St Mary's Tower - work suspended over winter

Written by Graham Prior.

Fractured quoin stone

During the summer the porch and tower of St Mary's Church have been restored and stabilised using traditional materials and methods - hot lime for the mortar and lead for the tower roof. The only variation has been the use of stainless steel for the porch roof, done for security reasons.

On 30th October, also in line with traditional medieval practice, work was officially suspended for the winter months - lime mortar, for instance, takes a good number of days to set hard and would be damaged if frost occurred during that process.

Photographs by Gethin Harvey (at that time of Nicholas Warns Architects)
(click pic for slide show)

The History of Forncett – A new website

Written by Mike Merrick – Secretary, Forncett History Group.

Untitled 1Forncett has an amazingly rich history that has been documented in detail over the years by the Forncett History Group and especially by its Chairman, John Webster. However much of this history is not widely known and in recent discussions the History Group decided that a dedicated web site would help to address this. Our new website is now live at and we hope that lots of people, both within the village and much further afield, will take the time to visit it. The site can be viewed on desktop computers, laptops, tablets or phones.

This is a project that is very much “in progress” so please revisit the site from time to time to see what’s new. We are also very keen to have input and feedback. If you find any errors, or if there are topics or stories that you think we could include please let us know. We are also always very interested in historical photos of Forncett – both of places and people. You can get in touch through the “Contact Us” section of the web site or by emailing me () or John Webster ( ). We look forward to hearing from you.

Forncett End as you may not have seen it before

Written by Phil Whiscombe and Son.

Whilst those familiar bucolic views of our village are very attractive I thought you might like to see some of the area where most Forncettians reside. It's my son's drone and he is a strict complier with the Civil Aviation Authority Rules.


St Mary Tower Restoration - Progress Report

Written by Graham and May Prior.

Heritage fund logoIn November 2018, St Mary's was awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant - Saving Our Saxon Tower. This in addition to several smaller grants has allowed restoration work to commence.

Since work began in March the asphalt roof coverings on the Porch and Tower have been taken up, the roof structures repaired and the coverings replaced with stainless steel on the Porch, and lead on the Tower. The associated parapets and abutments have been overhauled and high level masonry repairs are underway. Work is progressing from the top of the tower down, and should be completed by the end of September 2019.

The Tower Scaffolded

Photos by Gethin Harvey of Nicholas Warns Architects Ltd.
please click on pic for slide show

The Holocaust Memorial Library is complete as a reference facility, and we hope to participate in Memorial Day in 2020.

A church booklet has been written and is awaiting final proof reading and publication.

New display and interpretation boards will be purchased when the main building work has been completed. It has been difficult to allow public access for much of this year because of the building work, but we plan to participate in Heritage Open Days in the future.

We continue to work on a regular basis with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and encourage use by local ramblers. This year St Mary's will again be open for the Norfolk Churches Trust Cycle Ride.

Regular Messy Church Sessions have been started for young people and their families.

Ensemble, a drama group, have a 3 night Christmas Show on 28th, 29th and 30th November this year in the church - 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.'
For any enquiries contact

photos of the restoration work on St Mary's, taken by Gethin Harvey, from Nicholas Warns Architects Ltd.