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About this site
|This site is an attempt
to fill a gap. Ever since I started the Suffolk Churches
site in 1999, people have contacted me to say that it was
all well and good, but when was someone going to do
Norfolk? Although I have met several people now who have
visited all the Norfolk churches, or are in the process
of doing so, nobody has been mad enough to attempt a
Norfolk site like the one for Suffolk. Suffolk has a mere
500 medieval churches; Norfolk has more than 800, and
that is before you even begin to count the ones built
after the Reformation, and the Catholic churches, and the
significant non-conformist ones, and so on. Why, you'd
have to be daft to even consider it.
This Norfolk site is a little sister to www.suffolkchurches.co.uk, which you have most likely already come across. Because the two sites are not identical twins you will find differences in the way they work and the emphasis of the entries; but, as with any family members that are of the same generation, they increasingly resemble each other as they both get older. There is scope for the two sites to share resources, and so there is now a links page that covers both counties, and I hope to extend the Suffolk site bibliography to include books about Norfolk as well. Unlike Suffolk, the Norfolk entries are actually dated, so you can see the order in which they were visited.
Eventually, I dare say, I will visit them all, provided I don't die trying. I ought to warn you that I am not in any particular hurry. My original plan was to do it in eight years. After eighteen months, I find myself about a third of the way through, so there is hope.
An endeavour like this that was attempted alone would soon fizzle out, and so I'd like to thank Tom Muckley and Peter Stephens for their outstanding generosity; without them, there would be no site. Peter has visited every Norfolk church, and so has Chris Harrison; both have been lavishly helpful with hints and advice. Chris helped to start the Norfolk leg of the journey by organising impossible access to the churches in the forbidden battle zone, and therefore must take the blame for the site's beginnings. John Salmon is a generous and expert photographer; he has the knack of getting into churches that I had given up on. George Plunkett has been equally helpful with the photographs he took of the Norwich city churches back in the 1930s, before the joint efforts of German bombers and city planners changed Norwich forever. Phil Draper and Aidan Semmens have freely shared their experiences of visiting and writing about churches over the years. Lastly, and in the face of everything of which I show myself to be capable, my wife Jacqueline continues to be incomprehensibly tolerant in her continuing bid for Sainthood.
For some reason, the Norfolk site generates far more e-mails than the Suffolk site. In an average week, there will be about forty e-mails on Suffolk-related matters, but perhaps seventy for Norfolk. This correspondence provides valuable additions to entries on the site as well as being the source of support and amusement; but many of the e-mails are requests for help, so please be patient if you are still waiting for a reply - I will get to you.
The running costs of the two sites are not insurmountable, but it will never make any money. However, it is a tremendous help to receive Amazon commission for items bought via the site - this offsets costs like web space, bandwidth, train fares, etc. If you have enjoyed using the Norfolk Churches site, and you were going to buy something from Amazon anyway, please do click through from a banner - there's one at the bottom of this page.
The Norfolk Churches site is dedicated to Vincent Helgia Knott (1908-1996). He was forced out of his home county of Kent by poverty in the 1930s, looking for work. He found it, at the new sugar beet factories of Ipswich in Suffolk, Cantley in Norfolk and Ely in Cambridgeshire, where he met his future wife.
He was my grandfather, and because of his journey I am proud to call myself an East Anglian.
Simon Knott, Ipswich MMV
on the Suffolk site...
the Norfolk site
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