NorfolkHome / St Mary's Churches / Norfolk

Norfolk contains the first St Mary's church I ever visited (except the St Mary's in Plumtree where I grew up, but that doesn't count). It's in Broad Lane in Brancaster. I thought the photo of me outside it wasn't very good, so I persuaded my associates to take me back to Norfolk, get a better picture and (maybe) visit a few other St Mary's churches in the process. Look at them all! What a lot of lovely St Mary's.

And I've been back again again! There still are a lot of St Mary's in Norfolk so I've had to be a bit selective about what I visited!

Please note: I saw a lot of broken down churches - or bits of churches - on my travels in Norfolk. I would like to assure my lovely readers that I was not responsible for them falling down; I never even touched them!

Click on a picture to read a bit more about the church (and maybe see more pictures of me!).

Aldborough (243)

 

Aldeby (345)

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Antingham (245)

 

Baconsthorpe (224)

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Barney (240)

 

Barningham Winter (225)

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Bessingham (226)

 

Binham (241)

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Brancaster (001)

 

Burgh next Aylsham (377)

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Burgh Parva (238)

 

Burgh St Peter (344)

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Burnham Deepdale (232)

 

Burnham Market (231)

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East Ruston (381)

 

Ellingham (348)

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Elsing (374)

 

Erpingham (244)

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Fishley (382)

 

Gillingham (346)

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Great Plumstead (385)

 

Great Snoring (236)

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Gunthorpe (239)

 

Haddiscoe (343)

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Happisburgh (227)

 

Hemsby (351)

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Holme-next-the-Sea (235)

 

Itteringham (242)

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Kelling (223)

 

Martham (353)

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Northrepps (228)

 

Old Hunstanton (234)

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Reepham (376)

 

Roughton (229)

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South Walsham (383)

 

Sparham (375)

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Stalham (380)

 

Stody (237)

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Titchwell (233)

 

Tunstead (378)

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West Somerton (352)

 

Wiveton (230)

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Worstead (379)

 

Wroxham (384)

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243. Aldborough

big ted sitting on fontWell, the gatepost is all right, but the noticeboard is a bit wonky here. This St Mary's doesn't have a tower at all (round, square or falling down).

Inside, the church is quite plain (which I like as it makes me stand out). There is a nice, flat font cover and Uncle Les found a handy sunbeam for me to sit in (it makes the fur look particularly splendid, you know!).

245. Antingham

big ted sitting on fontbig ted sitting on graveAnd then to be really odd, there's another church in the churchyard (they've not planned that very well) but it's in bits and covered in ivy. It was dedicated to St Margaret, so not on my list, but you can see a bit of it in this photo of me sitting on a grave.

I'm ready to go home to MY St Mary's for a serious snooze - wake me up at Easter!

224. Baconsthorpe

big ted sitting on fontAnother windy church. This time Auntie Fiona hid behind the noticeboard to make sure I was safe.

This St Mary's was much bigger inside than it looked from outside. The font was high up on a pedestal thingy so I had a great view of the inside of the church.

240. Barney

big ted sitting on fontbig ted sitting in cart

As noticeboards go, I've seen better. There's also a twig in front of my nose in the photo. I keep mentioning this sort of thing to Uncle Les but he doesn't seem to take any notice.

 

Inside the church my photo is much better - splendid fur to the fore; sitting on the font in a sunbeam. I also found this funny cart to sit. It would be fun to be pulled around the place instead of being carried. [Not much fun for the person doing the pulling, Big Ted].

225. Barningham Winter

big ted sitting on fontMy photo by this noticeboard seems to involve a lot of tree. But it was an exciting church. It’s down a long drive and the tower is in bits and not attached to the main part of the church.

The funny thing is that the font is in the open air at the bottom of the broken-down tower, so I had a very problematic photo session (you can't really tell from the photo, but Uncle Les couldn't get me and the tower in). It was very windy indeed round the tower - perhaps that’s why it fell down. I can’t imagine a baby putting up with this sort of nonsense when it was baptised.

I went into the main bit of the church as well.

226. Bessingham

big ted sitting on fontThis church has got a lovely round tower – apparently that’s something special, but there are quite a few in Norfolk. [There are about 185 surviving examples of round-tower churches in the country, 124 are in Norfolk, Big Ted.]

The church is quite small inside and the font is squeezed into the corner. It was a bit tricky to get me, the font and Uncle Les in the same place with Auntie Fiona out of shot!

