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The Norfolk Churches Site: an occasional sideways glance at the churches of Norfolk

St Margaret, Antingham

Antingham St Margaret: still standing foursquare

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elder boiling over the tower across the graveyard from St Mary the view from St Mary's north porch

    St Margaret, Antingham
west window inside the tower - note the crack   Antingham is one of the lovely Trunch Team Ministry parishes, whose churches are all open, every day. They are welcoming and friendly, and everything that a Norfolk church should be. I am writing this on a day when I have been threatened by a libel action from the parish of Gaywood for describing my frustrating attempt to persuade the Rector there to let me explore her church. It is a relief to think myself back to north-east Norfolk instead. You could never have any difficulty feeling welcome as a pilgrim and stranger in the Trunch area. The churches around here all have a sense of belonging to everybody.

Antingham St Mary is the village church. But right beside it in the graveyard is the ruined shell of its erstwhile companion, St Margaret. Both were parish churches until the Reformation, the two Antingham parishes arising from the presence of two different manors.

Indeed, they may have both continued as working churches after the Reformation, because there are the remains of brickwork in the ruins of the porch on the south side of St Margaret. But by the start of the 18th century, when both churches were in a parlous state, permission was given to use the stone of St Margaret to repair St Mary.

A considerable amount remains. The tower stands foursquare, covered in elder. A long crack from top to bottom in the west wall suggests that it has been struck by lightning. Looking straight up the tower, you can see the brickwork of the tower arch. You can also still see the internal nave walls within the glade of elder and ivy, a slightly furtive place, a great contrast with the clean, neat and tidy church of St Mary on the other side of the graveyard.


Simon Knott, August 2006

south wall with brickwork straight up the tower - note the brick tower arch inside the nave - north wall

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The Norfolk Churches Site: an occasional sideways glance at the churches of Norfolk