home I index I latest I glossary I introductions I e-mail I about this site
St Botolph, Grimston
Read the captions by hovering over the images, and click on them to see them enlarged.
St Botolph is different to many of its neighbours in another way, because it is open to pilgrims and passing strangers every day. They step through the 15th Century porch into a big 13th and 14th Century church, fully aisled and clerestoried, full of confidence.
One of the delights of this church is one of the quirkiest sets of late medieval bench ends in this part of Norfolk. Some of them are on benches at the back of the church, some on the return stalls in the chancel. The star of them is probably the delightful mermaid, albeit rather restored, and I was also very pleased to see the man in the stocks with a pig on his back, presumably undergoing his punishment for stealing it. Others include a man wrapped in his blankets representing sloth, and a fox with a goose, its neck in his mouth. There is also a haughty cock, a jolly lion and what I take to be a rather gloomy camel, a curiously beturbanned mythical beast, and a lovely little inquisitive lion who appears to be peeping around the choir stalls to see what is going on in the sanctuary. One curiosity is a bench end of two figures, one apparently attempting to twist the other's head off. Not too far from here there are bench ends of contortionists and wrestlers, so perhaps that is what is represented here, a memory of some medieval travelling fair.
There is a numinous quality to the light inside St Botolph, largely a result of the extent to which the windows are filled with clear glass, many of the quarries organised into sober patterns. The light fills a church which is confidently furnished and obviously very well-loved and taken care of. I recalled what my friend the late Tom Muckley would say about churches like this, that they were seemly and fitting for Anglican worship.
Simon Knott, August 2016
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
Norwich I ruined churches I round tower churches I links I small print
www.simonknott.co.uk I www.suffolkchurches.co.uk