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Norfolk Churches

Norfolk has the largest concentration of medieval churches in the world.

An Introduction to Norfolk Churches

Coltishall Church
Cley Grave Stones
Salthouse Church Font
Cley Church
Norwich Cathedral Clock

There were over 1,000 medieval churches built in Norfolk and 659 still remain, this is the greatest concentration in the world. Not only are these beautiful internationally important buildings, but they contain hundreds of medieval works of art and craftsmanship. The simple and easily built round towers of early times gave way to the rich and spacious buildings in the prosperous Middle Ages, many noted for their beautiful rood screens, decorated roofs and bench carvings. The decline in the population of Norfolk left many churches isolated from their villages, but their towers still dominate the Norfolk landscape. Each of these wonderful buildings, offers a great place to escape our busy lives and experience peace and tranquility. Make sure you get to visit some of these magnificent medieval churches during your stay in Norfolk.
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Our 10 Top Churches in Norfolk

Norwich Cathedral
Norwich Anglican Cathedral boasts the second tallest spire and the second largest medieval cloisters in England. It also has the largest collection of decorative roof bosses in England and is the only church in the Northern Hemisphere to have its Saxon Bishop's Throne in its original position. Norwich Cathedral remains a place of worship, where one can seek solace and comfort. It is attended by the pupils of Norwich School, who use the cathedral for their daily assembly. It is also the venue for many lectures, concerts and exhibitions.
Norwich Cathedral
Click to view pictures of Norwich Anglican Cathedral
Norwich Cathedral Nave
Inside the Nave of Norwich Cathedral
Norwich Cathedral Organ
Norwich Cathedral Organ
St Helens in Ranworth
The tower of St. Helens church dominates the skyline and has served the villagers since 1390. It is well worth tackling the ladders inside the church tower and climb to the top for the wonderful views over the landscape. The church bears the nickname the Cathedral of the Broads and it is easy to understand why when from its heights on clear days you can see five Norfolk Broads. The church also has a fine example of a medieval painted rood screen and some lovely stained glass. Next to the church is a Visitors Centre in a converted old coach house, which houses a tea room and a display of photographs of East Anglican churches.
Ranworth Church
Click to view our Ranworth guided picture tour
Ranworth Rood Screen
The medieval rood screen at Ranworth church
Ranworth Church Roof
The roof of Ranworth church tower
All Saints in Burnham Thorpe
Burnham Thorpe is the birthplace of Horatio Nelson. His father, Edmund Nelson, moved to Burnham Thorpe in 1755, after his marriage. Horatio, the 6th of their 11 children was born on 29th September 1758 in a house called the Shooting Box! Horatio went away to study and after his early years in the Navy, he returned for 5 years to Burnham Thorpe with his new wife. Nelson was given his first role as Captain after this and the rest is history. The church where his father was Rector, is well worth a visit as it is full of Nelson family memorabilia, including a cross and lectern made from wood from HMS Victory.
Burnham Thorpe Church
The church of All Saints in Burnham Thorpe
St Nicholas in Blakeney
The large village church of St Nicholas has a small turret at the corner of the chancel where a light would burn as a beacon to guide ships safely into Blakeney Harbour. The church tower (100ft) is one of the highest in Norfolk and is a landmark for miles around. Inside, the church has a lovely early English chancel, built in 1220. You will also find some splendid wood carving and fine stained glass windows.
Blakeney Church
Click to view our Blakeney guided picture tour
Blakeney Church Inside
Inside Blakeney Church
Blakeney Church Woodwork
Detailed carved wood inside Blakeney Church
St Mary's in Happisburgh
In a commanding position, overlooking the sea is the large village church of St Mary's in Happisburgh. It has a very tall tower (110 feet). Inside, the church is very spacious and contains some medieval features, such as the backlight to the rood at the east end of the nave. The church also has a splendid 15th century octagonal font and a stained glass window showing an English knight. Outside, the church graveyard is littered with memorials to sailors that lost their life in the hazardous waters near Happisburgh, including the 119 sailors of HMS Invincible, who in were on their way to join Nelson in Copenhagen in 1801.
Click to view our Happisburgh guided picture tour
Church Inside
Inside Happisburgh church
Church Window
Stained glass window of an English Knight
St Mary's at Sandringham
Within the gardens at Sandringham, you will find the lovely church of St Mary Magdalene. The church dates back to the 16th century and is considered to be one of the finest carrstone buildings in existence.  St Mary's was built as Sandringham parish church, but it is regularly used as a place of worship by the Royal Family and inside are many memorials to various members of the Royal family.
Sandringham Church
Click to view our Sandringham guided picture tour
St Margaret in Cley next the sea
The parish church of St. Margaret of Antioch, dating back to the 13th century. Dominating this end of the village, it seems at times almost too cathedral like for the small village. The church is vast and contains many interesting features including a seven sacrament font, bench ends depicting people and mythical creatures, brasses and old stained glass.
Cley Church
Click to view our Cley next the sea guided picture tour
St Nicholas at Salthouse
The church of St Nicholas at Salthouse stands between the village and high ridge and is high enough to avoid any flood water. The best view of the church is from Salthouse Heath. Inside, the nave and chancel were rebuilt in the 15th century at a time of great prosperity. The church contains a fine font with lions and a painted rood screen.
Salthouse Church View
Click to view our Salthouse guided picture tour
St. Marys, West Somerton
This ancient, peaceful church is one of the best in Norfolk, partly due to its location, perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and views to the coast at Winterton. People have worshipped here for over 900 years and the building contains craftsmanship from various dates and periods.
West Somerton Village Church
Click to view our West Somerton & Martham picture tour
Booton St Michael, near Reepham
Booton Church of St Michael and All Angels is a highly individual church. It was created on the shell of a medieval building in the 19th century by the rector Revd Whitwell Elwin over a period of 50 years. Its a gothic fantasy, with palace-like towers on the outside, and hosts of oak angels and stained glass on the inside. No tour of Norfolk's churches is complete without a visit to Booton!
St Michall Church
Click to view Booton Church picture tour
Church Towers
FantasyTowers on Booton Church
Church Inside
Inside Booton Church

See also our guided tour of Norfolk Church Stained Glass Windows

A selection of other medieval churches in Norfolk

Acle Church
St Edmund in Acle
Aylsham Church
St Michael in Aylsham
Barton Turf Church
St Michael and All Angels in Barton Turf
Castle Arce Church
St James the Great in Castle Acre
Cotishall Church
St John the Baptist in Coltishall
Cromer Church
St Peter & St Paul in Cromer
Great Yarmouth Church
St Nicholas in Great Yarmouth
Hickling Church
St Mary in Hickling
Holt Church
St Andrew in Holt
Horning Church
St Benedict in Horning
Hunstanton Church
St Mary's in Old Hunstanton
Loddon Church
Holy Trinity in Loddon
Ludham Church
St Catherine in Ludham
Martham Church
St Mary in Martham
Overstrand Church
St Martin in Overstrand
Potter Heigham Church
St Nicholas in Potter Heigham
Weybourne Church
All Saints in Weybourne
Winterton Church
All Saints in Winterton on Sea




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