The Church of St Andrew at Illington lies at the end of a lane, although nearby there are a few farm buildings. The church itself has a Norman nave but is best known for its perpendicular tower. It is very distinctive with its battlements picked out in diamonds of flint and stone. The belfry windows are also quite special with quatrefoil tracery.
The interior is sparse. In addition to the Norman nave, there is a Norman doorway and a curious window on the south side which can be explained by two arches which must have accessed a now vanished aisle. One of the arches has a 12th Century grotesque corbel. The church contains a curious Jacobean bier which looks as though it might have been a table. The Victorians were responsible for the rest of the furnishings and the roof.
In 2002, a Early Anglo-Saxon cemetery was discovered to the south of the church.
St Andrew’s came into the care of the Norfolk Churches Trust in November 1996. Initially we carried out work on the tower externally, re-roofed the nave and chancel and re-glazed and repaired the east window. The walls now need repointing at low level and the installation of new gutters, downpipes and drains to ensure water is taken away. We seek funding for this and all the other churches in our care.
St Andrew’s is reached via a farm drive and grassy track, postcode IP24 1RS. It is open during daylight hours, and the Keyholder can be contacted on 01953 498121.
Churchcrawls in Solitude, St Andrew’s, Illington, a video by Diarmaid MacCulloch can be viewed here.
Find out more about this church on the Norfolk Heritage Explorer.