Stalham – St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church in Stalham dates to the fourteenth century.

The chancel in the south side is rather devoid of windows, but there are at least some on the north side. The chancel was entirely reconstructed in 1827 (and the rood screen was removed), with the nave and aisles also restored in the 1850s. The west porch was reconstructed in 1872 and the chancel was once again amended in 1886 when the roof was raised.

The 70-foot high west tower once had a belfry on top, but that fell down. Which isn’t ideal.

The tower, impressive in height as it already is, was never finished to its originally intended height thanks to the Reformation and the upheaval in the church. The window was amended and patched up, with the remains of that handiwork still being clearly visible, and perhaps there were once dreams that it would one day be completed.

This is probably one of the few churches which had a fire engine unit in its churchyard, but more on this in another post. Also rather interesting, or to me anyway, is that the Maid’s Head pub was built in the town in 1380 so that the builders of the church had someone to go for a drink. I look forwards to going back to see the church when the interior is open, for numerous reasons, but partly to see the font which was hidden in the floor to prevent it being destroyed during the Reformation and was only rediscovered in 1964.