ST. MARGARET'S, HERRINGFLEET, SUFFOLK

Grid Ref: TM 476 978
Date: 13 September 2012

 

 

St. Margaret's spacer Doorwaty
St. Margarets   Door with Norman arch

 

St. Margaret's at Herringfleet stands on its own about a mile west of Somerleyton Estate close to the River Waveney. It strikes the visitor from outside East Anglia with its circular tower. Such towers are seen mainly in Norfolk and Suffolk. The church is Norman in origin and the semi-circular arch above the door dates from that period. The Church website mentions that the oldest part of the building is the lower part of the tower, dating from about 980. It is thought that there was a wooden Saxon chapel east of the tower which was replace by a stone one about 1080. The tower would have served as a watch tower. The dedication is to St. Margaret, a fourth century martyr of Antioch. The original nave was thatched but the chancel tiles. Sadly the chancel roof collapsed in 2011 and when I visited a very utilitarian roofing was in evidence.

Pevsner remarks that the windows in the tower are original and the top storey has bell openings. He gives a description of the stained glass in the church, pictures of which are shown on the Suffolk Churches website. Near the church Pevsner also notes the Manor Farmhouse dating from 1655, St. Olav's priory founded about 1215, a windmill of 1830 and the derelict priory windmill of 1910.

Sources

Church website
The Buildings of England, Suffolk, by Nikolaus Pevsner, 2nd edition, revised by Enid Radcliffe, Penguin, 1974

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