The original dedication of Norbury Church was to St. Barloke or Burlok, the present and erroneous dedication is in honour of our Lady. The earliest parts are probably 12th century but the chancel is 14th century and the nave was rebuilt in the 15th century. Two 10th (2) or 11th (3) century crosses, now in the church, were found built into a buttress. (1-3)
Church in normal use . For crosses see G.P's AO/66/171/6 & 7. (4)
In 1902 during alteration work in the church, two pre-Norman cross-shafts were found built into one of the buttresses of the north wall of the chancel. The first is 5 ft 3 ins high and 1 ft 3ins wide at the bottom and the other cross is 3 ft 9 ins high and 1 ft 3ins wide at the bottom (see illust card). (5-7)
There is a reused carved stone in the lower stair-treads of the tower spiral stairway - the decoration is on the underside of one of the stone steps. The sculpture shows an animal of indeterminate form and plaitwork. It does not appear to be directly associated with either of the two Saxon crosses already noted inside the church and may be post-Conquest in date. (8)
The north wall of the church has been affected by rising damp. A scheme of treatment was devised, to include firstly an attempt to understand the existing and any previous system for draining rainwater away from the church and secondly new drainage pipes to remove water from the church, across the sloping north churchyard to the nature reserve beyond. Four trenches for the proposed pipes were excavated by hand to a depth of 900mm across the churchyard. These disturbed 12 burials (including 5 child burials), probably dating from the 19th century. All were re-interred. Fragments of horseshoe-shaped ceramic pipes were found, possibly remnants from 18th-19th century drains. More recent circular pipes were located closer to the church. Although the churchyard has been badly disturbed by burials, various artefacts were recovered, including a quantity of pottery. Most of this dated from the 18th-19th century, but a significant proportion was found to date from the 12th-13th century. No evidence was found for an earlier church on the site. A spread of mortar and stone found at some depth in the trenches close to the church may date to the supposed rebuilding of the chancel in the early 14th century. This material, together with the building's deep foundations (found during renovations in 1899-1902) set in water-retentive clay, may be contributing to the building's current problem. (9)
In c. 2006 the stained glass in the chancel was the subject of detailed examination, both in order to create a record of the designs and heraldry and to establish the extent of restoration and possible repositioning of panels in the past. (10)
The church of St Mary and St Barlok at Norbury retains an unusually large amount of its medieval decoration, including stained glass, a section of choir stalls and a number of examples of sculpted and incised stonework, much of which reflects the interests of the Fitzherberts, the lords of Norbury throughout the late medieval period. (11)
The bells of St Mary's are of historical significance. Dating between circa 1500 and 1589, two of the bells were made by H I Oldfield and Mellours of Nottingham. (12)
St Mary's Norbury has many fine windows, some of them original 14th and 15th century work, and, inside, rich alabaster monuments. Dr Pevsner, but Paley, in 'Baptismal Fonts' sets the date as early as the 13th century. Chancel seats have poppy-head carving. The church stands in a finely wooded setting with a venerable yew in the churchyard. (13)
The building was part of an assessment carried out in 2017. (14)
From the National Heritage List for England:
'SK 14 SW PARISH OF NORBURY AND ROSTON NORBURY HOLLOW 1/71 (North Side) 13.9.67 Church of St Mary and St Barlok GV I Parish church. C12, early C14, mid C15, restored 1841 and 1899. Ashlar sandstone with leaded roofs. Chancel and tower have plinths with moulded copings, and all south elevation has moulded stringcourses at eaves level with castellated parapets over, those to the chancel of odd wavy design and those to nave and chapels with ridgeback copings, whilst tower has simple chamfered castellations, Cl5 three bay clerestoried nave, aisled to north and with early Cl5 two stage tower to centre of south side flanked by Cl5 chapels, and large four bay early C14 chancel. West elevation has stepped buttresses to corners of nave aisle and chapel, and a central segment headed, cusped 3-light window with hoodmould ever carved with flowers. North aisle has similar but taller and more pointed 3-light window, whilst south chapel wall is blank. Above to nave another cusped 3-light window with segment head and cambered, coped parapet over. North elevation of nave aisle has three four-centred arched, cusped 3-light windows with hoodmoulds and carved label-stops, plus stepped buttresses between and to corners