Friday, 25 August 2017

Stratton St Michael, Norfolk

St Michael, open, has a sign on its noticeboard which says "at this location there are Commonwealth War Graves" which I've not seen before. Not, I believe, unreasonably, I expected to find a reasonable cache of CWGC headstones here, only to find precisely none. I double checked online when I got home and the CWGC website reported no official headstones in the churchyard - most peculiar perhaps the sign has been borrowed from somewhere else.

Other than that this is a pleasant site with a great tower with an unusual spirelet unlike any I've seen and a good font green with damp.

ST MICHAEL. Short unbuttressed W tower with recessed wooden turret carrying a spirelet. Chancel early C14 with reticulation in the E window, but also Y-tracery and a piscina still without ogee. Perp nave. - FONT. With four lions and four demi-figures of angels. - SCREEN. Only the plain dado. - BENCHES. Some ends with poppy-heads, two with figures in relief below the poppy-heads. Some of the benches have castellated tops like little turret platforms instead of poppyheads. - COMMUNION RAIL. Later C17, with dumb-bell balusters. It was apparently originally three-sided. - STAINED GLASS. Fragments in nave window heads. - PLATE. Chalice and Paten, Norwich, 1567.

Font (1)

John Cowall 1509 (3)

Angel & child

STRATTON ST MICHAEL. Down a lane with two small cottages and a farm for company stands the medieval church, with tall sweet limes among its encircling trees. Its sloping walls, its pantiled roofs, its low tower, with the spire like a cap within the parapet, intrigue the visitor, and an ancient door with its original strap-hinges leads us into a nave and chancel which have no separating arch, though with different roofs. The nave roof is black and white with flower bosses; the chancel roof is green with old wallplates at its sides. On the old font bowl are lions and angels, but the lions on its base have lost their heads; the piscina is still elaborate with its carving and its pillars. The altar rails and the fronts of the choir seats are Jacobean and on two old poppyhead bench-ends is a bishop with his crozier and St Catherine with her wheel. Only a few fragments of glass recall the glory of these windows in bygone days.

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