Below the Spelman window on the north side of the chancel a stone tablet has been set into the wall, bearing an old brass, which used to be on a marble monument at the east end of the north aisle.

The stone has two small crosses on the left side, and it is thought to be the pre-Reformation stone altar, re-used in the Victorian reconstruction of 1865, by the Rev. William Alfree. It has a monument for John Eyre, a brass with two kneeling figures; on the left the knight in full armour but for a helmet, hands joined in prayer. His gauntlet lies beside his prayer-book on the top of the cloth-draped kneeling desk. Opposite is his wife, likewise kneeling at prayer, with a similar prayer book open on the desk before her, ruffed and hair capped with a falling veil behind. From their mouths arise scrolls, his reading: “With the Lord there is Mercy” and hers: “and with Him is plenteous redemption”.

JOHN EYRE and his Wife at Narborough

The inscription on the brass says “Here do lye John Eyer Esquire late Receyvor Generale to Elizabeth the Quenes Majestie, in the counties of Norf., Suff., Cantabridge, and Huntyngton, and one of the Masters of her High Court of Chancerye and Margaret his wyfe, one of the daughters of Sir Thomas Blenerhaiset of Frens Knight late Wyfe of John, Spelman Esquire, son and heyre apparent of Sir John Spelman, Knyght.” It records that he died on 20 May 1561, and his wife died 15 December 1558. This John Eyre took much advantage of the Dissolution and bought Bury Abbey and a number of Friar’s houses at Lynn; he died without issue.

There are three brass shields, the lateral ones plain, the central one mantled with helm and crest: An armed leg, spurred, couped at the thigh.

Quarterly EYRE and TOWNSEND

The dexter shield has Quarterly, 1 and 4, (Argent) on a Chevron (Sable) three Quatrefoils (Argent). – EYRE, 2 and 3, (Azure) a Chevron Ermine between three Escallops (Argent). – TOWNSEND. This is presumably the Eyre pedigree, for his father or the family.

Quarterly EYRE and TOWNSEND

The central shield is the same; both shields are charged with a crescent for difference, for John Eyre himself.


The sinister shield has EYRE quartering TOWNSEND with a crescent for difference, impaling Quarterly of six, 1 and 6, (Gules) a Chevron Ermine between three Dolphins embowed (Argent). – BLENERHASSET; 2, (Argent) three Escutcheons (Sable). – LOWDHAM; 3, (Gules) a Pall reversed Ermine – KELVEDON or KELDON; 4, (Azure) a Lion rampant (Argent) crowned (Or). – ORTON: 5, (Azure) a Fess between three Fleurs-de-lis (Or). – SKELTON. Jane, daughter of Sir William Kelvedon of Braxted in Essex, married John Lowdham of Lowdham; his son, Sir Thomas Lowdham, had a son John, and his daughter Joan or Jane married Sir Ralph (or Thomas?) Blenerhasset. It was their daughter Margaret who married John Eyre as her second husband.

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