Friday, 25 August 2017

Fundenhall, Norfolk

St Nicholas, locked no keyholder. It is immediately obvious that the massive central tower is Norman but less so as to why it is kept locked, although admittedly it is in an isolated spot. Reading Pevsner I'm not sure there's much to miss inside.

ST NICHOLAS. Norman central tower with one original N, one original S window. Above that E.E. The bell-openings have two pointed lights, separated by a thin shaft, the two under one round arch. Norman S doorway with one order of shafts with volute capitals. E. E. N doorway with fine arch mouldings. Inside only the W side of the W arch of the central tower is Norman (nook-shafts). - SCREEN. Only the coving remains and the tracery above a wide arch which must have been the whole width of the tower arch. The coving supported the rood loft. But above the wide arch there is a flat loft floor instead. Traces of painting. The whole is a rare survival. - PLATE. Paten, early C18; Chalice and Paten, probably secular (London), 1793.

Learn to die

FUNDENHALL. Small and tranquil it lies among woods and wheatfields, with thatched cottages and a gabled farmhouse in a winding lane, and one church greeting another across the meadows. With its ivied flint walls, and a massive tower rising between the red roofs of the nave and chancel, Fundenhall’s church looks its best outside, standing sturdily among the larch trees. Most of it is 14th century and much restored, but some of it has an older tale to tell. The base of the tower is Norman, with original windows in its north and south walls; the upper part comes from just after Agincourt, when John Daniel left 20 marks for the repair of the steeple. The Normans built the south doorway, carving its capitals; the small north doorway is English. The font has four quaint angels with long legs on the base. All that is left of the old oak screen is the entrance arch and the canopy, which rests on the high uprights of the pointed arch leading to the chancel; but traces of painting can be seen.

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