The second church on our ‘Round Tower Church Trawl’ was the beautiful church of St Peter & St Paul in Mautby, Norfolk. The weather at this point of our trip, decided that we needed some rain, to go with the beautiful sunshine that we had earlier and would have again during the day. Actually the church stood out beautifully against the grey thunderous looking sky, and then it rained, luckily by that time I was inside exploring.
The round tower is unusually high, at 46 feet & 6 inches tall. The base is made of capstone and conglomerate and could be early Norman, possibly Saxon and most likely formed part of an earlier Saxon building. The additional octagonal belfry of flint, was added in the 15th century. There is a picture inside of the church, which is of a lithograph by Robert Ladbrooke in the 1850’s, and shows a short pyramidal roof on the top of the tower. However the Victorians removed this and replaced it with a battlemented parapet, which is built of brick, but faced with flints to match the tower.
The church roof is thatched with Norfolk reed and is continuous, which is a sign of an early church. The church has been improved over the centuries, and much of the building is in the Early English style 1200 -1275. It is possible the original church was older, but the first Rector was recorded in 1307, a Thomas de Hykeling by Sir Thomas de Mauteby.
The marble tomb and canopy near the lectern belongs to a member of the de Mauteby family, probably Sir Walter who died in about 1248. The figure is that of a Knight Templar in chain armour, he was a person of some importance and served in the crusades. He died at home, because his feet are resting on a dog and not a crusaders lion.
One of the treasures of this church are the small fragments of coloured glass on the north side of the Nave, which are the oldest in Norfolk, dating from the early 14th century.
There is plenty to explore in this charming church, but we had many more to visit, so it was out into the rain and on to the next one.