Medieval Church Tower of Panxworth, Norfolk

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Winter is a wonderful time for viewing the countryside.  No leaves on the trees, reveal views that are normally obscured at other times of the year.  Sometimes you just get a better view of something you might have missed, which is what happened with this view, I suddenly realised  that it was just a tower standing alone.  Husband, didn’t need to be told, he was turning as I spoke.

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There was just a sign with ‘All Saints’ Tower, Panxworth’…….. Panxorth is a small village in the middle of the Norfolk Broads.   I remember reading about the church ruins, well just the tower remaining, which was suppose to be in a far worse state then I found it in.  So I took my photos, the last of the day, in what was now really cold weather, although the sun was still shining, and looked forward to researching about the church later on.

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We had found a 14th century church tower with flush work battlements, which had belong to a medieval church, there is nothing known about the original church except that it was said to be in a state of disrepair as early as the 16th century. Panxworth was always a small village, and the church was located well away from the main part of the village.  In 1847 it was stated that only the tower had remained for many years, and for some reason local business men put up money to have a Victorian chancel and nave built on to the medieval tower.  Now considering that at that time, for a great part of the last 200 years the tower had stood alone, the villagers would have attended another church.  As the beautiful church of Ranworth is close by, this is most probably where they would have worshipped.

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It would seem the church did not fair well and by 1969, the church was derelict again, the Victorian chancel and nave were removed in 1981 and the tower was once more on its own.

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For many years the site was surrounded by tall wire fences and in 2005 the tower was hit by lightening.  This cause enough damage, that there were talks about pulling the tower down for safety sake.  Thankfully funding was obtained to strengthen the tower walls, and the structure was spared.  Which meant the fences came down and now you can walk and explore the ruin and graveyard in the peace that it stands in.

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Boxing Day 2016

10 comments

  1. Glad they saved this little gem. Is that gargoyle wearing a crown? That cemetery looks interesting, too. Thanks for the great photos! 🙂

    1. Thanks Pat, I think the gargoyle should wear a crown for everything the poor little thing has been through. It did feel a little sad, but at least now it has been made safe for years to come. I would like to go back in the summer and look at the gravestones, it was just so cold to have a good poke around 🙂

  2. Looks as is if it’s much more accessible than the last time I visited. Did you get to Ranworth and South Walsham churces too?
    (I got caught by a mobile speed camera as I drove through Panxworth a few months ago – luckily I was able to ‘clear my name’ by going on one of the driver awareness courses.)

    1. Yes there are no fences now and all is tidy and safe. Husband has been on two of those courses, ha ha not sure if he learnt anything 🙂 It was too late to go to Ranworth, but I really would like to see the rood screen, looking forward to that 🙂

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