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All Saints, Kettlestone

Kettlestone

Kettlestone Kettlestone

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All Saints, Kettlestone

Kettlestone is an attractive village not far from Fakenham, or, indeed from Little Snoring on the other side of the main road. Its parish church of All Saints sits on the winding street, and is a curiosity, for its early 14th Century tower is entirely octagonal. There are about half a dozen of these octagonal towers in Norfolk, all roughly contemporary, suggesting that perhaps it was a fashion of the day. There seems to have been a major rebuilding of the rest of the church here towards the end of the 15th Century, but it is hard to tell exactly what is what when you know that the major 1870s restoration here was at the hands of Frederick Preedy. He rebuilt the chancel and the roofs, and the south porch is his too, but the window tracery of the nave seems original otherwise.

Preedy's hand fell heavily inside, I'm afraid, and the building you step into can feel a little gloomy despite those tall Perpendicular windows. He retained the font, resetting it under the tower, and there are a couple of old benches in the little south aisle, but otherwise everything is his. In fact, Preedy's chancel is perhaps the most striking part of the whole interior, the dimness giving way to light in the wide sanctuary. I was pleased to see the altar at the east end of the south aisle was also dressed, a little thing, but it makes such a difference.

A stone tablet on the wall tells us that William Newman of the City of London, who died in 1787, gave by his will the interest of five hundred pounds in the four per cent to the poor of the Parish of Kettlestone for ever. Outside in the churchyard to the south-west of the church lies William Loads, who died in 1891. He was 46 years Blacksmith of this Parish. With him on the 1871 census is his son William, who was also a blacksmith. Perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that the elder William' father, yet another William, had also been a blacksmith before him. These things used to run in families, and you can't help thinking how appropriate their surname was to their profession.

Simon Knott, May 2022

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looking east chancel
font He gave by his will the interesto of five hundred pounds in the four per cent to the poor of the parish of Kettlestone forever north aisle chapel

William Loads 46 years Blacksmith of this Parish

   
   
               
                 

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