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.
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 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.
Early Castell family ledgerstones in the church
war memorial in churchyard