241. Binham

big ted sitting on fontbig ted sitting on bierbig ted sitting on pile of stonesIsn't this impressive? Binham is a priory church, which means it was once part of a monastery. The church that's left is the nave of the original church. The font is really, really high up. I got quite nervous as I do have a bit of a habit of falling - and I don't always bounce!

Uncle Les asked me if I fancied a beer. And then he took this photo, which he thought was very funny. I don't really understand the joke myself (but it is a big bier, at least a pint #snigger).

Technic'ly, the St Mary's is the monks' part of the church that no longer exists (other than a few stones). But I informed my driver (Auntie Fiona) that I wanted to visit here anyway.

1. Brancaster

big ted sitting on fontThis St Mary’s was the very first one I visited away from MY St Mary’s way back in 2015. I came back to have some more photos taken and to have a look around inside.

It has a splendidly pointy font cover. I was very careful when I sat in it to have my photo taken ‘cos it looks rather fragile.

238. Burgh Parva

This is an amazing church that's painted with bright green walls and a red roof! It looks very smart. [This is called a "Tin Tabernacle", a type of prefabricated church made from corrugated iron, Big Ted]. The village of Burgh Parva doesn't really exist now, it's all part of Melton Constable so this church is also called Melton Constable new church.

There is a tower from an old church in the churchyard. I also saw two hares playing in the churchyard here; their ears were bigger than mine!

232. Burnham Deepdale

big ted sitting on fontYay, another round-tower church and the sun has come out! Apparently, the font is rather special as it was made by someone called Norman – can’t see why that makes it special! [The font was made during the early Norman period (12th Century). Unusually, shows the changing types of labour throughout the months of the farming calendar, Big Ted.]

231. Burnham Market

big ted sitting on fontAnother St Mary’s with a comfy wall ‘specially for a bear to sit on (better than a smelly wheelie bin or a holly hedge).

It has a splendid font tucked away in a corner at the back. Uncle Les took my photo as I was examining the handle on the font cover.

244. Erpingham

big ted sitting on fontbig ted sitting next to tapestrybig ted squinting through the squintThe photo taken outside is very odd, it makes me look as though I've got my head leaning against a tree (which I didn't; I think I was just trying to hang on - it can be tricky sometimes). But there were lots of daffodils around the churchyard.

It was very tricky finding this place 'cos there was a road closure just where we wanted to go and there was a lot of rude muttering from the front seats of the car. Fortunately, I didn't understand any of it!

The church was open and had a really excellent font with lots of carving. There was also a history tapestry made by the ladies of the WI, and a squint that I just had to squint through (#snigger).

236. Great Snoring

big ted sitting on fontWhen I heard about this St Mary’s I just knew I had to come here. What a fabulous name for a village. The church has a really big square font with extra pillars at the corners to hold it up (and no font cover, tsk). This was the last church of a very long day, so afterwards I did… (wait for it…) great snoring (tee hee #snigger)!

Apparently, I visited Little Snoring when I was first in Norfolk. But as it doesn’t have a St Mary’s, I wasn’t woken up from my snoring to see it (#snigger).

239. Gunthorpe

big ted sitting on fontA square tower and a nice square gatepost to sit on.

Inside there is a really interesting font cover, I could almost climb into it. They had some funny flower arrangements with big green flowers in them as well.

227. Happisburgh

I was very “happy” to visit Happisburgh, but then someone said it’s pronounced “Hazeborough” – I was hazy about whether that was a good thing (#snigger)!

Anyway, the village has a big St Mary’s on top of a windy hill and has a good view of the sea. Sadly, the church was closed for maintenance work and so I couldn’t go in. Even more sadly, I had to sit on a wheelie bin for my photo (really that is most undignified and shouldn’t be allowed).

235. Holme-next-the-Sea

big ted sitting on fontThis is a nice looking church with daffodils in the churchyard.

It’s quite plain inside and only has windows on one side for some reason. I’m not sure that my font photo shows me at my best. I appear to be studying the ceiling. I think Uncle Les caught me off guard.

There are actually three fonts in this St Mary’s, but I only saw (and sat on) one! My researchers are very naughty not to have spotted this. And it wasn't "next-the-Sea" either - or at least I never saw the sea here.

242. Itteringham

big ted sitting on fontThe noticeboard wasn't much to write home about. Also I had to sit on a pile of leaves for my photo (shorts and T-shirt in the wash when I get home).

But, Itteringham does have a very comfy eight-sided font and a nice upright bit for me to lean against (no roofward-staring photos here, thank you very much, see Holme-next-the-Sea).

223. Kelling

big ted sitting on fontIt was very windy here. Outside Auntie Fiona had to support me very carefully so I could have my photo taken without wobbling or falling off the pillar.

