A Tale of Two Churches

The village of Weeting was originally divided into two parishes, All Saints and St Mary's. The parishes were united after the tower of one church collapsed in about 1699. But which church collapsed, and which survives? The historical accounts are both confused and confusing. Read on to learn more.

In his "Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk", first published in 1739 Blomefield says that All Saints Church "stands at the North-East part of the town" and contains "two bells, removed hither on the fall of the church of St. Mary". He also states that St Mary "stood in the south part of the town, and is now in ruins, by the fall of the tower on it, about 40 years past".

Phillimore, writing in the introduction to his transcript of the Marriage registers of Weeting, published in 1909, recounts that "There were originally two parishes in Weeting, St. Mary's and All Saints'. They were united in 1651. The church of the latter was dilapidated by the fall of the tower some 200 years ago."

Looking at local trade directories from the Victorian we can see a suggesion that the dedication of the standing church may have changed. Harrod's directories of 1863, 1868 and 1877 all refer to the ruin of St Mary's. White's directories of 1854 and 1864 give the name of the church in Weeting as "All Saints", as does the Kelly directory of 1868. From 1892, however, Kelly refers to the church as "St Mary."

One thing we can be sure of is that the extant church is now dedicated to St Mary. It will take further research in the diocesian archives to determine if this has always been the case.