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IMG_4351Primrose bank outside St Peters (480x640)

Primrose bank outside St Peter’s church

I am indebted to our Rector the Rev. Richard Thornburgh for the use of his Notes on the church of St Peter South Elmham.  A leaflet we bought when we visited the church.

Richard and I went to church at St Peter South Elmham on the 12th April.  It was a lovely spring day and the primroses on the bank outside the church were glorious!  We decided that, as it was such a nice day, we would walk back to the church in the afternoon and try to get there across the fields instead of along the lanes.  We had travelled there by car in the morning.

We set off on the same route across the fields that we usually use and were pleased to see that the ground was dry and virtually mud free.

Dried grasses

Dried grass in the field.

St Peters church across the fields

Our goal; St Peters church across the fields.  You can just see it behind the trees on the horizon.

IMG_4360Strange sign (480x640)

We have been having to put up with almost continuous road repairs to our lanes for the past two or three months. The repairs are desperately needed but the long diversions to get past them have been very inconvenient. This was a strange place for this sign to be. It was half way along a very narrow lane with no other lanes turning off it. It would have confused a stranger!

Richard walking across the field

Richard walking across the field at the valley bottom. The paths are so clearly marked in the fields. So many people have used these paths over the centuries that the ground is indented and the grass grows differently.

The Beck and blackthorn blossom

The Beck, our local stream, at the corner of the field; with blackthorn blossom.

St Peters church

Another view of St Peters church

IMG_4364In the Beck (640x480)

The water in the Beck was beautifully clear.

IMG_4365Horses (640x480)

Such a beautiful glossy horse in a field we walked past.

IMG_4367Bridge (640x480)

This bridge over the Beck at the bottom of the hill in St Peter’s village has been rebuilt many times.  You can just about see the couple of patches of red brick.

St Michaels church

St Michael’s church in the village of St Michael can be seen from the bottom of the hill in St Peter’s village. Almost all our village churches in ‘The Saints’ are within very short distances of each other.

Up the hill to St Peters church

The view up the hill to St Peters church

Down the hill from the church

Looking back down the hill from the church to where the bridge is.

IMG_4372Churchyard (480x640)

St Peter’s churchyard

IMG_4393Preaching cross (480x640)

This is believed to be the base and part of the Preaching Cross which once stood at the nearby road junction.


The 14th century porch which has very worn carved faces (headstops) on the outer arch. Richard is inside reading notices on the notice-board.  The door into the church from inside the porch, that Richard is standing in front of, is much older than the porch.  It is early Norman – late 11th or 12th century.

IMG_4391Stoup (640x480)

The stoup recess inside the porch. This would have contained a bowl of Holy Water.

IMG_4374Window in the tower (2) (597x640)

The window in the tower.

Rood screen and chancel

The beautifully carved Rood screen and the chancel.

I was sorry not to be able to get a better photo of the Rood screen as it is quite lovely.  I would have had to light the church properly so that the sunlight from the windows wasn’t causing the Rood Screen to be in silhouette.   The screen isn’t all that old.  It was presented to the church by the Adair family from Flixton Hall in 1923.

You can see the socket holes in the arch above the screen into which the original screen and tympanum were fitted.  The originals were probably destroyed during the time of the Commonwealth.

Roof timbers

The nave has a beautiful timber roof.

IMG_4379Pulpit (480x640)

18th century pulpit.

IMG_4380Altar and East Window (476x640)

The altar, the modern oak reredos behind the altar and the east window.

IMG_4381List of Rectors (480x640)

A list of the names of all the Rectors of St Peter’s church from the 14th century to the 19th century and their patrons.

IMG_4388Font (480x640)

This is the 15th century font with a typically East Anglican lion design. There are four lions round the shaft and angel faces with crossed hands above them. Above the angels are Tudor rose designs and blank shields. The font cover is 17th century work. Please ignore the decorative red bucket under the pew! I didn’t notice it when I took the photo.

IMG_4387Tomb panels (640x480)

Part of tomb panel

There used to be a Lady Chapel, built in the late 14th or 15th century, on the north side of the church.  In the chapel, John Tasburgh Esq. and his wife Margery, owners of the land on which the church was built, were buried.  The tomb panel pictured above (one of two) is all that is left of their tombs, and therefore all that’s left of the Lady Chapel which was desecrated during the Commonwealth years.  By 1830 the chapel was in a terribly dilapidated state, the tombs had been dismantled and the panels used as the base for the new north wall.  The panels extend for about another foot below ground level.  The last of the chapel was demolished in the 1840’s.


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By the time we left the church it had become very windy and we really struggled in our walk home.

IMG_4396Barren strawberries (640x480)

I thought at first I had found some wild strawberries, but on closer inspection I realised that this is a Barren Strawberry plant.

IMG_4397Barren strawberry flower (640x480)

Barren Strawberry (Potentilla sterilis)

The petals of the Barren Strawberry are widely spaced and the fruits are dry and papery.  The terminal tooth of the end leaflet ( the plant is trifoliate like a strawberry plant) is shorter than the adjacent ones.

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The sky was beautiful.

Thanks for visiting!