Historic Churches of Norfolk – Route 15

It seems an age since we did route 15, at the end of June. The route, which started and finished at Acle station, was a reasonably challenging 45 miles in total and filled in the ‘missing piece’ to complete the whole of the north east of the county, from Wells in the west right round the coast to Gt Yarmouth and south to an ‘east – west’ line through Norwich.

The Route:

UK_runners__walkers_and_cyclists_-_map_your_routes 2

The Churches:

All Saints Billockby, St Margaret Burgh St Margaret, St Mary Burgh St Mary, St George Rollesby, St Peter Clippesby, St Edmund Thurne, St Peter Repps, St Mary Martham, All Saints Horsey, St Mary West Somerton, Holy Trinity & All Saints Winterton, St Mary the Virgin Hemsby, St Michael Ormesby St Michael, St Margaret Ormesby St Margaret, Holy Trinity Caister, St Edmund West Caister, All Saints Filby, St Mary Thrigby, St Peter & St Paul Mautby, St Peter & St Paul Runham and St Andrew Stokesby

The Photos:

All Saints, Billockby

All Saints Billockby

St Margaret, Burgh St Margaret 

St Margaret Burgh St Margaret

St Mary, Burgh St Mary

St Mary Burgh St Mary

St George, Rollesby

St George Rollesby

St Peter, Clippesby – window detail

St Peter Clippesby

St Edmund the King Martyr, Thurne

St Edmund the King Martyr Thurne

St Peter, Repps

St Peter Repps

Sundial detail

St Peter Repps

St Mary, Martham

St Mary Martham

All Saints, Horsey

All Saints Horsey

Interior – All Saints

All Saints Horsey

St Mary, West Somerton

St Mary West Somerton

Holy Trinity & All Saints, Winterton – interior

Holy Trinity & All Saints Winterton

St Mary the Virgin, Hemsby

St Mary the Virgin Hemsby

St Michael, Ormesby St Michael

St Michael Ormesby St Michael

A modern day ‘Georgia and the Dragon’, St Margaret, Ormsby St Margaret

St Margaret Ormesby St Margaret

Holy Trinity, Caister

Holy Trinity Caister

St Edmund (new), West Caister

St Edmund West Caister

All Saints, Filby

All Saints Filby

Detail of painted rood screen

All Saints Filby

St Mary, Thrigby

St Mary Thrigby

St Peter & St Paul, Mautby

St Peter & St Paul Mautby

St Peter & St Paul, Runham

St Peter & St Paul Runham

St Andrew, Stokesby

St Andrew Stokesby

and by the end, dead? –  well not quite..

St Andrew Stokesby






Historic Churches of Norfolk – Route 14

For the May HCN ride I caught the train to Hoveton & Wroxham station where I met Helen. Travelling east, our route took in the churches north of the river Bure, as far as Hickling Broad, then out to the coast to Waxham – lunch was in the cafe at the impressive Waxham Great Barn, returning west, along the B1151 to Stalham and finally to Hoveton, by criss-crossing the A1151. A total distance of 48 miles and 21 churches.

The Route:


The Churches:

St John and St Peter Hoveton, St Benedict Horning, St Catherine Ludham, St Peter Bastwick (ruin), St Nicholas Potter Heigham, All Saints Catfield, St Michael Sutton, St Mary Hickling, St Margaret Sea Palling, St John Waxham, Holy Trinity Ingham, St Peter Brumstead, St Mary Stalham, St Peter Smallburgh, St Mary Tunstead, St Lawrence Beeston St Lawrence, St Michael Barton Turf, St Michael Irstead, St Peter Neatishead & St Swithin Ashmanhaugh

The photos:

Hoveton, St John

St John the Baptist Hoveton

The best feature of the church is the stained glass

St John the Baptist Hoveton 2

St Benedict, Horning

St Benedict Horning

St Catherine, Ludham

St Catherine Ludham

The unique rood screen and canvas, rediscovered by the Norfolk Archeological Society in 1879. For the full and fascinating story, read Simon Knott’s account.


