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Glass

Although little now remains of the medieval glazing schemes, there was sufficient intact in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to draw comment from antiquarians. William Cole’s manuscript notes, now in the British Library, and the published work of Francis Blomefield and Charles Parkin, amongst others, allow at least a partial reconstruction of the schemes.

The earliest extant glass is in the tracery of the east window, where there are fragments of c.1420 – c.1440, a date which accords with the shield seen there in the eighteenth century of Philip Morgan, Bishop of Ely 1426–35, patron of the church by right of his office.

The most interesting glass, however, is of sixteenth-century date and is now to be found mainly in the Fincham Chapel (St Nicholas Chapel, north aisle) and in the Beaupré Chapel (Lady Chapel, south aisle).

The chapel at the east end of the south aisle, the Beaupre of Lady Chapel, can be linked with the Beaupre family from the mid fourteenth century. Dedicated to the Virgin, the chapel underwent refurbishment in 1490-1510 when the east window was remodelled and a new glazing scheme devised. Much of the tracery glass survives in this window, including images of God the Father, deacons and virgin martyrs; there are also royal saints associated with East Anglia- St Edmund, St Oswald, St Olaf, St Walstan, set alongside an image of St Edward the Confessor.

A detailed description of the glass is available on Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi Medieval Stained Glass in Great Britain website: see http://www.cvma.ac.uk/publications/digital/norfolk/sites/outwell/history.html

For a discussion of the panel in the Beaupre Chapel, portraying a virgin martyr, see http://vidimus.org/issues/issue-49/panel-of-the-month/