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St Margaret, Clenchwarton, Norfolk

 

The villages out here straggle into each other; West Lynn disappeared behind me, a few fields and then the houses get pleasanter and eventually become Clenchwarton.

 

Compared with some of the exotica around here, St Margaret is refreshingly conventional - pretty much all of a late 14th/early 15th century piece, and no transepts, separate tower or modern chancel in sight. A mixture of carstone and flint, the church is very attractive; and slightly ramshackle, as if made out of chocolate chip cookies. There's no keyholder notice, and in three visits I had never found it open, so I found the address of the rector and prepared to do battle. I knocked on his door.

 

Well, he couldn't have been nicer. He was a very friendly chap with a large white beard in the Russian Orthodox manner. He gave me the key, we chatted for a while about visiting churches, and then he showed me the shortcut to the church through his garden. The key was to the vestry, and although I usually prefer not to enter a church at the east (it confuses me and I forget to photograph things) I found it to be a small, lovely church inside with some good early 20th Century glass at the west end, possibly by AK Nicholson. Pevsner, or his revising editor, confused the glass in the chancel, but the east window is probably by Charles Gibbs. The side window depicting Amazonian Saints Margaret and Catherine he credits to Hardman & Co, though it looks like Clayton & Bell to me.

 

The overall feel of the church is of a peaceful spirituality in the Anglo-catholic tradition - not as spiky as neighbouring West Lynn, but very much to my taste.

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Taken on April 4, 2017