East Lexham Great Dunham Houghton on the Hill Newton by Castle Acre

home I index I introductions I e-mail I about this site

The Norfolk Churches Site: an occasional sideways glance at the churches of Norfolk

All Saints, Newton by Castle Acre

newton by Castle Acre: simple and beautiful

Read the captions by hovering over the images, and click on them to see them enlarged.

from the south central tower Saxon north side

    All Saints, Newton by Castle Acre

This church is a familiar sight on the Fakenham to Swaffham road. I always associate it with trips to Walsingham, since I most often see it en route to the Catholic shrine there, and again on returning - but then, in the dark, floodlighting makes its stone walls glow like honey. A beautiful landmark, always to be anticipated.

All Saints' churchwardens are to be congratulated for opening it everyday, maintaining a friendly rest stop for travellers and pilgrims. The church combines an ancient calm with a clear, bright, neatly-kept worship-space, an unforgettable delight.

From the outside the structure is easy to read, the central tower punctuating simple nave and chancel. Everything appears Saxon apart from the window tracery, and the cap on the tower, which Mortlock sees as continental in style, while Pevsner argues that this is what would have been there originally.

Inside, the building is more complex, a succession of rooms unfolding as you move east. The first arch (strictly, the tower arch) has the royal arms above it, and is later and pointed, but the second arch, the chancel arch, is rugged and Saxon. Modern furnishings interact with early 14th century windows to create a sense of the unfamiliar, but it works. Everything is understated and harmonious.

There is a doorway halfway up the eastern wall of the nave on the north side. Obviously, this was the doorway into the roodloft, and access to it was from the tower stairway. A window above the arch is more curious. Obviously Saxon, it lets into the space of the tower. Perhaps it allowed the gospel to be read from up there.

A ledger stone beneath the tower remembers the wonderfully named Kingborrow Martin, a woman. Where on earth did that name come from?

Simon Knott, November 2004

you can also read an introduction: Ancient of Days

   

looking east Curious wooden pulpit Looking west from beneath the tower Chancel from beneath the tower sanctuary
font looking west brick floors rood stair beneath the tower chest
royal arms Kingborrow harvest

an introduction: Ancient of Days

East Lexham Great Dunham Houghton on the Hill Newton by Castle Acre

 

Free Guestbook from Bravenet 

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

The Norfolk Churches Site: an occasional sideways glance at the churches of Norfolk