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

St Michael, Ormesby St Michael

Ormesby St Michael: neat and thatched

    St Michael, Ormesby St Michael
a grotesque little head   a magnificent ram   A little brother to the bigger Ormesby St Margaret a mile or so away, St Michael sits in a little graveyard on the edge of the Park, right beside the busy Caister to Cromer road. There's obviously been a lot of work done here recently; the thatching to the nave is neat and trim, and the porch is thatched too, which always looks good.

Chris Harrison, my guide, pointed out the curious head stops to the windows on the north side. One is a magnificent ram with curly horns, his companion a grotesque little head pulling a face. A curiosity is the arch of a piscina or holy water stoup that has been built sideways into the buttress at the south-east corner. I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like that before.

I'd been looking forward to this church. In a part of Norfolk with a considerable quantity of late 19th and early 20th century glass, much of it of distinction, St Michael has some of the best, the work of Henry Holiday. Two lancets depict Faith and Hope, while Charity is in the east window. However, Chris advised me not to get my Hope up, because Charity doesn't extend here to people actually being able to get inside the building. I don't know what that says about the Faith of the parish. The best that could be done was to balance precariously on a tomb top and try to take photographs through the windows, and then try to enhance them later. I don't know who I'd have sued if I'd fallen off.

Henry Holiday: Faith Henry Holiday: Hope Henry Holiday: Charity

There was once a third Ormesby, St Peter, the site of which is still identifiable on some allotments not far off. The hedge to the adjacent field kinks round in what can only be described as a churchyard shape. It was satisfying to see, and to know that there really had been three Ormesby churches, and two had survived until now. I only wished that the Parish of Ormesby St Michael was as friendly and welcoming as its big sister St Margaret just up the road.

Simon Knott, April 2006

   

   south side curious boiler room a bit on the side plate tracery    

 

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