Squint: ‘an opening cut through an internal wall.. (to) synchronise the ceremonies of the Mass’


St Peter, Bastwick


St Nicholas, Potter Heigham

St Nicholas Potter Heigham

All Saints, Catfield

All Saints Catfield

Wall painting, depicting the stoning of St Stephen


St Michael, Sutton

St Michael Sutton

St Mary, Hickling


St Margaret, Sea Palling

St Margaret Sea Palling

Detail of stairs to the rood loft and piscina


St John, Waxham

St John Waxham

Holy Trinity, Ingham

Holy Trinity Ingham

St Peter, Brumstead

St Peter Brumstead

St Mary, Stalham


St Peter, Smallburgh


St Mary, Tunstead

StMary the Virgin Tunstead

St Lawrence, Beeston St Lawrence

St Lawrence Beeston St Lawrence

St Michael, Barton Turf

St Michael Barton Turf

Detail of the painted rood screen.. ‘the best I’ve seen in England.’ Simon Knott


and an interesting ‘Conglomeration of medieval glass..’


St Michael, Irstead

St Michael Irstead

St Peter, Neatishead, at Threehammer Common

St Peter Neatishead

St Swithin, Ashmanhaugh

St Swithin Ashmanhaugh

and finally, St Peter, Hoveton

St Peter Hoveton

Historic Churches of Norfolk – route 13

A few weeks ago I did another historic churches cycle ride with my friend Helen. On this occasion we polished off the group of churches sandwiched between the A47, to the south, and the river Bure too the north, east of Norwich. The weather was much kinder to us than on our previous outing but one feature which was consistent was the number of locked churches – such a pity. Our circular route started and finished at Hoveton station, lunch was at a nice little roadside cafe in Acle, and we covered just short of 50k. We visited seventeen churches in all.

The route


The Churches

St Mary Wroxham, All Saints Salhouse, St Gervase & St Protase Little Plumstead, St Mary Great Plumstead, St Margaret Witton, All Saints Hemblington, St Andrew and St Peter North Burlingham, St Edmund Acle, St Mary Fishley, St Margaret Upton, St Mary and St Lawrence South Walsham, All Saints Panxworth, St Helen Ranworth, St Fabian & St Sebastian Woodbastwick, St Mary Wroxham and St Peter Belaugh

The Photos

St Mary Wroxham


All Saints Salhouse

All Saints Salhouse

The unique dedication of St Gervase & St Protase – Little Plumstead


St Mary the Virgin Great Plumstead


St Margaret Witton


All Saints Hemblington


The best single surviving 14C wall painting of the St Christopher narrative in England

All Saints Hemblington

St Andrew North Burlingham

St Andrew North Burlingham

St Peter North Burlingham


St Edmund Acle

St Edmund Acle 2

Detail of stained glass

St Edmund Acle

St Mary Fishley

St Mary Fishley

St Margaret Upton

St Margaret Upton

Interior detail


South Walsham St Mary

St Mary South Walsham

and St Lawrence


All Saints Panxworth


St Helen Ranworth. Unfortunately the whole of the exterior and some of the interior was covered in scaffolding, so here’s some detail of the lovely painted rood screen

St Helen Ranworth

St Fabian & St Sebastian Woodbastwick

St Fabian & St Sebastian Woodbastwick

and finally St Peter Belaugh, sitting high above the river Bure.

St Peter Belaugh













Historic Churches of Norfolk – route 12

Last Thursday I resumed my on-going project to cycle to and photograph all of the historic churches of Norfolk. We couldn’t have picked a much colder, more overcast, day with a stiff north wind. I was accompanied by my friend Helen (she of the Walking Tours of Norwich City Churches fame). We cycled over 50k and did 19 churches, all in the area, east of Norwich, between the A47 and the river Yare. The day ended badly for me when I realised that I’d lost my phone, somewhere on route. I retraced my steps nearly back to our lunch stop, missed my return train to Norwich and incurred significant unwelcome extra miles – and all to no avail. Lets hope that the rest of this seasons cycle rides go better! Still we did see some very nice churches –  unfortunately many of which, in this particular part of the county, are locked.

