St Withburga’s, Holkham

Open daily dawn to dusk.
Shop(s) or amenities nearby
Parking nearby
Footpath, trail or cycle route
Grade II*

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St Withburga's Church looks out proudly from a corner of the parkland of Holkham Hall, the home of the Cokes (the Earls of Leicester). The sandy mound it sits on could be an Iron Age tumulus or simply a large dune and is surrounded in its entirety by the churchyard wall. Notice the mausoleum to the west. The imposing hall is about a mile away, beyond the lake and the herds of deer and sheep. There is another entrance to the church via the coast road. The dedication is highly unusual. The only other church of St Withburga was East Dereham (the site of her well) before it became St Nicholas'. The medieval church was thoroughly restored and rebuilt in the 1860s. There is evidence of an earlier, Saxon church on this site. Inside there is an array of memorials, but for the vast Coke family memorials a visit to St Mary's Church in Tittleshall is in order. At Holkham, is a memorial depicting three couples above their fifteen children. Some of the children are turned towards the viewer, smiling. The touching marble figure of Juliana Countess of Leicester lies peacefully in the north chapel. She paid £10,000 for the 1868 restoration. There are wall memorials in the north aisle commemorating the Coke sons killed in the World Wars.

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