Burnham Market Churches -               St Margaret's, Burnham Market (formerly Burnham Norton)

The Saxon round tower was built at the beginning of the first millennium, the church was extended in the 13th century, with later improvements in the 15th.  It has a commanding view of the sea half a mile away.  St Margaret's stands within its own burial ground; on the other side of the north bank of this is the burial area for the rest of Burnham Market.

Inside the church it is light and tranquil, the only stained glass at the east end commemorating the St Margarets of Antioch and Scotland respectively. The artist for these windows has recently (November 2015) been identified as Trena Cox (1895-1980).  The interior of the church was plastered and lime washed in 2004 with resulting enhancement of the remaining medieval tracings and pictures of saints. The stone work and roofs are in good condition and a planned programme of ongoing restoration by the church architect is carefully followed.

In Victorian times the nave was screened to form a ‘church within a church.’ The pews have heating beneath them.  There is a fine Norman font and a 1450 wine glass pulpit (not used). The chancel screen dates from the same period.  The small organ is by Roger Pulham and was installed in the 1980s.

The two parishes of Norton and Westgate were amalgamated in 2011 so that they might be mutually supporting, especially in the ability to fill the various roles (churchwardens, secretary, etc) that are required to keep a church open.  

St Margaret's is affiliated to the Prayer Book Society, therefore the services are almost always from the Book of Common Prayer.  Thus there is provision for parishioners whose expression of worship is still found in this 400-years-old liturgy.

Like all our benefice church buildings, St Margaret's is open for the larger part of daylight hours.

The Carmelite Friary

The friary was founded in 1241, thought to be the first established in Norfolk occupying land between the gatehouse (well preserved ruins in upper Norton) and the River Burn.  The house flourished with subsequent enlargements and at its suppression in 1538 it owned 68 acres of land.

Burnham Norton Village

The original village was probably on the footpath that passes the church, but as a result of plague and a livelihood from salt pans, parishioners in the Middle Ages moved closer to the sea, their small village now lying adjacent to the salt marshes and the North Norfolk Coast path.


Key facts

Highest of the benefice churches.

Saxon round tower.

Trena Cox stained glass.

Most services are taken from the Book of Common Prayer.