Friday, 26 August 2016

Walpole St Mary's church

From the outside this looks like a charming little country church with it’s unusual tower, although I could see much restoration work has taken place here – possibly in the C19. It stands up a small steep incline away from the road.

It’s fine Norman doorway is protected from the weather by a later porch 

Sadly my first impression of the inside of the church wasn’t too favourable as it seemed untidy with chairs scattered haphazardly in the north aisle, and the tiled chancel floor in need of cleaning – maybe the church is used for other activities apart from services, which is good, however I do think a house of God should look inviting to visitors. Looking beyond this I found a few things of particular interest.

In the South wall by the entrance door is a Holy Water stoup where a small statue has found a home.

At the West end of the nave stands an odd medieval squat font, which I understand previously belonged in St Andrew’s church, Norwich 

The long chancel was bare and looked as if repair work may be about to take place as a two foot deep section all around the chancel walls had been taken back to the bare brick – perhaps because of rising damp? No-one was about for me to ask, so I was left none the wiser

The piscina and dropped sill sedilia in the chancel are set very low in the South wall – perhaps the floor level of the church has been raised at some time?

Although there’s now no rood screen there’s evidence that there used to be one as there is a hole in the chancel arch upright,...

... and also nearby is a blocked doorway which presumably would have led to the rood stairway

Both the pulpit and lectern are plain and sturdy which I liked as they seemed in keeping with this unpretentious little church.

The nice wooden reredos also looked sturdy and a very fine embroidered cloth hung in front of the Altar

There are some impressive wall plaques and memorials in the church

 ...and a brief history of the church hangs just through the South entrance door

Considering the size of this little church it has a larger churchyard than would be contains some nice C18 grave stones

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