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Peter, Little Ellingham
the captions by hovering over the images, and click on them to
see them enlarged.
on the south side of the nave that form a porch
into the church are more common in Suffolk than
in Norfolk, but there is a 13th century one here
at Little Ellingham, and another not far off at Wicklewood.
towers were added to older churches, and, if you
think about it, the south side of the nave is a
sensible place to put them. It doesn't block
light coming through a west window, and places
the tower and the porch together; both had
secular uses, and this arrangement doesn't
interfere with the business of the church.
Perhaps it should be a surprise that it didn't
happen more often.
and chancel have been rebuilt since, and there is a
crispness to them that tells that you a big 19th century
restoration also happened here. There was a good reason
for it, because St Peter was destroyed by fire in 1867,
leaving only a shell beside the tower. Everything you see
here is either restored or new. A plaque above the
entrance records the reopening, and also tells you that all
the sittings are free, presumably a condition of
some of the funding.
Peter is a pleasant space to enter, full of light
on this bright January day, and there are
features of interest.
The font is
quite startling, for instance. It is made of
Poryphry marble, a striking glossy brown
octagonal thing on pillars, which isn't totally
in keeping with the otherwise rustic
surroundings. The shiny tiles around it help to
smooth its path, but you can't help thinking that
somebody bought it off the shelf at the workshop
of some London or Birmingham mason without really
thinking about how it would fit in.
east window, which is contemporary with the font,
is good; it depicts scenes in the life of Christ
in the style of the glass you find in French
Cathedrals, and is very pleasing on this scale. I
wonder who it is by?
Simon Knott, January 2006
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