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St Michael, Ryston
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This severe carstone building sits on an ancient churchyard mound on the edge of the park of Ryston Hall in the suburbs of Downham Market. The views to the south of the church are of open parkland with flocks of sheep drifting slowly across them. The faux-Saxon saddleback tower rises loftily over them, appearing bigger than it actually is. The architect was Walter Lawrie, and it was built in 1858 at the height of the Ecclesiological Movement's enthusiasm for liturgically correct 14th Century gothic, so it must have caused some mild surprise and comment. Perhaps it replaced something similar that was here before. The enthusiastic restoration of the rest of the building was probably later, and in general none of the exterior details can be taken for granted.
Simon Knott, December 2010
The photographs below are (c)2010 John Salmon
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