Round Tower Church of St Nicholas, West Lexham, Norfolk (13)

A couple of weeks ago I visited two more Round Tower Churches, I have already posted about East Lexham Church and this post is about West Lexham Church.  I think I have one more Round Tower Church to post about and then I am up to date with them.   I still have many to visit, but I think its going to be on on going saga, I just get so waylaid by any tower or spire I see when we are out exploring, come to that, even castles have now got in the way.

It took us a couple of drive pasts to find this little church, St Nicholas in West Lexham.   Up a leaf strewn lane, behind the once village green, you find the church sitting on a mound, once cottages surrounded the village green, but now most of them have long gone.

St Nicholas has a Saxon Tower…..this is what draws me to these small churches, Saxons built theses towers, in this case possibly AD 900.  Imagine Saxons placed those stones to make towers, we are really not sure why they built them, there lots of theories, I like the one for keeping the whole village safe, but there are other thoughts.  The church was quite direclict by the end of the last quarter of the 19th century, as you can see from the drawing and in 1881 the church was mostly rebuilt.   There are a couple of medieval remains, an early 14th century decorated Chancel arch and a piscina in the mainly Early English Cancel.

In the 1990’s the tower was collapsing, so to save the tower it was incased in metal bands with staples, and coated with cement, hopefully it will remain standing for a few centuries more.  The wonderful stained glass window is quite a rare French piece, and is by L Lobin Tours.

October 2014

6 comments

  1. A few years ago I read a novel about an English stone mason and his family. It was set around 1100 or 1200 and followed the family as they worked on churches and homes. It was very educational as well as a good story of the conflict between the peasants, tradesmen, the clergy and the nobility. I wish I could recall the title or author but it is lost in the fog. I enjoy your photos but I have no idea where in England they are located. I’ll have to look them up.
    England is on the list for our retirement travel. The western USA is first on the list and my wife wants to return to the Liverpool area she visited as a young girl. Her mum was a war bride from Widnes. I see us renting an Austin Healy convertible and touring B & B’s north into Scotland. I’ll have to buy a tweed driving hat to fit in.

    1. The book sounds really interesting, I have read one similar called Sarum to do with the building of Salisbury Cathedral. The churches are in Norfolk on the east coast, quite a long way from Liverpool and Scotland. Not sure where you are going to get a Austin Healy convertible, haven’t seen one for years 🙂 We explore Scotland in our motorhome each year and the West Coast and Islands are breathtaking. I think your wife will find that Liverpool has changed quite a lot, like a lot of our major cities, they have been dragged into the 21st century. I am glad you have enjoyed the photos, I have posted lots about Scotland, if you are interested 🙂

  2. What a beautiful little church, and I love the old drawing of the ruins before it was renovated. I am intrigued by these round towers, and what they were used for. What an amazing history! It looks like a forgotten corner of old England.

    1. I find them amazing, that the tower has stood there since Saxon times, and there must have been a Saxon village very nearby, I think they have found bits and pieces, but this tower good because you can see inside it……..and it is a bit of old England, felt like it when we were trying to find both churches 🙂

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