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All Saints, Freethorpe
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Although the arcades themselves are certainly medieval, Anthony Salvin rebuilt the aisles, and it is hard to find anything old in the body of the building. Inside, the impression is of an immaculately-kept High Victorian church, rather urban in its polished wood and tiling.
The Walpole family were important in this parish. Their VW symbol is in the west window, and can also be found on the estate cottages across the road. A reminder of the refurbishment is also in the glass, showing the Walpole arms, and an inscription which records that the interior was restored in 1849, although I think that some of the furnishings we see now must be later than this.
All Saints feels a clean, neat, warm church; despite the aisles it is not big, and the square space feels intimate. Tom thought the chancel properly Anglican, a perfect little space which is fitting for its purpose. The corbel heads supporting the roof look as if they have stepped out of 19th century portraits, and in truth this church is one of the best small-scale examples in this part of Norfolk of the Victorian imagination. Even better, you will be able to see inside it; unusually for the Yare Valley, All Saints is open every day.
Simon Knott, December 2007
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