The Route 


The Churches

St Andrew Thorpe St Andrew, All Saints Postwick, St Lawrence Brundall, St Andrew Blofield, St Michael Braydeston, St Peter Strumpshaw, St Nicholas Buckenham, St Mary Hassingham, St Margaret Cantley, St Botolph Limpenhoe, St John the Baptist Reedham, All Saints Freethorpe, St Andrew Wickhampton, St Peter & St Paul Tunstall, St Peter & St Paul Halvergate, St Mary Moulton St Mary, All Saints Beighton, St Edmund South Burlingham and St Peter Lingwood.

The Photos

St Andrew, Thorpe St Andrew


All Saints, Postwick

Postwick All Saints

St Lawrence, Brundall


Stained glass detail

Brundall St Laurence

St Andrew, Blofield


Font, depicting the life of Christ – unique in Norfolk


The ‘Red Cross’ window

Blofield St Andrew & St Peter


St Michael, Braydeston


St Peter, Strumpshaw


St Nicholas, Buckenham

Buckenham St Nicholas

Simple, slightly ‘decaying’ interior


St Mary, Hassingham

Hassingham St Mary

St Margaret, Cantley

Cantley St Margaret

St Botolph, Limpenhoe


St John the Baptist, Reedham


All Saints, Freethorpe


St Andrew, Wickhampton

Wickhampton St Andrew 2

Details of 14th century wall paintings =- amongst the best in England


Wickhampton St Andrew

St Peter & St Paul, Tunstall

Tunstall St Peter & St Paul

Face in the wall


St Peter & St Paul, Halvergate


St Mary, Moulton St Mary

Moulton St Mary St Mary


14th century wall paintings depicting the Seven Works of Mercy

Moulton St Mary St Mary

All Saints, Beighton

Beighton All Saints

St Edmund, South Burlingham

South Burlingham St Edmund

Fine interior with early painted pulpit, wall painting and rood screen


Elephant & Castle bench end

South Burlingham St Edmund 2

St Peter, Lingwood

Lingwood St Peter

Historic Churches of Norfolk – route 10

By Sunday there had been a significant change in the weather – rain and strong winds, so we limited our ride to a 20 mile circuit around Bawdeswell. We did manage to take in nine churches though.

The Route


The Churches

All Saints Bawdeswell, St Peter Billingford, St Mary North Elmham, St Swithun Bintree, St Nicholas Twyford, All Saints Wood Norton, Church of the Holy Innocents Foulsham, St Andrew Themelthorpe and St Thomas Foxley

The Photos

All Saints, Bawdeswell was completely rebuilt after a British Mosquito plane crashed into the original, returning from a bombing raid in WW11

Bawdeswell All Saints

The plaque which commemorates the tragic event


St Peter, Billingford – one of a handful of Norfolk churches with an octagonal tower – our second of the weekend


The most notable feature inside is the 16th century giant latten lectern, from the same foundry as the one in St Marks, Venice


St Mary the Virgin, North Elmham – features in Simon Jenkins’ England’s 1000 Best Churches

North Elmham St Mary

The lofty interior


Medieval wall painting fragment


The noteworthy St Cecilia painted screen


Detail of the fine carved Tudor pews


St Swithun, Bintree


The hidden away little church of St Nicholas, Twyford

Twford St Nicholas

All Saints, Wood Norton


Details of medieval stained glass fragments

Wood Norton All Saints

Church of the Holy Innocents, Foulsham

Foulsham Holy Innocents

Unfortunately my camera battery gave up at this point but happily Bry had his phone with him to record the final two churches of the weekend!

St. Andrew, Themelthorpe

photo 3

St Thomas, Foxley

Foxley St Thomas

Historic Churches of Norfolk – route 9

Taking advantage of the recent unseasonably warm weather, spent the weekend catching up on a few more historic churches. On Saturday brother Bryan – veteran of the memorable ‘Four Countries End to End’ ride in 2012 and I did a nice circular route, starting and finishing at Morston. We cycled just over 60 km and took in 22 parish churches plus a host of other ‘religious establishments’ which cluster around the Walsinghams.

