Six Medieval Churches

Blossom and Yarn takes place in six village churches, comprising the Wayland Group of Parishes. Set in neighbouring villages in the Norfolk countryside, each has its own tale to tell.

St Margaret’s, Breckles has a round Saxon tower dating from around 750AD. It has an outstanding example of a Norman font and a fine medieval screen. In 1944 a “doodlebug” exploded nearby, blowing out many of it windows and causing a ‘fen blow’ to fill the organ pipes with the local sandy soil.

The large candelabrum in the chancel of Holy Cross, Caston is believed to have come from Hampton Court Palace, and is central to its spectacular candlelit Christmas services. Unusually, the roof is thatched. Last done in 1973, it is now ready to be re-thatched.

Holy Trinity Church in Great Hockham dates from the 13th Century. The manor of Hockham was given to Thetford Priory, a Cluniac order, in 1335, and its likely that the Cluniac monks are responsible for the church’s notable wall-paintings.

SS Peter and Paul’s church in Griston has special links to the American servicemen stationed on the air-base which surrounded it during WWII. In the words of a former airman; “The church tower was the last thing we saw as we left the ground, and when we saw it again, we knew we’d made it home”.

St. Botolph’s in Stow Bedon has a continuous record of its vicars and rectors since 1295, including the rather popular John Lewthwaite, who encouraged the congregation to “play games and amuse themselves” after the Sunday service. Temporarily replaced during the Puritan Commonwealth era, he was back in office by the early years of the restoration!

St Martin’s, Thompson is one of the finest examples of the Decorated style of architecture in East Anglia. Much of its relatively ‘untouched’ appearance is due to extensive restoration work in 1913, funded by Rev. Charles Kent and Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, son of the Maharaja of Eleveden.