Last Friday I decided it was about time I stopped using my ‘falling off a ladder incident’ of a couple of months ago as an excuse for not getting on my bike and doing a few more of Norfolk’s historic churches! The weather was set to be warm, possibly in the high twenties, and there was a moderate easterly wind. I chose an inland route, hopefully to provide more shelter, and modified the itinerary to finish the ride close to a station on the lovely Bittern Line, which would take me back to Cromer, leaving only a short ride home. It was great to be back in the saddle, visiting some hidden ecclesiastical gems and exploring more of the counties byways. I was slightly disappointed to find a number of the churches locked, I don’t know if this is because of a different Deanery ‘policy’ or not, but it was in marked contrast to my last couple of trips in the Holt deanery, when all of the churches were unlocked. I also missed my old cycling companion and brother Bry, who has been with me on most of the previous excursions, but who is currently laid up following a hip replacement – I hope it’s not too long before we can be pedaling the lanes of Norfolk together again! Jane joined me for a pleasant lunch at the locally renowned, Recruiting Sergeant, at Horstead.
The Route: including the return ride from Cromer station, close on 70k
St Batholomew Hanworth, St Andrew Gunton, St Botolph Banningham, St Peter & St Paul Tuttington, St Mary Burgh next Aylsham, St Michael Oxnead, St Peter Brampton, St Andrew Buxton, St Margaret Stratton Strawless, All Saints Hainford old church, All Saints Horstead, St John the Baptist Coltishall, St Andrew Lamas, All Saints Scottow, All Saints Skeyton, St Michael Swanton Abbott, St Botolph Westwick, St Batholomew Sloley, St Mary Worstead.
As on previous occasions, for more detail of the churches, do visit the excellent Churches of Norfolk website.
St Batholomew, Hanworth
Interesting architectural drawing of St Batholomews
St Andrew’s, in the grounds of Gunton Park, designed by the great Robert Adam – thought to be his only Norfolk church
St Botolph, Banningham
Medieval wall painting, depicting St George and the dragon – predates the installation of the clerestory windows
St Peter and St Paul, Tuttington – the only round tower of the day
Burgh next Aylsham – St Mary’s, on the banks of the river Bure
The restored church of St Michael, Oxnead
St Peter Brampton
St Margaret Stratton Strawless
… and this one makes 20!
St Andrew Lamas, another church on the banks of the Bure
Detail of the organ, All Saints Scottow
Detail of the unusual exterior stone work, depicting the ‘Sacred heart and Crown of thorns’ – St Botolph, Westwick
St Bartholomew Sloley
The magnificent church of St Mary Worstead
Details of the painted rood screen