The Route


The Churches

All Saints Morston, St Andrew & St Mary Langham, St Margaret Saxlingham, St Andrew Field Dalling, All Saints Bale, St Martin Hindringham, St Andrew Thursford, All Saints Kettlestone, St Andrew Little Snoring, St Mary Great Snoring, All Saints East Barsham, Assumption West Barsham, All Saints North Barsham, St Giles Houghton St Giles, St Mary Little Walsingham, St Peter Great Walsingham, All Saints Wighton, All Saints & St Mary Magdalene Warham, St Mary Binham, All Saints Cockthorpe and St John the Baptist Stiffkey. In addition we visited the ‘Slipper Chapel’ & Chapel of the Holy Spirit Houghton St Giles, the old Friary, Anglican Shrine, Chapel of the Annunciation, Holy Souls, St Seraphim (orthodox) Little Walsingham and Holy Annunciation (orthodox) Great Walsingham – quite a day!

The Photos

All Saints, Morston – early morning


St Andrew & St Mary, Langham


St Margaret, Saxlingham

Saxlingham St Margaret

St Andrew, Field Dalling

Field Dalling St Andrew

Interior window detail


All Saints, Bale

Bale All Saints

St Martin, Hindringham

Bale All Saints 2

Interior, showing the off-set ‘weeping’ chancel


Window detail

Hindringham St Martin

All Saints, Thursford – more an estate than parish church, with Victorian ‘gothic’ much in evidence


All Saints, Kettlestone (Ketestuna in the Doomsday book) – with a fine octagonal tower

Kettlestone All Saints

An interesting plaque

Kettlestone All Saints 2

St Andrew, Little Snoring – with unusual detached round tower with tiled roof

Little Snoring St Andrew

Royal Arms of James II

Little Snoring St Andrew 2

St Mary, Great Snoring

Great Snoring St Mary

Inside – detail of the ornate but slightly dilapidated sedilia


Lovely stained glass


A cluster of three small churches in the Barshams

St Giles, Houghton St Giles

Houghton St Giles St Giles

Superb 15th century rood screen


St Mary, Little Walsham – almost completely rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1961

Little Walsingham St Mary

The light & airy interior


St Peter, Great Walsingham

Great Walsingham St Peter

The lovely interior with a feast of 15th century pews – complete with tracery, poppy heads and carved figures

DSC09502 Great Walsingham St Peter 2

and some interesting stained glass


All Saints, Wighton – the tower collapsed in a winter storm in 1965 and was rebuilt with the help of a Canadian benefactor

Wighton All Saints

Another light, bright interior with an unusual high-level east window


Detail of a Victorian stained glass window – one in a series depicting various saints


The two parish churches of Warham – All Saints and St Mary Magdalene, just half a mile apart

Warham All Saints Warham St Magdalene

More exquisite medieval glass

DSC09547 Warham St Magdalene 2

The priory church of St Mary, Binham

Binham St Mary

All Saints, Cockthorpe – unfortunately undergoing major repairs and covered, in parts, with scaffolding


Last church of a long but fascinating day in the company of some fine historic architecture – oh and my brother of course!

St John the Baptist, Stiffkey

Stiffkey St John the Baptist

Details of the rood screen

Morston All Saints

Last word, on our final church, must go to Simon Knott whose commentary on Stiffkey contains the following:

‘Stiffkey is most famous, of course, for Harold Davidson, the Rector of Stiffkey from 1906 to 1932, who was defrocked by the Bishop of Norwich on account of the rather glamorous low-life company he kept. Nicknamed ‘Little Jimmy’ as he was only five feet tall, he became a national celebrity. He moved on from wandering in ‘a confused state’ around the back streets of Soho, and exhibited himself in a barrel in Blackpool, before an ill-judged career move into lion-taming resulted in him having his head bitten off. In Skegness, of all places’. 

