Skeyton – All Saints Church

There’s something of a majestic beauty about Skeyton Church, pretty much alone in the landscape and there was likely an Anglo-Saxon church here. The current building is primarily from the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, although the church was reworked in the fifteenth century, including with the installation of the large nave windows.

The tower which was rebuilt in the fifteenth century and has meant that it’s all a bit off-centre.

One thing that I’ve seen posted relatively frequently over recent years is how people in the past respected religious buildings and wouldn’t have caused any damage to them. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and the newspapers are littered with cases of churches being vandalised. The Morning Post reported in January 1826 that “on Saturday night last, or on Sunday morning, some evil disposed persons broke the windows of Skeyton Church; they took the road to Aylsham, breaking windows in almost every house they passed; great hopes are entertained that such cowardly miscreants will be brought to justice”.

Some of the monuments in the graveyard are looking a bit bedraggled, but I like that they’re still there and haven’t been moved away to make things easier for the church to flatten out the ground.

Unfortunately, the current health situation means that churches are still generally closed, although the interior was apparently mostly redesigned in the early nineteenth century and not a great deal has changed since then. They were proud at the time of the carefully designed church benches installed in the nave, with their carved endings, whilst the former box pews were removed.

There was a modernisation and renewal of the building in 1937, which had apparently become unsafe, with the Bishop noting that “they had followed the way of their ancestors in renewing the white walls, this bringing light and brightness into the church”. I suspect their ancestors would have had wall paintings which were hidden under whitewash, but it’s interesting how once churches were colourful and heavily painted, but tastes evolved to just wanting white paint.