Thursday, 23 April 2015

Burgh Castle, church of St Peter & St Paul

This church can be found down a narrow road and adjacent to the entrance to a Roman fort. There are some nice trees in the churchyard. The round tower which was started in the C11 continued with brickwork in C17, and is topped by sturdy battlements.
Fragments of Roman bricks from the nearby C3 fort can be seen in the brickwork of the church 
  On the day I visited I found the church in the process of renovation, which looks like being a long on-going job…I could see from what has already been achieved in the C19 North aisle, it’s taking shape nicely with good workmanship throughout.
      This may only be a small church but as you pass through the open door you feel arms enfolding you in a big welcome.
The South porch was rebuilt in 1858 and the original thatched roof replaced in 1851 with stone slabs, which again were replaced in 2000 with slate tiles

Just inside the nave on the South wall, to the East of the entrance is a niche which  housed a Holy water stoop... and a  typical East Anglian C14 Lion font adorned with shields and emblems stands facing just through the door

The North aisle was a mid C19 addition to the C14 church – The North wall of the
nave was demolished and an arcade was built between the existing nave and the new aisle.
At the West end of this aisle a tall C13 grave slab has been fixed to the wall, the floriated cross on it’s lid signifies it must have belonged to the tomb of a  high Ecclesiastic, possibly a prior from the Priory in a neighbouring parish (1273-1530)

…Also clamped to the same wall in the North aisle is an ancient beam which has survived through two fires over the centuries – hopefully it is now in it’s final safe resting place.

There's a fine display of stained glass windows  (C19?)

The stairway which once led to an upper Rood loft is still in situ.

The East window was erected as a memorial to the Rev Charles Green who was Rector here from 1829-1857
The oak Reredos below, is from 1853  >>>

Other mid C19 alterations included the addition of oak pew benches with poppy head finials, and the insertion of the oak Communion rails.
....In the South wall of the Sanctuary is a well preserved piscina where the holy vessels were washed.

A fine Celtic Cross in the churchyard which is dedicated to St Fursey and erected in 1897 by Canon Venables >>>

The oldest gravestone in the churchyard is for a twelve month old baby girl named Barbery Anquish, she died and was reportedly buried on the same day 10th May 1704.

NB …The vast majority of round towered churches are to be found in Norfolk and Suffolk, the reason being, this was an area which didn’t produce any of the dressed stone which was used to fashion corners on a church tower.

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