Norfolk church
© Geoff Robinson Photography
The fire gutted the medieval Norfolk church
The roof of 12th Century St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, collapsed and the majority of the building has been damaged, according to the fire service.

The huge blaze was reported at 6.07am and when firefighters from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service arrived they found the roof in flames.

Nine fire crews, including 50 firefighters, helped managed to save some of the historical documents kept in the church, which dates from 1175 and had some late 13th century work.

church
© Norfolk Fire and Rescue/Geoff Robinson
Firefighters worked to save the church
The huge blaze was reported at 6.07am and when firefighters from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service arrived they found the roof alight.

Station manager Terry Pinto said: 'We have been able to save some of the building through early intervention but it is a very sad day.'

The Anglican church is normally always open to the public.

The north and south doors are Roman and there is a medieval wall painting of St Christopher in the nave. In 1853 the nave's roof was altered from thatch to slate. The fire service is set to carry out a full investigation into the cause of the blaze.