The Parish Churches of Ranworth with Panxworth,
South Walsham, Upton and Woodbastwick

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St Mary’s Church, South Walsham

In South Walsham, two medieval churches, St Mary’s and St Lawrence’s share the same churchyard. St Mary’s dates from the late 13th century and is still used for worship today. St Lawrence’s was built in the following century but in 1827, most of its building was destroyed by fire. The building has since been restored and is now a Centre for Training and the Arts. St Mary’s is a large church full of interesting features. Bays in the nave are supported by octagonal piers and may once have been side chapels. The benches in the nave with their original ‘poppy head’ ends and the font date back to the 15th century. The rood screen has also survived and still has its doors and iron fittings. The grave slab of Richard de Suthwalsham, Abbot of the nearby St Benet’s Abbey, who died in 1439, is near the altar. The window glass is 19th or early 20th century and much is from the workshop of William Morris. The tapestry on the north wall of the chancel is an 18th Century altar frontal. There is an unusual ‘Annunciation’ carved over the porch door and a niche containing a ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ somewhat damaged by the Reformers.

St Mary's Church, South Walsham - click for larger image

 

A detail from the Parable of the Sower window - click for larger image

A detail from the Parable of the Sower window