The Saxon Gem of Fritton, Norfolk (2)

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This is one of my Easter churches and what a little gem it was.  I love stepping through a church door, because just for one moment before you go in, you get the feeling of delicious delight…..what are you walking into….what are you going to discover…. this is one of those churches.  The age of the church is unknown, but in the little guide book it says ‘that there are reasons for supposing that King Canute founded it, but, whatever the facts, there is little doubt that it can claim an existence of well over 900 years’ And it is still going strong, used and much loved by the people of Fritton


St Edmund in Fritton, Norfolk is a very rare church in the region as it is a Norman church with a Saxon apse and a Saxon tower  This is the view you see when first entering the church, a nave with the chancel off to one side behind the screen, which doesn’t really fit or look right.  The reason is because in 1350 the nave was extended on the south side to twenty-one feet so now the chancel appears to be to one side of the church, but was in the middle of the old structure.  Its now easy to see how small the church was prior to 1350.


Walking down the nave your are thinking what is in the the chancel, just looks so different and the closer you get the more intriguing it becomes. Stepping down into it, is like entering another church so different from the rather austere nave.


You step down into a jewel like chancel, it is a remarkable survival, the tunnel-vaulting is a marvel, but even better are the wall paintings which where uncovered in 1967.  The paintings depict the life of St Edmund who the church was dedicated to.

The Holy Table is Jacobean and above it is the Victorian panel of stain-glass of St Edumund, which is amazing as they would not have known in the Victorian age that the paintings were there.  It was very dark and cave like, a bit difficult to take really good photos of the paintings, well for me it was.

There is also some excellent 20th century glass depicting East Anglian Saints.

There are other wall paintings in the nave but these are from 1350, but still interesting and brighten up a rather plain nave compared to the chancel.

It was a lovely visit because I did not have any idea what I was going to find and that is the fun of exploring…..even if it is just churches.

11 Replies to “The Saxon Gem of Fritton, Norfolk (2)”

  1. What an amazing find – there’s something incredibly serene about this church – even just looking at the pictures gives me a peaceful feeling.

    1. I loved the house plants that they have dotted around, just shows that it is looked after and I think that is why it has a lovely feeling to it 🙂

  2. I have been to many different churches in G.B. as well as in Europe but the chancel in this one is not quite like any I have yet seen. What a treasure of a place ~ Thank you for sharing it .It is a joy to see just what you will discover with each new post. Thank you again.

    1. It was so unexpected because the rest of the church is quite plain and it was like a little jewel tucked on the end of the church. So glad you enjoy the posts, I love visiting the churches and its nice to share them. So thank you for visiting 🙂

  3. Used to go to church here, it was my local, about 2 minutes from where I grew up and part of the parish group of 8. Love the gate to it!

      1. It was. Very warm feel to this church, very loved I think by many generations. I remember little old ladies, always polishing!

  4. Ah but you missed something!
    In your very last picture you’ll see a little odd rectangle above the right hand window,high in the eaves. This was discovered relatively recently ,when the church was rethatched, and is a priests hole, and this is the only entrance . Most people have heard of the time during the Tudor dynasty that being a Catholic was dangerous ,and a Catholic Priest ,even more so ,and this is where they could hide .
    Just for interest regarding the stained glass windows
    …St Fursey lived in or near the castle at Burgh Castle and there is an annual pilgrimage there and church service.
    …..St Olaf is where we get the name of the nearby town St Olaves
    ( Daughter to former Church Warden of Fritton Church , and yes,I got married here 😁)

    1. Thank you so much Barbara, I love getting extra info about the churches I visit, and I had no idea about the priest hole. I must put Burgh Castle on my to do list as well. So again many thanks for you message 🙂 Lynne

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