Churches along the Wherryman’s Way
St John the Baptist Church was founded as a monastery in the 7th century by St Felix, on the site of a Roman frontier fortlet, which sat on a promontory within the Great Estuary.
Archaeological investigations have been taken place over the last few years, and the footprint of the fortlet has recently been discovered. Detective work enables a visitor to identify the parts of the church fabric that are oldest. Even the builders of the, relatively modern, 15th-century tower used brick and stone first used by the Romans.
Holy Trinity Church was rebuilt in 1480, but the earliest church on the site was also founded by St Felix. The church boasts an undamaged seven-sacrament font and a rather gruesome depiction of the martyrdom of St William on the Rood Screen.
All Saints Church is set on a hill on the other side of the River Chet. From Norman to red brick the building displays a range of styles from earlier years. It too boasts a wonderful Romanesque south door.
Surlingham Churches – There is a circular walk that takes in both churches and a riverside pub. The ruins of St Saviour’s Church overlook Church Marsh. The naturalist Ted Ellis is buried in the churchyard. Ted described the Broads as “a breathing space for the cure of souls” and so it is. St Mary’s is a round towered church, very much lived and prayed in. It too displays a variety of styles from earlier dates, including a west gallery.
The next church on the route is St Andrew’s in Trowse (open at limited times) before the delights of Norwich. Famously, the city had church for every week of the year and a pub for every day!