Brisley is a large church tucked away in a relatively small village between Dereham and Fakenham.
The highlights of this lovely church include a range of wall paintings, including St Andrew, and angel, a consecration cross and two St Christophers. There is good evidence that even more of these paintings survive under the whitewash.
There are some carved bench ends, including a dog carrying a stolen goose, and a beautiful brass depicting a priest. Tucked away in the chancel is a door to a tiny underground room, originally a crypt, but also used to house prisoners being transported from King's Lynn to Norwich.
The church are currently hoping to conserve and restore a number of their wall paintings as well as repairing some of the other fixtures in the church.
Brisley is home to a colony of Common Pipistrelle bats, during the summer these bats enter the church over the west door then fly the length of the church to roost in the chancel.
We commissioned full bat surveys at Brisley in summer 2021 and they now have comprehensive bat management plan including a range of options such as blocking gaps over the wall paintings to prevent bats roosting in those areas and an option to completely exclude bats from the nave and chancel, confining them to a space at the base of the tower.
Thanks to Tesco Bags of Help and our funders we contracted Andrea Kirkham to produce a report into the condition of the wall paintings, and the church are fundraising for restoration works. The hope is that more paintings could be discovered, once the church has fewer bat issues and we know that they can be preserved.
The church also had a successful bat night in August 2021 and a visit from the local primary school in December 2021.