The Round Tower Church of St Mary’s Sedgeford, Norfolk (1/4)

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This is the beautiful church of St Mary’s Sedgeford, Norfolk and I want to try something different with this church.  Normally I do one post on each church, although the one in Astbury, Cheshire, I did break down to three posts to experiment.  I found that I could do more justice to the church rather than cram it all into one post.  So I am going to break this beautiful church down to interior, stained glass windows, dressings (i.e. wall paintings ,corbels etc) and exterior with churchyard.  The churchyards often get missed out but some churches are situated in lovely settings and have some amazing headstones and tombs.


The first thing that strikes you when you enter the door, which was open, are the graceful Nave Arcades.  They are part of the Early English building phase and with the great clerestory windows the natural light floods into the building.

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Churches with round towers were built from Saxon times, but now it is thought that St Mary’s church is of a later date.  The first recorded history of the church is in 1780 when the chancel was shortened, so it is really not certain how old the church is.  Both stages of the tower, nave and chancel were probably all built at the same time in the late 13th century.  I found out that the font is Norman, so maybe from an earlier church.  St Mary’s Church as it is today evolved from its foundations in the late 1200’s over a period of 200 years, until the 15th century.


In 1841, the church had became dilapidated, the congregation had to use their umbrellas inside the church, restoration work was carried out in 1882.  While the congregation were trying to stay dry, smugglers were using the little used South porch for temporary storage. There isn’t anything to say what they were smuggling, but I like to think it is was fine french wine, but it was most likely to have been brandy.


There are no grand monuments or spectacular furnishings, but there are some really nice stained glass widows and sometimes less is more.



It is very difficult to try and convey the feeling of this church, it has a timeless feel and you just get the feeling not a lot has changed as you wander through the aisles and between the arches.

The next tour of St Mary’s will be the stained glass windows.

10 Replies to “The Round Tower Church of St Mary’s Sedgeford, Norfolk (1/4)”

    1. It just that I find everything in a church amazing, the whole thing, its like being in a candy shop, what to snap first. When I first started this blog it was to take snaps but more for documentary reasons than trying to be artistic. As I can’t write like you can, I need to say it in photos and the photos now are becoming more my feelings………well I’m working on it 🙂

  1. Another great post, looking forward to the next instalment. It amazes me how many of these structures in the UK are still in great condition. The majority of what I come across in Ireland are usually crumbling ruins, 🙂

    1. I think we are very lucky that a lot have survived in such good condition, its due mainly to the Victorians who rescued a lot, like this one, most of them at one time or another have had major work carried out. But there are lots of ruins in Norfolk for me to explore as well, so I am quite lucky to have wonderful supply of both. So glad you enjoy the posts 🙂

  2. I know what you mean about timeless places – I can think of a few I’ve been to, where you could easily believe you’d been transported back three or four hundred years – it’s a surprisingly tranquil sensation.

    1. I find each church has a different feeling, went into one and the wind was howling down the tower and the roof was creaking like mad, almost as if to say go away, a very strange feeling, but this one was lovely 🙂

  3. Superb photos Lynne and they do tell as much or more as any amount of carefully chosen words might convey~ such a beautiful , sublime church. This is something you and I both share that I think we established quite some time ago now, our mutual love of and excited anticipation by the combination of artistry, history and atmosphere which can be so evocative ~ each church unique , some the location itself is what speaks so beautifully or powerfully , others the structure itself , many possess both but, each possess it’s own unique mood and feel~ some heavy with the many layers of palpable history, as if those gone before are standing all around us How close their presence is . I love the variety and . I never lose my sense of anticipation , excitement and then delight upon each new discovery .

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