St Mary’s Romantic Round Tower Ruin (3)

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This was such a surprise, we were driving towards Sandringham in Norfolk after a trip to Hunstanton to have fish & chips by the sea, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye.

It was quite late, so I had stop looking for anything interesting to capture…..but we stopped the car, turned and went up the lane towards Appleton Farm, just before the farm is this romantic ruin.  So ever hopeful I took some photos, not bad for quite late on in the evening, luckily the sun was just still shining.


At the time I had no idea what I was shooting, just a beautiful ruin of a church up a lane to a farm.  I thought it might have something to do with West Newton Church where I had visited a few weeks ago and you could see the tower through the trees to the church…so that was a start when I got back home to research it.


These lovely ruins turned out to be the remains of St Mary’s Church of Appleton.  The church had once been the centre of a village but this has long since gone, although apparently when it snows, you can see the outline of the village in a field to the north-east of the church.

This is my first round tower church ruin and it was really interesting to see the bones of it.  The tower is much older than the attached church, made of carstone and flint and appears to be Norman.  I have read that the banding of carstone could make it pre-conquest…..maybe Saxon. If you look at the windows in the tower, could they have been triangular shaped, if so then it would be Saxon.  The attached church is about 300 years more recent and would have replaced the old Norman church.



There is a very pretty arcade in the south aisle, very slender columns. Looking at the other side it looks like it might have only had one side aisle, but I am guessing as I still have a lot to learn.

 Its lovely that the arches have survived, because usually it just the towers that last and something this old you have a lot of guess work to envisage what it would have looked like….well I do.  But more so in this case as a whole village has disappeared, at the moment I cant’t find out why, could have been the black death or the village could have been relocated somewhere else.

For a corner of the eye sighting it was fun exploring it…..but they are always the best ones.


12 Replies to “St Mary’s Romantic Round Tower Ruin (3)”

  1. What a fantastic discovery! I would have been very pleased to see that. So very romantic, as you say, and a very intriguing history. I’m keen to know what happened to the village!

    1. It was a lovely discovery and now I have found another church close by that I did’t know about so looking forward to visiting that one. I have found out some more about the village and I will do a little post about it tonight 🙂

  2. Fantastic – don’t you think some of these almost forgotten ruins are amongst the greatest treasures and all the more exciting for coming upon them unexpectedly.

    1. It was like an unexpected present, I have been to and spent holidays at Sandringham, might add not at the Queen little abode, and never came across it. Now it has got the ruin bug in me going again, I love to see the bare bones of a building 🙂

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