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!