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Banham, St Mary the Virgin

Banham St Mary

Banham St Mary the Virgin Church Interior

Location: Church Lane, Banham, Norfolk, NR16 2HR



Opening Information: Open during the day, or if locked a key holder is given




An unusual effigy in many ways is attributed in the church information to Sir Hugh Bardolph (born about 1139 died 1203) and server under Richard I (1189-1199), Church information also suggests a date of 1340. If it is indeed an effigy of Hugh Bardolph, then it is more representative of a later Hugh Bardolph, (born 29 September 1259, Wormengay, Norfolk, died 1304), married (1281/1292) Isabel Aguilion (born 25 March 1258, died 1323).

The effigy was originally in the north aisle were the recess still exists, but is now located in the south aisle. The wooden effigy has had much restoration including being painted and covered in sand to represent stone. In the left hand would have been held a shield and in the right a sword. A sketch made by Reverend T Kerrich describes the colour before the restoration. Fryer dates the effigy at no earlier than 1310 and possibly carved between 1340 and 1350. The original effigy was covered in many peg holes and it is thought that pieces of metal may have been held in place by thes, as in the effigies of William of Valence (1290), Richard II, Anne of Bohemia and Henry V.

Hugh appears in the following rolls, The Falkirk Roll, H10; The Caerlaverock Poem, K4; Walford's Roll, C138 & The Galloway Roll, ST52, where he bears Azure three cinquefoils or

In 1294, about to go to the Gascon wars with the King, Hugh Bardolph, as tenant-in-chief, had the inspiration to cut down and sell timber from his wood at "Gedelinge" to the value of 100 pounds to help defray his expenses. Gedling responded with a fury and an "Inquisition" was demanded. "The good men and true" called to sit on the "Inquisition" reported that "if such timber were cut down nothing would remain there, and that the King would lose attachment of the Forest". They also found that this wood was the best harbourage for the King's deer because it was near to the King's enclosure (haye) of Bestwood. It would also be to the hurt of the country (in other words the village of Gedling) who for pannage (food for their pigs) claim and ought to have common in the said wood. Gedling won. Hugh had to pay his own expenses. But Hugh Bardolph (being a Bardolph) tried again in 1303. This time he was more successful. At a second inquisition, the jury returned that it would not be to the damage of the King if Hugh Bardolph were allowed to fell and remove 100 pounds worth of oaks from his woods here and at Carlton, if the undergrowth was preserved to afford harbourage to the King's game, and pannage for the Gedling swine.

On 29 Novermber 1295 he had seizn of his mothers lands and was created the 1st Lord Bardolph on 6 February 1298/9

In 1299, Hugh Bardolph, who took an active part in the French and Scotch wars, was summoned to the first "Parliament" as Baron Lord Bardolph. John, 3rd Lord Bardolph married Elizabeth, the great grand-daughter of Edward I, and gained further land.

Hugh Bardolf





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