Church & Chapel
In the above photo of a Good Friday procession, the church tower rises above Harvest House, and on the far left (next to the World's End and behind a white van) is the Chapel.
CHURCH & CHAPEL
We have no idea when Christianity first reached Mulbarton, but we do know there has been a church here for more than 900 years - at least since the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066). Certainly a church is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
A TRAGIC TALE THAT (may have) BUILT A CHURCH
The story goes that Thomas de St. Omer, who inherited the Lordship of the Manor from his father at the end of the 13th century (see below), claimed various privileges, including 'liberty of Infangthef' - that is, the right to pass judgement for theft committed within the jurisdiction of his Manor. He set up a gallows as a warning. In 1285, Walter Godwyne of [East] Carleton was convicted of felony by Nicolas de Monuer of Carleton, was tried by the Court Lete of the Manor, condemned and hanged in Mulbarton - but Thomas had no grant from the King, or traditional right, so 'it was ordered that he should be disseized of such liberty and the gallows pulled down'. It is said that Thomas de St Omer built - or perhaps restored - the church as a penance to atone for this murder.
There is also a claim that one of the later Lords of the Manor, Sir William Hoo (died 1410), rebuilt the nave and tower, and the chancel was probably added later.
TIME CHANGES THINGS - AND BUILDINGS
There have been changes over the centuries - pews added, an organ introduced, etc - but the greatest changes come in the 19th century when stained glass was added in the early years and the north aisle and vestry built in the 1870s.
Nearby, across the B1113, was the Methodist Chapel - another place of worship from 1900 to 1995. We do know who built that - there are a number of commemoration stones in the wall as well as the bold stone above the front:
Once again, the Parish Church is now the only church in Mulbarton. It is now part of a group of 4 parishes, sharing a Rector with neighbouring Bracon Ash, Hethel and Flordon. It's members are active in the parish and the church has strong links with D R Congo and Nepal. Find out more on the Church's own website. Keeping the building in good repair is one responsibility of the Church Council, for this is Mulbarton's oldest building and its greatest treasure, and we welcome you to look around in person or on our 'virtual tour'.