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St Martin at Palace Plain, Norwich
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at Palace Plain, Norwich
There is a fine courts building now on the site of the gasworks, and this has resulted in St Martin finding an excellent new use as the home of the Probation service. Internally, there is a split level steel and glass mezzanine providing working space above and below the floors; it ascends into the space beneath the tower, reaching ground floor level at both the west end and in the chancel. The aisle chapels have been glassed in and form meeting rooms. It is all crisp and airy, fully functional without detracting from the former character of the church; the inner walls are pretty much intact and unscathed. Of course, it is now very different to how George Plunkett found it in 1934.
In 1934, George Plunkett also photgraphed a large tombchest, a candelabra and the 15th century font, all gone today.
I asked the kind man who let me wander around if it was a suitable building for its new use. He said that it was, and that the setting generally encouraged everybody to take each other seriously, and so when clients came for the first time they knew that this was a place that would give them a future. Amen to that.
Simon Knott, November 2005
You can see thousands of George Plunkett's other old photographs of Norwich on the Plunkett website
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