Ridlington – St. Peter’s Church

Ridlington’s church is located nearby to the glorious churches of Witton and Crostwight, but this one didn’t seem to me to have quite the magic and quirkiness of those buildings. The current building mostly dates from the fifteenth century if the listed building record is to be believed, although there would have been something here before then, with substantial changes made both internally and externally during the Victorian period. The church still has its thirteenth-century font, a reminder of its earlier existence.

In 1760, the church was rebuilt with red brick at one end which was to protect the structure. The chancel floor started to collapse in 2001, with an investigation finding that the Victorian restoration had reused stone and medieval tiles in its repair, but this had been laid above unprotected wet ground. There was once thatching to both the nave and chancel, although this roofing now only remains in the latter and the church mentions that it’s one of the few remaining which has reeds from the Norfolk Broads.

The three-stage tower is also fifteenth-century, the previous incarnation of the church may well though have had a round tower.

The church’s own web-site gives an earlier date for the construction of the church, suggesting that the nave was built in the early fourteenth century and the chancel was completed later on in the fourteenth century. I’m not very good at dating walls so I’m happy with either date.

The south porch, where the church has at least filled in the empty niche where the previous statue was likely removed following the Reformation.

One other interesting snippet from the church is that some of the stained glass windows were blown out during the First World War when a Zeppelin attacked on 24 April 1916. I suspect the locals must have considered themselves quite unfortunate to have suffered that slightly random attack, especially as it also partly damaged the chancel end of the church. Although at least no-one was injured, or no human at least, as a bullock was killed during the raid. The Zeppelin used during the raid was L23, which had been brought into service on 8 April 1916 and which survived until it was shot down over the North Sea on 21 August 1917.