There is evidence that Thorpe was occupied by the Romans with the discovery of various remains found in the village including a 32 inch sword with a coronet inlaid in gold.
A brass hilt from the Edward I era was dredged from the river in 1833 and is now homed in the Norwich Castle Museum.
It is in the Domesday Book, in which it is referred to as "Torp", which is a Scandinavian word that means village and Viking word for "Daughter settlement". It is thought that the Danes were in East Anglia as early as 870 AD and in 1004 Sweyn Forkbeard, king of Norway and later briefly England, came up the river with his ships to Norwich..
The earliest references found that relate to the parish are under the names of "Thorpe Episcopi" and "Thorpe-next-Norwich". In later years it has become known as 'Thorpe St Andrew'.
In years gone by the river spread over much of Thorpe's neighbouring marshes and was not confined between banks as it is today With woodland that stretched to the city of Norwich. Today replaced by housing.
Thorpe has a population of around 13,000 residents with roughly 6,000 dwellings in an area measuring some 705 hectares. The Dussingdale estate has attracted many families to Thorpe and the facilities and organisations in the area reflect this.
Dedicated to St Andrew, the present building was constructed between 1866 and 1881-82 to replace the previous 13th Century church, which was deemed to be too small. Earlier still, the Domesday Book records a church on the site in 1086.
Remnants of the old church of St Andrew include the plain 13th Century octagonal font and a sundial, dated 1694, with the then churchwardens initials. The bottom of the tower contains many other monuments from the old church. Registers dating from 1642 are safely kept in the Central Library in Norwich.
As you enter the church, you will see a pelican carved into one pillar; a bird associated in with Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross. The pelican was believed to peck its own breast to feed its young with its own blood. St. Thomas Aquinas addresses the Savior in the hymn "Adoro Te," with, "Pelican of Mercy, cleanse me in Thy Precious Blood."
Commissioned as a war memorial, the Chancel Screen, dating from 1900, is adorned with the heads of the apostles and religious and political leaders of the 18th Century. It is believed to be the first screen erected in a Norfolk church since the Reformation. A statue in honour of St Andrew is sited to the left of the screen.
In 1944 the old spire was replaced with a pyramidal roof after the church was damaged in an air raid. The tower has a clock and houses eight bells, which for certain reasons cannot be rung but are instead chimed.
Visitors by boat are also well catered for; there are also two free 24 hour moorings on the River Yare. One known as Commissioners Cut on Whitlingham Lane - the other by the picturesque River Green on Yarmouth Road, regarded as the heart of Thorpe St. Andrew.