Then we went inside where it wasn’t windy at all and Uncle Les took my photo on the font. This is a nice little church; very plain inside.

228. Northrepps

big ted sitting on fontbig ted sitting on fontThis St Mary’s has got a notice board with a handy bit for a bear to wedge himself in and not fall off. The notices weren’t very exciting though.

I went inside and Uncle Les took two rather good photos of me on the font. I particularly like the close-up. I think I have a quizzical look and my fur looks particularly splendid. [That’s quite enough; it’s not all about you, Big Ted!]

234. Old Hunstanton

big ted sitting on fontbig ted chatting to some bearsThis is a really big St Mary’s. It has ducks outside it beside a pond, but it also has birds flying about inside it and cheese on the floor!

There were some lovely stone windows in the porch and Uncle Les took a photo of me looking through one of them. He took a lot of other photos of me: on the font (square, with little pillars, made by that Norman chap again – he must have been very busy). Also chatting to some bears (very friendly).

229. Roughton

big ted sitting by the towerbig ted sitting on fontbig ted sitting up a treeSt Mary’s in Roughton is another church with a round tower. They were having some work done inside, but fortunately the church was open for me to look around.

There is a rather fun font cover that I was able to wedge myself into. And I also took the opportunity to climb a tree in the churchyard.

237. Stody

This is another church with a round tower. It's got a bit of a sad noticeboard though, needs a bit of TLC (Ted's loving care!).

The church was s'posed to be open but wasn't. I think I was a bit too early (for once). So, as I couldn't go inside, I sat in a tree to get a picture in front of the tower.

233. Titchwell

big ted sitting on fontbig ted sitting in an alcoveI’m getting to like these round-tower churches. They look a bit like my round tummy. This St Mary’s has quite a short tower with a little spire on the top.

Inside, the font is quite shallow, so I wasn’t worried about falling in. And in an alcove in the porch there was a model of the church. It was quite solid so I sat on it for a photo! I’ve never sat on a church before.

230. Wiveton

big ted sitting on fontThis is another surprisingly big St Mary’s, and it’s lovely inside with lots of box pews.

It has an old font in the middle at the back, but it doesn’t have a font cover. I was a little worried I would fall in; but I didn’t (you'll be pleased to know the font didn't lean as much as it looks in the photo!). There were lots of flowers at the bottom of the font, which was nice.

345. Aldeby

This is another flint church with a big, square tower. I couldn't get inside to visit but I sat on a very comfy wall to have my photo taken.

This noticeboard really doesn’t have a lot to say!

344. Burgh St Peter

big ted sitting on fontthe church towerThere is no convenient wall, fence or even hedge here and so there were many, many "falling incidents" when I was trying to sit on the sign outside.

I had a good look around inside and examined the font - it's rather nicely carved.

This St Mary's has an amazing, stepped tower and a thatched roof so I asked Uncle Les to take an extra photo of it (without ME in it!). [The tower is based on a Mesopotamian ziggurat design, Big Ted.]

But why's the village called Burgh St Peter when the church is a St Mary? [There was originally another church in the village, but this is now in ruins. Presumably it was dedicated to St Peter, Big Ted]

348. Ellingham

Another comfy wall for me to sit on and a nice big noticeboard. I like it when you can see the church name and village easily - it proves I really was there.

346. Gillingham

I couldn't find a noticeboard here, so I just sat on the gatepost for my photo. This is another flint church with a square tower.

There used to be a church called All Saints nearby, but this was demolished in the 18th century (nothing to do with me!).

343. Haddiscoe

big ted sitting on fontAnother church with a round tower (which, sadly, you can't see in the picture).

This is the sort of font cover I like: a flat surface just right for a bear's behind, and something to lean back against. I could've had a snooze (I didn't as it would have been rude)!

351. Hemsby

big ted sitting on fontWell, this is a very posh sign - it's very smart isn't it.

I also had the chance to look around inside and check out the font.

353. Martham

big ted sitting on fontThe photo looks a bit odd 'cos I had to do the old "levitating bear" thing here as I couldn't sit on or near the sign.

I had a look round inside. It's very big and has a huge font which makes me look quite small sitting on it. Or maybe it's just the way Uncle Les took the photo.

352. West Somerton

big ted sitting on fontI really like this St Mary's. I 'specially like the thatched roof and the round tower which becomes octagonal at the top (that must have been really tricky for the builders to do).

My photo was taken sitting on the lychgate (I couldn't find a church notice board to sit beside) and then I went inside the church and sat on the font for another photo.

