St Nicholas, Buckenham should really be renamed
St Nicholas the Forlorn standing as it does in splendid
isolation amid the fields to the north of the River Yare
and quarter of a mile from the nearest road making it
approachable only on foot via a muddy footpath.
It's one of only five churches in Norfolk to have a slender,
completely octagonal 13th century west tower. There's even
an additional 17th century dovecote, lined with brick nesting
boxes, half way up - coo! Inside, the almost baroque in style,
tower arch was infilled with lace-like tracery as part of the
19th century restoration work.
The bell cast circa 1290 and one of the oldest in East Anglia
was nicked in the 1970's and never recovered although it beats
me where you could stash a bloody great bell for very long
without a few questions being asked.
And to top it all off the stained glass above where the altar
once stood is by none other than SC Yarrington of Norwich.
I just knew you'd be impressed by that!
This hauntingly lovely old building is no longer used for regular
worship and, after extensive wanton damage inflicted
by architectural vandals during the 1960's and 1970's it is
now thankfully in the hands of the Churches Conservation Trust.
It's both a sad place, because of the widespread green mould
and scarred walls, yet at the same time joyous because of all
the treasures it still contains for the curious to seek out.
Anyone may enter at any time as it's never locked offering
sanctuary or a place for quiet reflection - even, in my
case, shelter from a sudden downpour.
Oh! I nearly forgot to mention .......
the jolly little foot pumped organ is still in perfect working
order. How do I know? Because I couldn't resist belting out
a couple of verses of onward Christian Soldiers on it with
my cousin Jan singing a lusty solo in the choir.
Magnificent - goosebumps (if not thunderbolts) all round!
Naughty girl Julia, be sure your sins will find you out.