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St Nicholas, Dilham
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When you know this, you can see at once the clean 1930s lines, the Gothic revival stripped of all Victorian neuroses. Inside and out, there is a modernistic simplicity to this articulate rendering of Norfolk vernacular; even the angel roof is understated. An American correspondent of mine, on seeing these pictures, said that it was like a college dining hall, and I think that is exactly right.
St Nicholas successfully combines this simplicity with an air of Anglo-catholic devotion. The stations of the cross are most unusual, large format photographs of what appear to be artist's dummies set in the positions of the way of the cross. Survivals from the old church include a medieval font and the organ, and a large piece of lead set in a wooden frame. It has a long Latin inscription on it, and with the limited resources I could drag up from school days I took it to be from the roof, since it seems to describe the demolition of the old west end and the building of the round tower in 1835.
As at Worstead, there are photographs of everyone on the war memorial, which is a lovely thing to do. And this is a lovely church, a simple yet splendid modern building set alone in the barley fields, well used, much loved, and open to pilgrims and strangers every day.
Simon Knott, April 2005
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