I also saw the pictures and information about Robert Hales, the Norfolk Giant, who was seven feet six inches tall. I know I'm a BIG Ted, but there's no way I'm as big as that!

Then when I got home I was asked to write about my visit for their village magazine - isn't that exciting?

374. Elsing

big ted sitting on fontthe font and font coverThis is a big St Mary's (there's a lot of them around here). I went inside, had a look around and sat on the font.

What a font cover! I confess I was a bit worried that it would fall down and squish me. It must make the babies rather scared to see that above them when they come to church get baptized.

For a change I also sat on a renovated plough that they had in the church (as you do!). I would like to point out that I was not responsible for all the missing plaster behind me, it was like that when I went in!

big ted sitting on a renovated plough

375. Sparham

Big Ted sitting on fontAnother open St Mary's for me to look around. At this one I used my special device for the first time (made by Uncle Les and Auntie Fiona) to help me sit upright properly without wobbling and having "falling incidents". [A re-purposed hanging backet bracket is very handy - you do slump sometimes, Big Ted].

376. Reepham

Big Ted sitting on fontI'm really enjoying myself in Norfolk. Look at this lovely square font - prob'ly made by that Norman chappie (he gets around y'know). I'm not sure what the blue footprints are all about though.

Just to be confusing, Reepham churchyard which was once home to three churches, St Mary, St Michael and All Saints (which was destroyed by fire in 1543 - well before my time so nothing to do with me). There are still two churches but I only really visited St Mary's.

377. Burgh next Aylsham

Big Ted sitting on fontA lovely church and another lovely font. I'm not sure how safe the steps are at the bottom with all those gaps in them.

This is a mediaeval church and has a big, light chancel which is down some steps from the nave.

They seem to like their tripping hazards in this church!

378. Tunstead

Big Ted sitting on fontA really big church and not a chance of sitting on the font with this flower arrangement in place.

Uncle Les managed to get it rather nicely backlit, I think (tho' I'm a bit out of focus, ahem!)

379. Worstead

Big Ted sitting on fontGolly, what a big St Mary's! And what a big font with a huge pointy font cover with nothing to hang on to! I felt much safer sitting at the bottom of the font out of the way.

380. Stalham

Big Ted sitting on fontYou prob'ly think I'm being lazy here sitting at the bottom of the font. But it was actually very high to the top with lots of deep steps and I didn't fancy having another of those "falling incidents". Also, the flowers were rather pretty, and I wanted to check them out.

381. East Ruston

Big Ted sitting on fontThis is another St Mary's that is looked after by the nice people at the Churches Conservation Trust. It's a really big church in the middle of nowhere with a very funny ceiling in the nave. Can you see it in my photo?

There was also a sculpture thingy in the south aisle (you can see it a bit behind me), but I didn't really understand it. [The piece is called 'For Love of Rose' by local blacksmith and sculptor Bill Cordaroy. It commemorates Rose Wanjiku Mwangi, who was trapped for four days in 1998 beneath the rubble of the bombed American embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Sadly, she died before she could be rescued, Big Ted]

382. Fishley

Big Ted sitting on fontFishley church showing the round towerThis St Mary's has a round tower (hurrah!); the first of my trip to Norfolk this time. But I couldn't get inside (boo!) as it was all locked up. Uncle Les took a nice photo of me exploring the porch gates (hurrah!) But the road to the church was very pothole-y in places (boo!). [I think that's quite enough "hurrahs" and "boos"! The church is open on Fridays, Big Ted]

I'm still in the gates in the second photo here (you can barely [snigger] see me) but I really wanted a picture of the round tower so I let Uncle Les get away with it (this time).

383. South Walsham

Big Ted sitting on font

This St Mary's involved another "falling incident". I told them I wasn't safe on the church sign, but did they do anything - no! They just let me plummet. I had a very satisfactory sulk afterwards. The church was very nice though and I had a good look round. Uncle Les caught me in a very sunny spot for my font photo - a bit too sunny I think, you can't really tell it's me!

St Mary's used to share the churchyard with a church called St Lawrence's - it's the parish rooms now. (This is a bit like at Reepham - must be a thing in Norfolk).

384. Wroxham

Big Ted sitting on fontI liked this St Mary's - it was open for me to look around. The font is in the west end and there are big glass doors separating it from the rest of the church - handy if the baby starts screaming I s'pose! A nice flat font cover though.

385. Great Plumstead

Big Ted sitting on font

This St Mary's is a big flint church but has an ornate brick tower. Uncle Les said it was most disusual, so I let him take a picture of it - WITHOUT ME IN IT!

Sadly, I couldn't go in to see if it was disusual inside as well.

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