home I index I latest I glossary I introductions I e-mail I about this site
All Saints, Earsham
the captions by hovering over the images, and click on them to
see them enlarged.
The chunky 14th century tower is surmounted by a rather squat spire, one of few in East Anglia. It is this, coupled with the substantial chancel, that creates the feel of a sprawling building.Around the back is one of the most successful 20th century extensions I've seen in Norfolk. Cutting into the rising graveyard, the parish rooms take the length of the building as their cue. Close up, there is an elegance to the connecting walkway that reminded me somewhat of a cloister.
The collection of foreign glass in the east window is very successful, - the most striking panels are the death bed scene on the north side, which I take to be the Last Rites from the seven sacraments rather than the Dormition, and a very strange panel on the south that appears, at first, to show the Annunciation - but the woman at the prayer desk with her back to the angel is clearly not Mary, but probably a donor. The four roundels of the Evangelists are tender to the point of mawkishness. Their symbols, obviously tame, look on adoringly like pets at their masters as the four men sit there writing; but the whole thing holds well together.
William Windham, the recipient of the grand memorial on the nave wall, died in 1730 having lost a limb in the defence of his country, which obviously leaves us wanting to know more.
All this apart, you come to Earsham for the glory of the late 19th century Anglo-catholic revival. Mortlock thought quite well of the reredos in the 1980s, seeing it anticipate the work of Ninian Comper (who was busy near to here at Eye, Lound and Barsham) but today, in the early years of the 21st century, it is just about in the very peak of modern fashion. The gorgeous child angels (surely painted from the life?) seem to step straight from London Underground adverts for the Victoria and Albert museum. We love this kind of thing nowadays.
Simon Knott, March 2005
Amazon commission helps cover the running costs of this site.
home I index I latest I introductions I e-mail I about this site I glossary
links I small print I www.simonknott.co.uk I www.suffolkchurches.co.uk
ruined churches I desktop backgrounds I round tower churches