Historic Churches of Norfolk – Route 8

On Thursday I was back on the bike doing some more historic churches of Norfolk, a county that boasts some 900 – which I’m currently attempting to cycle to and photograph! I based my route on a loop of approximately 50 miles to the south and west of the lovely Georgian market town of Aylsham. I also took the opportunity to visit a couple of churches I’d missed on previous rides.

The Route


The Churches

St Andrew Felmingham, St Lawrence Ingworth, St Michael the Archangel Aylsham, All Saints Marsham, St Boltoph Hevingham, (All Saints Hainford), St Swithin Frettenham, St Peter Crostwick, All Saints Rackheath, St Peter Spixworth, St Mary & St Andrew Horsham St Faith, All Saints Horsford, St Margaret Drayton, St Margaret Felthorpe, St Andrew Attlebridge, St Margaret Swannington, St John the Baptist Alderford, St Faith Little Witchingham, St Mary Great Witchingham, St Mary Reepham with  St Michael Whitwell, St Michael the Archangel Booton, St Agnes Cawston, St Nicholas Brandiston, St Peter Haveringland and St Andrew Blickling

The photos

St Andrew, Felmingham – first of two ‘catch-up’ churches


The exquisite little church of St Lawrence, Ingworth


Interior of St Lawrence


St Michael the Archangel, Aylsham – start of the day’s circular route


All Saints, Marsham – tucked back from the busy A140. Another splendid church with many interesting features – described by Simon Knott, in Norfolk Churches, as ‘outstanding’


The elaborate roof structure of All Saints


Window detail


St Boltoph, Hevingham


All Saints (new church), Hainford – I previously did Hainford old church on Route 5


St Swithin, Frettenham


St Peter, Crostwick

St Peter Crostwick

All Saints, Rackheath

All Saints Rackheath

Interior of All Saints


St Peter, Spixworth, with it’s very odd ‘off-centre’ tower

St Peter Spixworth

St Mary & St Andrew, Horsham St Faith

St Mary & St Andrew Horsham St Faith

All Saints, Horsford

All Saints Horsford

Detail of early stained glass window


St Margaret, Drayton

St Margaret Drayton

stairway to heaven..


St Margaret, Felthorpe



St Andrew Attlebridge

St Andrew, Attlebridge



St Margaret, Swannington

St Margaret Swannington

St John the Baptist, Alderford


St Faith, Little Witchingham

St Faith Little Witchingham

Details of mediaeval wall paintings – taken from outside, through the window!

St Faith Little Witchingham 2

The Assumption (St Mary), Great Witchingham – undergoing major repair


Detail of the intricate stone and flint exterior


St Michael, Whitwell with the adjoining St Mary Reepham


St Michael and All Angels, Booton


with Gothick interior


St Agnes, Cawston


Interior, with painted rood screen and elaborate roof timbers

DSC07922 DSC07926

St Nicholas, Brandiston


The organ, St Nicholas


St Peter, Haveringland – approached along a former WWII airfield perimeter track


Last church of the day, St Andrew, Blickling

St Andrew Blickling


In all I cycled over 90k,  visited 25 historic churches, one Victorian ‘new’ church and a ruin – not a bad day!

More Historic Churches – route 7

On Wednesday, with a favourable forecast of sunshine and a modest breeze, I decided to do some more historic churches, concentrating on a cluster west of North Walsham, to the coast, and north of Stalham – based on a circular route of about 40 miles. On my return journey I took the opportunity to ‘tick off’ a church I’d missed on an earlier ride – in total I cycled 85km and visited 18 churches.

The Route


The Churches

St Peter & St Paul Knapton, All Saints Mundesley, St Margaret Paston, All Saints Edingthorpe, St Andrew Bacton, St Margaret Witton by Walsham, All Saints Crostwight, St Peter Ridlington, All Saints Walcott, St Mary Happisburgh, St Andrew Hempstead, All Saints Lessingham, St Mary East Ruston, St Peter Brunstead, St Nicholas Dilham, St Peter & St Paul Honing, St Nicholas North Walsham and, missing from Route 1, St Margaret Thorpe Market.

