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Thread: Redundant church (Norfolk)

  1. #1
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    Default Redundant church (Norfolk)


    Saved by a local farmer, this small former church building has a long history.





    It was built by the Normans (and has retained its original, elaborately carved doorway), presumably on an older site of worship. It has stood in its isolated location, deep in rural Norfolk, for centuries. Despite many changes, particularly during the Reformation, that resulted in redundancies and ruination of many churches, this one continued to be used as a place of worship until well into the 1900s. Hundred years on, however, it had lost its roof. After having been used as a mortuary chapel for some time, eventually, like so many others, the church was declared as being surplus to requirement, and abandoned.





    In a way, however, it did get lucky in that it was purchased by a member of the local farming community - not to be converted for use as yet another farm building, as frequently happened, but to be preserved in its entirety for what it is. The building has long since been re-roofed to protect the gems it houses: the original medieval font, a full set of 15th century pews decorated with intricate piercings and carvings, and a 17th century double-decker pulpit.





















    The building is not in use. It just stands there in this quite remote spot, undisturbed - until somebody like me comes along to take pictures.


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  4. #2
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    Oh wow, that's a real beauty.

    I would hazard a guess that the doorway might be older than Norman, though, unless there used to be rounded pillars from the base of the arch to the floor.

    Would also think that the pews were newer than 15th Century? It would be very unusual to have more than a few seats scattered around a small pre-Reformation country church. It wasn't until the Reformation that the idea took hold that congregations were there to be preached at.
    Last edited by RichardH; 17th May 11 at 16:39. Reason: "older" is almost never a synonym for "newer"

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  6. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardH View Post
    I would hazard a guess that the doorway might be older than Norman, though, unless there used to be rounded pillars from the base of the arch to the floor.
    Would also think that the pews were newer than 15th Century? It would be very unusual to have more than a few seats scattered around a small pre-Reformation country church. It wasn't until the Reformation that the idea took hold that congregations were there to be preached at.
    I have checked my books and found the following:

    According to N. Batcock (The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk), the "nave (dates from the) 12th century with fine south portal with scallop capitals and geometric motifs; chancel c 1340; good set of medieval benches; fine 17th century pulpit."

    H. M. Cautley (Norfolk Churches) in 1949 says: "This poor little church, rapidly falling to decay ... has several points of interest. The S doorway is Norman and formerly had two engaged shafts and four orders above. Inside are early 16c poppy headed benches ... with most unusual and interesting traceried and pierced backs ... nice Jacobean pulpit."

    So - the benches are 16th century, not 15th as I'd said earlier. Thanks for keeping me right. :)

  7. #4
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    Cracking shots there Hamishsfriend nice one;)
    my facebook page /www.facebook.com/pages/Forsyth-photography/1462728260634652
    my new website; http://www.freewebs.com/alexforsythphotography/

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishsfriend View Post
    So - the benches are 16th century, not 15th as I'd said earlier. Thanks for keeping me right. :)
    I have always been told that my special gift is to be the cause of work for other people.

    So the door is Norman, then. Just had its round bits nicked. Well, it got off lightly in the grand scheme of things. :)

  10. #6
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    What a nice little church. Love the old wodden pews.

  11. Thanks given by: hamishsfriend
  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardH View Post
    I have always been told that my special gift is to be the cause of work for other people.
    Lol! I am still exhausted from the ordeal, phew. :)

  13. #8
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    What a lovely little church, so much detail. Love the pews and the architectural features over the door!

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  15. #9
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    That doorway is something special! Thanks for that!
    Last edited by krela; 19th May 11 at 08:52. Reason: Please don't quote entire reports just to add a 1 line reply.

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  17. #10
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    Well done to the farmer for saving it and well done to you for posting it! Great find and first class photos Thanks :)
    G.
    It'll all turn to dust and we'll all fall down

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DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of disused, derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
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