Norwich – St Mary the Less Church

This is the only one of Norwich’s medieval churches, and the city has a lot, which I haven’t visited. It didn’t open on Flintspiration weekend a couple of years ago when the others did, so it’s something of a challenge to see inside. The heritage bodies have struggled to get their representatives inside and it was last opened to the public back in 2010. There is though an information board, visible above, which draws attention to the gateway, as otherwise, it’d be easy to miss it.

The church was originally built in the thirteenth century with extensions in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but it became redundant during the mid-sixteenth century. Used by the Dutch migrants as a trading hall, it returned to religious use in 1637 when it became a French Protestant church. This state of affairs existed until 1832 when it became a Swedish Lutheran church, then in 1869 it became a Catholic church once again, just as it had initially been. After the Second World War, it stopped being used as a church and was instead rented out as a storage facility and community building.

This is the doorway that leads from Queen Street, with the church having been rather hemmed in by buildings on all sides. That graffiti is annoying (and has been there for at least three years), but most people are unlikely to notice it since this isn’t exactly a door that’s ever open. As ever, George Plunkett has a photo of the interior of the church.