St Margaret’s Church, Cley next the Sea, Norfolk

Last weekend we were on the South Coast, blue skies and a little warmth in the air, and then the Beast from the East came, and now Emma from the South.  We have been lucky in the little bit of the Fens we live in, and although it has been below freezing most of the time, only a little snow…..until tonight.  It has come with a vengeance, now I know what the rest of the country has been going through.  We lost our electric at the start of the week when a big power cable came down, so one night powerless and then for three nights we lost the internet……not good, even now it’s very slow. 

Anyway I have found some blue sky, we visited this wonderful church last summer 2017.  I had trouble with my camera, the battery was misbehaving and I only managed a few photos, so a revisit this summer is a must.  St Margaret’s Church at Cley next the Sea, sits above the village green and the church dates to the early 14th century, with the addition of a late 14th century porch.  There was an earlier church on the site, but around 1320 that church was rebuilt.  While the body of the church is intact, the north and south transepts are ruined, and open to the sky.  So really this is just a reminded for me to return and photograph the 24 late Medieval bench ends and more of the wonderful 15th century Perpendicular font.


All Saints Church, Ripley, Nr Harrogate, Yorkshire


Opposite the castle in Ripley, near Harrogate, Yorkshire, stands the parish church of All Saints, which we visited in 2016.  

The church dates from the late fourteenth century and replaced an earlier chapel which had suffered from subsidence, and became known as ‘the Sinking Chapel.’ contains the tombs of several of the Ingilby family, who’s descendants still live in the castle today.  These include the effigy chest tomb of Sir Thomas Ingilby (1290-1369). Their heads rest on a wild boar, in a reference to the incident where Thomas saved the life of Edward III.




St John The Baptist Round Tower Church, Aylmerton, Norfolk – 24

Time for another Round Tower Church, St John The Baptist, Aylmerton in Norfolk.  The church was one of nine that we visited back in January 2017.  We were very lucky, the weather was beautiful and to top it all, every one of the churches were open.  

Nothing remains of the earliest Church, which was Saxon, but the Church appears to have been rebuilt in flint before the end of the Norman period.  To the new nave, in about 1200, the round west tower was added. That it was lower than now is shown by one of its belfry windows, which partly survives below the nave roof.  Reconstruction of the upper part of the tower in 1912 has obliterated all traces of the other windows.  The Church was restored in 1865, and again in 1876, and in 1912 the upper part of the tower was rebuilt to the old design, re- using the old stone and flint.




Roof Angels Galore


This is one of my favourite churches for roof angels, St John the Bapist, Stamford in Lincolnshire.   I cannot go pass without popping in to take some shots, so here are some more to add to the others.  It depends on the time of day, and they are quite high, as to the standard of the photos, but I really just like taking photos of them.  On this visit I did find some lovely pew ends, I actually looked down for once.

All Saints Church, East Budleigh, East Devon & Sir Walter Raleigh

In the summer of 2016 we visited a church I had read about, All Saints in East Budleigh, East Doven.   had read about the amazing pew ends that date from 1537 and had survived the reformation in one piece.  With luck the door was unlocked and we entered a bright and welcoming interior.  My eyes then fell on the pew ends, amazing

The church consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and embattled western tower with clock and six bells – five cast in 1755 and one added in 1875.  The church was probably erected between 1420 and 1425 on the site of an earlier building, and is noted for its connection with the Raleigh family, its carved bench ends and its rood screen.

The pew ends are square-headed and about 3 feet high, and from 16 to 17 inches broad.  There are about sixty-three remaining, and in no two cases is the carving alike.   Complete set of 16th century oak benches of high quality workmanship.  All are slightly different giving rise to the impression that they were acquired over a period rather than being a single scheme.  Most of the bench ends have a frame of wreathed foliage with small urn stops around a carved panel.

The Raleigh bench end dated 1537.

At the eastern end of the central aisle on the north side is the Raleigh pew, with the family arms caved on the end. It is rather remarkable that there should be no religious symbol carved on any of the pews.  Presumably, because the bench ends do not carry religious iconography this aided their preservation during the Reformation

A little about Sir Walter Raleigh

Walter Raleigh (1544–1618) was a courtier, seaman and explorer in Elizabethan England.  He was a pioneer in the English colonisation of North America.

Raleigh (orginally spelt Ralegh) was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and helped defend England against the Spanish Armada.  As well as being a courtier and explorer, he was also a keen philosopher, historian and poet.

He is best known for establishing an early colony in the New World and for bringing tobacco and potato plants back to England. 

Sir Walter Raleigh’s father, Walter Raleigh of Fardell, was warden of the church, and Walter was born just outside in the Manor of Hayes Barton, a large house and estate nearby. owned by his father.  Both of his parents are buried in the churchyard.  

One little thing I found which was quite interesting, Walters father’s first wife was Joan Drake, a distance relation of Sir Francis Drake, unfortunately not Walter’s mother, who was his father’s third wife



Holy Trinity Church, Marham, Norfolk

Another church that I would like to re-visit is Holy Trinity in Marham, Norfolk.  The door was locked in 2016, there were some phone numbers on the church notice board, but being a Sunday, I was loath to disturb anyone.  I just took a few photos of the exterior and the beautiful display of snowdrops.

Having read about this parish church, which is C12, and late C14, restored 1844, 1867 and 1875 and built of flint with ashlar dressings with slate roofs and the best part…….inside a very interesting memorial.  So another one to go on the list to visit when the weather is more clement. 



All Saints Church, Burnham Sutton-cum-Ulph, Norfolk

I keep meaning to visit this little church, which I photographed on a drive by in 2016, but its on the list now.  Why……In the late 18th century the rector of Ulph was Edmund Nelson, father of Admiral Horatio Nelson. Revd. Nelson.  One of my great grandfathers, many times removed, served on HMS Victory, not sure if he was on aboard at the same time as Nelson, but you never know, so therefore I am interested in all that is Nelson.  

All Saints was probably the first church to be built in the Burnham area and was probably begun in the late Saxon period. The oldest parts of the present building date to around 1190, which makes me want to visit even more, as I have read there are some Early Norman chancel arch capitals to see.  So roll on some nice weather.