Although sometimes referred to as Syseland or Sizeland the name Sisland is recorded in documents dating back to the Domesday Book of 1086, where mention is made of the parish having a church within neighbouring Mundham. Although nothing is known of this church, the ruins of an early chapel dedicated to St. Ethelbert are known close to the boundary of the two parishes. The construction of Sisland church possibly started soon after the Norman Conquest, although very little of this early building now remains.
In 1761, the main structure of the church was badly damaged by a lightning strike, as is graphically described in a letter to the Norwich Mercury dated July 16th. The church was then almost totally repaired in brick as is shown in the Churchwardens accounts. Parts of the ruined structure were incorporated into the new building which, with a few exceptions, is that which survives today.