The Unusual – St Mary the Virgin
When on holiday in Norfolk, if you have the good fortune to be anywhere near the village of Titchwell, not far from Brancaster, take the opportunity to go and have a look at the lovely little village church of St Mary the Virgin.
The first thing that will strike you is that the church tower is not square. It is completely round and the second is that the whole building is made from the local flint stones. Unless you have just arrived for your holiday in Norfolk, you will by now have seen that most of the buildings in the area are made from flint so that won’t come as a shock but the round tower is a very striking feature although not an uncommon one for churches in this part of Norfolk. The reason being that it would have been very difficult to build a tall square tower out of flints but a round one has an inherent strength and the flints were to be found everywhere. It is a hard, durable material that required no quarrying and little shaping.
The church of St Mary the Virgin dates back to at least the early part of the 11th century as it is mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086 and parts of it are from that period but it is likely that there has been a church on the site for longer than that. Much changed in the 15th Century and “restored” by the Victorians it is never the less a fine example of a rural Norfolk church and well worth entering. Note the Font that dates from the 11th century which at one time had been removed from the church and had been used as drinking trough for animals in the adjacent field.
St Mary the Virgin is a lovely little church and if you visit the area, do have a look. This is a great place for a family holiday in Norfolk with long sandy beaches, wildlife walks and beautiful market towns and villages everywhere. There are things to see and do for all the family and many Norfolk cottages available for self catering holidays.