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St Edmund, Taverham, Norwich
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Edmund, Taverham, Norwich
Of all Norwich's suburban, former village churches, St Edmund is probably the most interesting in terms of historic survivals. You step into the low south aisle, and then the high body of the nave opens up before you. There is no clerestory. Although St Edmund is now in the evangelical tradition, it was a well-known Anglo-catholic hotspot in the early years of the 20th Century, and still retains its stations of the cross and Big Six candesticks behind the altar, perhaps as a mark of respect for those days.
The first window on the north side of the nave contains a rare survival. This is a rood group in stained glass. It consists of Christ Crucified, flanked by the Blessed Virgin and St John, and was reset in this window by the King workshop. The Kings are accomplished at repairing and resetting old glass: from a distance it all looks old, but close up it is possible to see which bits are 15th Century and which bits are 20th Century. Four angels hold scrolls in the upper lights, and there is a kneeling donor at the bottom.
The other great treasure here is the font, which is a variant on the familiar style of figures of Saints around the stem. It may well be recut, but the figures, which include St Margaret, St Leonard, St Jude and St Anne with the young Blessed Virgin, are very intricate and characterful. The 14th century age of the chancel is revealed by a particularly lovely piscina and the remains of the sedilia, both bearing traces of their original paint.
Simon Knott, May 2010
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