St Andrew’s, WickmereOpen every day
This pretty church was founded in the C10 with a Saxon round tower, the lower section built mainly in carstone. Windows and a parapet were added in C14 or C15 when much of the rest of the church was rebuilt. Clerestory windows and side aisles are supported by arches which allow the church nave the benefit of plenty of natural daylight. The original C14. ironwork adorns the door and inside we retain many of the mediaeval bench ends and a C15 font. The Saracens Head motif can be seen throughout the church, most obviously on the tomb of Robert Horace Walpole, earl of Orford, who died in 1931. The Walpole family have been patrons of the church for many years and the saracens head is the Walpole family crest. The 16th c. desecrated rood screen retains it mediaeval paint. On the north aisle our best wall painting is post-reformation text of psalm 105 from the 1559 prayer book, probably commissioned by the Dix family, who were then patrons of the church. 5 other wall paintings can be seen (try to spot them all!) and they have all been conserved by Andrea Kirkham in 2018 thanks to help from the Norfolk Churches Trust and others. Two ancient chests, known colloquially as The Armada Chests are along the south wall and are from that era. Further details are in the guide book, available for sale at St. Andrew’s, written by S. McKenzie. He and Anthony Hurn, his fellow churchwarden enabled major work in 2003 to keep the weather out and protect this unique building. These snippets are sourced from that excellent publication. .
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