I am the director of a Norfolk based architectural practice. I have over 20 years' experience of working with historic and existing buildings, churches and sensitive sites. This blog offers opinions and articles on the wonderful world of architecture and building.
This church stands just outside the gates of Ketteringham Hall, and was generously endowed by the powerful families who lived there. Originally it was a small 11th century Romanesque building, shown by several small round headed windows, now blocked up from the inside. The mark in the flint wall above them shows the original height of the eaves. The lowest section of the tower is unusual in that the corners are not dressed with stone, again indicating its humble origins.
The Atkyns and the Boileau families of the Hall enriched the church in many ways. The upper section of the tower was rebuilt in 1870, using fine stone and brick, with a chequerboard pattern at the top and a stone turret at the top of the staircase. Sir John Boileau had the balcony at the west end built in 1841 for the Sunday school children. The rail is low so that they could see the service easily. Sir John also constructed a mausoleum in the churchyard, a fine classical building in the Egyptian style, for himself and his family. The Mausoleum was restored in 2006 thanks to the efforts of the Churchwarden, Mary Parker.
The 15th century font has been defaced, but represents the crucifix and the holy trinity. There are some marvellous fragments of medieval glass, which have been reset into the 19th century east window, it is a miracle they survived Cromwell's purge.
The roof is a beautiful addition of 1908 - it has short hammerbeams with arch braces and is magnificent. It gives a grandeur to this small building which perfectly sets off the enormous number of monuments in the chancel. The earliest is the Heveningham tomb of the early 16th century, and there are many to the Atkyns and Boileau families. A beautiful Norfolk gem.