St. George's Parish Church,
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A BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. GEORGE'S
The present Church dates back to the 15th century, although there is some evidence of 14th century work from an earlier building on the site. The Church is dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of England and sits on an elevated site in the centre of the village and dominates its surroundings.
Apart from one of the internal arches, the oldest part of the church is the north tower which is built in four stages with a brick parapet at its top. There is a door on the south side which has carved heads above it, one of a prior of a monastery and the other of St. Edmund, who was King of East Anglia from 855 to 870; he was a popular saint in the eastern part of England. The tower houses the belfry which has a full peal of eight bells that were installed in 1891. They were re-hung in 1935 on the original frames. A clock was first placed in the south side of the tower in 1744 but in 1848 it was moved to the east side and was then replaced in 1919 and dedicated to those who lost their lives in the first World War. (See also our 'Littleport Bells' page for more details of the bells and bell ringing)
Internally, the church has a nave, chancel, sanctuary, south aisle, Lady Chapel and north aisle. There was once a second north aisle which has been converted into a parish room, kitchen, toilets and choir vestry. Leading from this is the vicarís vestry. There is a stone font by the south door which dates from the 15th century and once used to stand in the centre of the Church.
The Church is richly endowed with many fine stained glass windows; the main east window is dedicated to the memory of Canon Hopkins, who was vicar of Littleport from 1866 to 1890. It has five lights and portrays the Ascension. At about this time the existing organ was installed, it is an organ of exceptional quality having been originally built for Milton Hall. Over the years it has undergone several improvements and repairs and played by a number of notable organists. The organ panelling contains the names of the men of Littleport who died in the two world wars and serves as a memorial chapel.
A full history of the church can be found in the publication 'A History of St. George's Church, Littleport' by Roger Rudderham. It is published and obtainable from The Littleport Society. (opens in a new window)
Copies, priced £5, are also available in the church.