Thursday, 6 August 2015

The church of St Ethelbert, Thurton

I liked this church very much, it was well worth the drive up a dirt track to reach it.
Just through the church gate there’s an odd notice asking people to “please take away your dead flowers instead of  throwing them over the church wall into the field”…Perhaps it may be a good idea to provide a bin for placing them in, as most other churches do.
 It’s a pleasant short walk from the gate to the medieval South porch of the church, passing the war memorial on the way.

I could hear a continuous loud tapping noise while in the churchyard, it took me a while to realise it was the rope on the flagpole – evidently it hadn’t been secured down from the last time a flag was flown. I was grateful the noise couldn’t be heard from inside the church - maybe the thatched roof deadened the sound
The windows on the outer South wall of the nave have some unusual headstops, consisting mainly of carved animal heads.


 Entry into the church is through the magnificent South Norman doorway which has some beautiful decorative carving, with the extra touch of a scratch/Mass dial and medieval graffiti on it’s inner jambs.
Another weathered scratch/Mass dial is just about visible on a quion-stone on the SE corner of the church. 

The blocked North doorway is also Norman but much plainer.

The interior of the church, although chilly, had a welcoming feel to it. My dogs settled down contentedly at the back of the church while I continued to look round.

The font which stands in front of the tower screen is the plainest I've seen in a long time, but I feel it must be at least three hundred years old, unless it's a very good copy of a C17 style.

The church interior is one continuous space as there in now no screen to divide the chancel from the nave.

A gorgeous bible dated 1875 stands on the lectern, it's in immaculate condition and I felt I should have been wearing gloves to touch it.

The pulpit with open sides is Victorian…not my favourite personal style, but still very pleasant.

I've read that a skilled conservator had to remove at least ten coats of paint from the walls of the nave before revealing ancient indistinct paintings underneath

Some of the stained glass windows are lovely. There’s a depiction of St Andrew in the East window...<<

..and eight Saints are portrayed in the West window                      >>

Unusually the Royal Arms of George 1v on the North side of the chancel are also in glass.

The churchyard is kept neat and tidy and holds some impressive vault tombstones

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