The Photos 

St Peter & St Paul, Knapton

St Peter & St Paul Knapton

Detail of the roof with elaborate fluttering angel supports


All Saints, Mundesley, in the heart of ‘Poppy Land’

All Saints Mundesley

The gallery at the west end


St Margaret, Paston


In the chancel, several tombs of the Paston family – who live on through the extensive collection of their letters


Never one to ignore a birding moment – these Whooper Swans, depicted in one of the stained glass windows


All Saints, Edingthorpe, with it’s unusual saxon round tower topped with a medieval hexagonal addition

All Saints Edingthorpe

Inside, extensive 14th century wall paintings


St Andrew, Bacton

St Andrew Bacton

And an unusual grave stone – rather Arts and Crafts looking I thought


St Margaret, Witton by Walsham

St Margarets Witton by Walsham

All Saints, Crostwight, with it’s unusual tiled tower roof  – tucked away down a grass track

All Saints Crostwight

St Peter, Ridlington

St Peter Ridlington 2

Inside, an interesting fragment of medieval? glass

St Peter Ridlington

All Saints Walcott


St Mary, Happisbugh, a huge church perched on the cliff edge


The light and spacious interior, decorated for a wedding I assume

St Mary Happisburgh

St Andrew, Hempstead, undergoing extensive renovation to the chancel

St Andrew Hempstead

Detail of a gargoyle water spout

St Andrew Hempstead 2

All Saints, Lessingham – a  lovely wildflower haven


St Mary, East Ruston

St Mary East Rushton

A delightful rood screen – the entrance to the chancel guarded by two carved lions

St Mary East Rushton 2

St Peter, Brunstead


St Nicholas, Dilham – re-built in the 1930’s, with little of real interest, except perhaps it’s isolated location

St Nicholas Dilham

St Peter and St Paul, Honing

St Peter & St Paul Honing 2

Interior of St Nicholas, North Walsham – the exterior is currently covered in scaffolding!


Finally, missed during my very first Norfolk churches cycle tour – St Margaret of Antioch, Thorpe Market

St Margaret of Antioch

More Historic Norfolk Churches

I’d been thinking for some time that I must get back on my bike and do a few more Norfolk churches, when I bumped into a guy birdwatching at Cley, who coincidentally shared an interest in historic churches. He told me about a recent visit to Salle church, near Reapham – ‘the cathedral of the fields’ as he described it. That was more than enough of an incentive, so I set to and planned a route, taking in about twenty churches – only problem was that when I added up the distances, it was over fifty miles – um!  Having not been on the bike a great deal since the near-fatal ‘falling off a ladder’ incident last summer, I wasn’t too confident I could make it. I decided on a compromise, I’d cadge a lift with Jane to Holt, and get her to give me a lift back once I’d finished! Wednesday was my best ‘weather window’,  so by 10.00 I was peddling my way to the first church on my itinerary of 19 churches and two ruins, located roughly in the triangle between the A148 and the B1149, south west of Holt. As usual with these excursions  there was rather a ‘mixed bag’ of ecclesiastical offerings – but I did find some real hidden gems and the ‘cathedral of the fields’ was truly awesome!

The Route:

UK_runners__walkers_and_cyclists_-_map_your_routes   The Churches: St Lawrence Hunworth, St Mary Stody, All Saints Thornage, St Mary Sharrington, St Andrew Brinton, St Maurice Briningham, St Mary Burgh Parva, St Edmund Swanton Novers, St Mary Gunthorpe, St Mary Barney, Christ Church and St Mary Fulmodeston, St George (old and new) Hindolveston, St Peter Melton Constable, All Saints Briston, St Andrew Thurning, St Peter & chapel Guestwick, St Andrew Wood Dalling, St Peter & St Paul Salle and lastly, St Peter & St Paul Heydon.

