I have come across the last remaining “Round Tower Churches’ that we visited on the 2nd January 2017, we visited nine in one day, but it has taken me a lot longer to post about them 🙂 I think there are 4, including this one left to post, so hopefully by the end of the week there will be none. St Nicholas Church in Potter Heigham, which is situated on the North Broads, is somewhere that I have always meant to visit, so I was glad it was on our tour of churches. We arrived mid afternoon, and the light was starting to draw in, the interior of the church, which was open, was a touch on the dark side, even though there were lovely large windows, but still light enough for some photos.
The church is dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of fishermen and children. The earliest surviving feature is the round tower, which dates from the 12th century, the Nave is 13th century, in the 15th century, major building works were carried out, there is also a wonderful hammerbeam roof which is dated 1533 to 1538.
The 15th century font is made of bricks, there are only two in the country, the second is in Suffolk. Of course at the time that we were visiting it was still Christmas, as you can see from the lovely decorations.
The next thing you notice if you have not already, are the wall paintings, the church is famous for these and you can see why. Just image the whole church would have been painted, but we are lucky that there a few remaining for us to look at. They date from the 14th century and the best are the Seven Work of Mercy in the south aisle, a woman in a shawl is shown in the seven scenes depicting Christ’s injunctions.
Following are some paintings that I am not too sure about what they depict, maybe someone has an idea about what they can be.
The next thing that you notice while walking up to the nave to the chancel, is what is left of the surviving figures on the dado of the 15th century roodscreen. The gates are now missing, and as often in Norfolk as the Reformation approached, the figures of the four Evangelists (St Mark holds a delightful pet lion) and the four Latin Doctors (St Jerome spendid in his cardinal’s hat) have pride of place. But also here is a rare survival, St Eligius, the patron Saint of farriers, he holds a hammer and a staff.
At this point I was being told to hurry up, or it would be too dark at the next church I had on my list, so I quickly took the rest of the photos and a few of the exterior as we left.