Morley St Botolph Church

Morley St Botolph Church, with its big square tower, is typical of many churches in this part of Norfolk. The walls are a good two feet thick and are built with flints and lime mortar.

 

The Church sits high on, what can loosely be described as, “a hill” (this is Norfolk after all !!). It overlooks Morley village and open farmland in all directions – watch the panoramic video taken from the top of the tower.

 

The chancel is a Victorian re-construction, but the tower and nave are thought to date to the 15th century.

The original building had a thatched roof, before the church was nearly completely destroyed by fire in 1959. The nave was completely gutted, and the tower turned into a chimney by the inferno.

The Church was left a derelict ruin for several years, but as the graveyard was shared by several villages, the church was eventually renovated. The only real evidence of the fire are the fairly modern pews in the main part of the church.

 

More recently, the wire mesh in the tower windows (fitted after the 1959 fire) had corroded and a vast number of pigeons and rooks had taken up residence in the tower. When they tried building a nest in the church clock mechanism, it was decided that enough was enough. The tower now has a new fine stainless-steel mesh fitted, and with the last pigeons escaping though the roof hatch, the bell chamber and clock should be clear birds for many more years.

 

In 2006 Simon Knott wrote the following comment on

http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/about.htm

“The rebuilding, when it came, was under the guiding hand of James Fletcher Watson, an architect with a fine eye who is most famous for the rebuilding of Bawdeswell in a Georgian style…….The replacement glass in the nave consists of hand-made panes of stressed clear glass, which creates an interesting effect but makes it almost possible to see though. You can just about make out the light wood favoured by Fletcher Watson, as well as some Victorian furnishings in the chancel. But that's all, and only a notice in the porch gave any indication that this church was still in use.”

 

It is planned that an Abseil Challenge will be held (Covid-19 permitting) to raise money to pay for the new mesh in the tower windows and other repairs that are still needed.

Follow this link to find out more:

https://www.abseilchallenge.co.uk/morley-abseil

Photos © Copyright Evelyn Simak

& licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Morley St Peter Church

According to tradition the church of St Peter was founded around the year 960.

 

The church is situated in a bend of the same ancient road that also passes through Wicklewood and might have been used by pilgrims to the Old Saxon cathedral at North Elmham or to the Walsingham shrine.

 

At some time in the past the tower, now topped with a pyramidal roof which has lost its upper stage. The church interior was extensively restored during Victorian times but the font is 16th century.

 

The modern east window, commemorating the coronation of George VI and Elizabeth II, is by A.L. Wilkinson Link.

 

St Peter's church houses several memorials to the Graver-Brownes who built Morley Hall Link.

 

The church is kept locked.

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