors. Lest we forget.
There is a small reservoir in the centre of the village and in front of All Saints Church. It was dedicated in 1814 to celebrate victory over Napoleon's army. The reservoir is fed by a spring a little further up the hill; for many years it was the village water source.
If anybody would like to expand to this series please do, I would just ask that you could let Sadexploration know first so he can keep track of the Church numbers and names to avoid duplication
To view the church micro stats page, please click here
The cache is similar in size to a micro and is located outside the boundary of the church. Please bring your own pen or pencil. Tweezers may be necessary to extract the log.