Wrentham Chapel (United Reformed Church)
is on the northern side of Chapel Road, about thirty metres
north-west of The Chestnuts junction. It was built in 1778 as
Wrentham Congregational Chapel, for a congregation that had
formed in the late 1600s following the division between Anglican
and nonconformist worship. Wrentham's master builder, John Owchin,
is presumed to have handled the work which allowed the congregation
a permanent place of its own.
St Mary's Church, Henstead, is on the
northern side of the B1127, about ninety metres west of the Church
Road and The Street crossroads junction. This flint building was
erected in the 1100s. It consists of a single, thatched nave and
chancel, no chancel arch, and a tall tower that was added in the
1300s with diagonal buttresses and flushwork on the parapet. The
two nave doorways are twelfth century work, with the south door
protected by a porch of the 1300s.
The site of the Church of St Nicholas,
South Elmham, is on the northern side of the east-west lane
between Old Hall Farm and The Street, immediately to the east of
the southwards junction with Wheelbarrow Lane. Its parish was
consolidated with that of St Margaret (below) in 1362. A single
incumbent was selected for both churches from 1554, and St
Nicholas may have been closed soon afterwards. It was described
in 1640 as having been 'long ruinous'.
The ruins of South Elmham Minster are
accessed via a footpath that leads south-west from South Elmham
Hall, roughly midway between St Cross South Elmham and St James
South Elmham. It is thought to have been built as a chapel in the
1000s. Unusually, it sits inside a fortified enclosure and may even
have been the seat of the late 600s See of Elmham - certainly the
site had a long relationship with the bishops of Norwich. The
chapel was ruinous by the 1200s.
The Church of St Margaret of Antioch,
South Elmham, sits inside the curve of The Street and overlooks
the northwards connection with Flixton Road. This is one of six
parishes bearing the South Elmham name which, together with the
four nearby Ilketshalls, are known as the 'Saints'. This church
was built in the late twelfth century, consisting of the nave
alone. The chancel and tower were added in the fourteenth
century, when tower building was all the rage.
The large windows were inserted in the fifteenth
century, while the square tower has five bells, all of which were
cast by the Brend family of Norwich. The earliest of them dates to
1596, cast by William Brend, while the rest date to 1637-1657. The
church was restored in 1838 and again in 1875, this time by Richard
Philpson when most of the wooden fittings were replaced. Prior to
the Reformation the church contained a Guild of St Margaret, and an
image of St Thomas.