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All Saints, Bodham
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John picked me up, and we headed into the wilds, Bodham to be precise. One of the delights of this part of Norfolk is that virtually all the churches are open and welcoming. Well, this one wasn't. We did a tour of the outside, noting that it was a small church, considerably rebuilt in the 19th century, including several walls and all the windows. The tower was refurbished in the 20th, so there isn't a lot that is ancient, although there are what appear to be medieval floor tiles reset in the exterior holy water stoup, presumably by Victorians. The north wall of the nave is also rather curious, being rebuilt with unknapped flints and red brick buttresses, as if this was a holiday cottage.
There was no keyholder listed, but we tracked down a churchwarden at a local farm. She'd just gone out, but her jolly husband was willing to help. Unfortunately, he had no idea what the key looked like, eventually giving us a set that he didn't recognise on the grounds that 'I can't think what else they could be'. We hurried back to the church, but none of the keys fitted any of the doors.
Some of John's photos are below. Here we see the extraordinary pulpit, which also came from Beckham workhouse, a font which may be uncarved or, more excitingly, cemented over, a royal arms for Queen Anne, the seemly sanctuary with its fine east window, and even a couple of medieval brasses with Catholic prayer clauses. See, there was more of interest than I had imagined.
Simon Knott, November 2005
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