of aisle. Also, to centre a blocked, chamfered four-centred arched doorcase. Above Perp clerestory with four 3-light flat headed windows with cusped lights and carved labelstops to hoodmoulds over. East end of aisle has similar 3-light window to those on north side. Beyond to east early C14 chancel has four, chamfered 3-light pointed windows with hoodmoulds and extraordinary intersecting and reticulated tracery with stylised flowers at meeting point of ribs near tops. Between windows and to either end,thin, deep buttresses with small pinnacles to tops. The windows have a continuous sill band below and above is a moulded stringcourse. East window similar to northern ones except it has a moulded edge and it is 5-light with three incongruous uprights. Eastern corners of chancel have gableted angle buttresses. South chancel elevation similar to north one except for small wavy headed doorcase, with elaborate foliage type ironwork to door, below second window from east. To west south-east chapel has similar cusped 3-light segment headed window as on west wall of nave. Similar window to south side of chapel between stepped buttresses, and to south in south-west chapel. Central two stage tower between has stepped full height buttresses to three sides, set some distance in from the corners. South front has pointed, moulded doorcase with returned hood and above a small ogee headed niche. Above again a small ogee headed lancet partly covered to top by clockface. 2-light, louvred cusped Y-tracery bell opening in four-centred arched deep recess above, to all sides. Moulded stringcourse with central gargoyles and embattled parapets with corner pinnacles above. To either side of tower clerestory has single 3-light flat headed windows with cusped lights, incised spandrels and returned hoodmould with carved labelstops. Interior has four bay, Cl5 north arcade with octagonal piers, moulded capitals and double chamfered arches; single arches through to southern chapels have similar arches and capitals on polygonal responds. Central doorcase into tower has four-centred arched head and is deeply moulded to south side, to west is a small pointed doorcase to staircase. Nave and chancel roofs, Perp with moulded tie beams and central bosses with small ribs. between also with carved bosses. Aisle roof C19 copy. Chancel is particularly fine, the north and south windows have pointed blind arcading below, similar stylised flowers in same position on the tracery as on exterior and between the windows are thin triangular sectioned pilasters which finish to top in moulded corbels, possibly suggesting a stone vault was intended. The east wall has C19 cusped wooden panelling below the windows and C20 stone altar to front. To south wall is an original piscina with two small corbelled out bowls set in small niche. West end of chancel has C19 rood screen but no chancel arch. Choir stalls have foliage poppy heads and arcaded Perp panelling to fronts, much restored. Two excellent alabaster table tombs to centre of chancel, one to Nicholas Fitzherbert who died 1473 and one to Ralph and Elizabeth Fitzherbert who died 1483 and 1491. Both have mourning figures to sides,set in crocketed ogee.headed niches with crocketed pilasters between, and both have the knights in armour with their feet on lions, although there is an extra little figure holding a rosary on the back of Ralph Fitzherbert's lion. The double tomb also has angels holding shields to west side. The floor of the chancel also has several monuments including marble slab with incised figure in a shroud and latin inscription to edge, and a similar one with figure of a priest under an ogee headed arch. To centre of the floor there is a mid C16 family slab with brass plates of donors, their daughters and an inscription. There are also several mid C18 slate slabs and one of 1653 to Anne Fitzherbert. All chancel windows have large quantity of early C14 glass, the side windows have lozenge patterned glass incorporating stained glass shields, whilst east window,which has been restored,has coats of arms to top and panels with figures of saints etc set in plain glass surrounds. South-east chapel also has two fine stained glass windows depicting donors with their coats of arms under architectural canopies, both C15. This chapel also has a small Cl5 cusped piscina to south wall and an early C14 table tomb of Henry Fitzherbert. Pulpit to north in the nave is C19, and font to west is C14 with circular bowl on keeled shafts. The nave also contains two C9 cross shafts with interlace carving and two table tombs, one of sandstone, the other of marble to a Fitzherbert. The west window also has a fragment of C16 stained glass. North aisle has another cusped piscina to east side, and several wall memorials to north side including two good classical ones, of 1742 to Thomas Bowyer and 1785 to Simon and Elizabeth Bowyer.
Listing NGR: SK1254642395.'