The photos:

First of the churches, St Lawrence, Hunworth DSC06621 A long shot of St Mary, Stody DSC06623 Detail of the ‘clean’ roof timbers of St Mary, Stody DSC06631 Exterior of All Saints, Thornage DSC06634 Stained glass window detail, All Saints, Thornage DSC06640 St Mary, Sharrington DSC06644 Close-up of a carved stone corbel – widely acknowledged to be amongst the best preserved in England DSC06648 St Andrew – centre of the attractive Georgian village of Brinton DSC06650 The fine entrance door with a rustic sundial which pre-dates the porch DSC06652 Close-up of the sundial DSC06653 An example of some of the fine 16th century wood carving DSC06662 The entrance gate and Old Rectory garden approach to St Maurice, Briningham DSC06670 St Maurice, Briningham DSC06667 Window detail with Easter flowers St Maurice Briningham Ancient and modern – St Mary, Burgh Parva. The ‘tin’ church was erected as a temporary measure to accommodate the growing population of Melton Constable, following the arrival of the railway around 1903 St Mary's Burgh Parva Tucked away from the village, on this ancient site, St Edmund, Swanton Novers St Edmund's Swanton Nover St Mary, Gunthorpe St Mary Gunthorpe The parish church of Barney – St Mary DSC06690 The ‘not so ancient’ Christ Church, Fulmodeston which replaced the derelict St Mary’s St Mary the Virgin Barney DSC06697 Another ‘modern’ replacement church at Hindolveston – both churches dedicated to St George St George Hindolveston St Peter, the estate church of Melton Hall St Peter Melton Constable Interior detail of All Saints, Briston – note that the Chancel is at a noticeable angle to the Nave DSC06705 A three hundred year old metal cello, built by the local blacksmith, and played regularly for Sunday services DSC06706 The truly remarkable little church of Thurning. The elaborate wooden interior came from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1823, including a three-decker pulpit and a string of box pews, each designated to a particular local farm or house! St Andrew's Thurning DSC06709 St Peter, Guestwick St Peter's Guestwick Detail of a delightful contemporary stained glass window DSC06723 Viewed from across the village pond, St Andrew, Wood Dalling St Andrew Wood Dalling With it’s spacious yet sparse interior DSC06728 St Peter & St Paul, Salle – ‘the cathedral of the fields’ – a magnificent church set in a remote corner of Norfolk DSC06731 St Peter & St Paul Salle DSC06738 The vast interior, with detail of the painted rood screen DSC06742 Looking down the Nave to the great West door DSC06745 Another estate church and another St Peter & St Paul, this time it is in the picturesque village of Heydon St Peter & St Paul Heydon DSC06753 It was good to be back on the bike after such a long interval and seeking out more secrets of the historic churches of Norfolk. After such an exhilarating day in the saddle it felt rather inappropriate to call Jane for a lift home, so I cycled – a total distance of 78k!

Back on the bike – more historic churches

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


The Churches:

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.

The photos:

St Batholomew, Hanworth

St Batholomew Hanworth

Interesting architectural drawing of St Batholomews

St Batholomew Hanworth 2

St Andrew’s, in the grounds of Gunton Park, designed by the great Robert Adam – thought to be his only Norfolk church

St Andrew Gunton

St Botolph, Banningham

St Botolph Banningham

Medieval wall painting, depicting St George and the dragon – predates the installation of the clerestory windows

St Botolph Banningham

St Peter and St Paul, Tuttington – the only round tower of the day

St Peter & St Paul Tuttington

Burgh next Aylsham – St Mary’s, on the banks of the river Bure

St Mary Burgh next Aylsham

The restored church of St Michael,  Oxnead

St Michael Oxnead

St Peter Brampton

St Peter Brampton

St Margaret Stratton Strawless

St Margaret Stratton Strawless

… and this one makes 20!

St Margaret Stratton Strawless (2)

St Andrew Lamas, another church on the banks of the Bure

St Andrew Lamas

Detail of the organ,  All Saints Scottow

All Saints Scottow

Detail of the unusual exterior stone work, depicting the ‘Sacred heart and Crown of thorns’ – St Botolph, Westwick

St Botoloph Westwick

St Bartholomew Sloley

St Bartholomew Sloley

The magnificent church of St Mary Worstead

St Mary Worstead

Details of the painted rood screen

St Mary Worstead 2