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St Mary, Pulham St Mary
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Pulham St Mary
The porch is magnificent. Actually not as huge as it appears, its two stories are flanked by ranges of flushwork panelling, which become, from the top on the front, ranks of stone niches, angels holding shields, angels with musical instruments and then more niches. Pride of place, in the spandrels of the doorway, is the Annunciation, of the highest artistic quality and in lovely condition. You can see some of these details in the images below.
The porch had one further detail that I liked very much, a big sign saying CHURCH OPEN. And so, we went inside. At first the interior disappoints a little, because the north side of the nave is stark, climbing as it does to the heights of the clerestory opposite.
Thanks be to God that he didn't repaint the panels, for they are large and filled with 15th century images of the Apostles. St John is particularly striking, the little dragon in his chalice seemingly about to take flight. St James is fine too.
There is some excellent 15th century glass, with whole figures surviving, including an earnest looking St Peter. The 19th century chancel glass is also good (and so it should be, at that price!) and includes Old Testament scenes, images of St Anne and St Margaret flanking the Blessed Virgin, and a lively sequence in the east window of scenes in the life of Christ; the Visitation, Presentation and Deposition are particularly good.
Bodley had the chancel roof repainted in reds and greens, with sacred monograms. Some of these monograms are more elaborate than others, and I wondered for a moment if the simpler ones were actually 15th century originals.
Simon Knott, March 2006
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