Thursday, 3 July 2014

St Andrew's Raveningham

This area is set in a quiet backwater of rural Norfolk, and is possibly one of the first places the Saxon’s settled when they came to Britain.
The church of St Andrew stands adjacent to the Hall in Raveningham Park, so a leisurely drive through the park with grazing sheep sparing us an indifferent sidelong glance was a pleasant introduction to what lay ahead.

This manor including the church was founded by the Castell family in the medieval era, and was then passed by marriage to the Bacon family who still reside here to this day.

One approaches St Andrew’s via a railed off pathway from the park, and on first impression the church appears quite unremarkable, with it’s outside covered in a putty coloured rendering.

The C12 round tower had an octagonal belfry added atop in the C13 with a further castellated top added in the C15

Considerable restoration work to the church was also carried out in the  C19.

One enters the church by the South door, with it’s three  impressive iron work crosses on it’s face.

The first thing which meets the eye is a huge square marble memorial to Major Edward Hodge who died in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.

The lovely font is in the familiar C15 style and the pulpit is probably C19

Church Interior

The chancel is the most eye catching part of the church. There is a ledgerstone with a splendid Brass depicting Margaret Castell with her hands clasped in prayer-she died in 1483.

Alongside the South wall of the chancel is the tomb of the medieval founder Roger Castell, this lies under a C14 Arch which is extravagantly carved with an excess of foliage.
A series of smaller arches built and decorated in a similar vein are to be found along both the North and South walls of the chancel… each of these contain a memorial plaque to a member of the Bacon family – from 1820  up to the most recent family death in 1982..
                     Early Castell family ledgerstones in the church

                                      war memorial in churchyard

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