A day out in Ingham
Holy Trinity Church in Ingham is a former priory that retains a lot of its original 14th century fabric.
As you enter the South Porch do remember to look up as you go in. If you do, you will notice that this lofty church porch has three floors as opposed to two that are normally found in Norfolk churches.
As you step into the church, you will notice how vast the space inside is. The great east window adorned with beautifully decorated tracery lets in lots of light, while the unusual round – almost Continental – clerestory windows add a bit of colour.
As you walk eastwards, you will notice that the remains of the screen separating the chancel from the nave are made of stone – a very rare survival. You can still see the mighty medieval hinges in the doorway!
Of course you will have already noticed the imposing 15th century tomb of Sir Robert de Boys and his wife Margaret just to your right. Have a closer look and you will see the most delicate original carving and paint on the figures and probably spot an intriguing detail: inside the helmet that Sir Robert’s head is resting on there is a bearded face. Is this a death mask of Sir Robert himself? A severed head of an enemy?
Further east, in the chancel, there is another gem – the tomb of Sir Oliver de Ingham, who looks incredibly uncomfortable on a bed of cobbles (if you are at all intrigued, visit St Mary’s Church in Reepham, where Sir Roger de Kerdiston’s tomb is just as interesting). Most of the ornate painted canopy above the figure is gone, but there is a reconstruction next to it, so you can see it in full former glory.
Once you have seen enough, ‘The Ingham Swan’ next door – also a historic building, beautifully restored after a devastating fire – is a perfect place for a break.
‘The Swan’ offers excellent food – a new take on traditional British cuisine, a cosy interior and friendly atmosphere, and, importantly, a good bar. Do book a table though – it gets busy!