However, while they are moored at Ranworth more boats are cast off
from the staithe and again they fall under suspicion - but
they do manage to find a clue to the real perpetrators in
the form of a bicycle tyre track.
Ransome captures the atmosphere of Ranworth well in both
of his childrens' books: the beginnings of the broads holiday trade, the Maltster's Arms, the staithe and the church
tower on its hill. Today Ranworth is still a picturesque
village - even if the thatched council houses do look out of
Inside St. Helen's church there is another literary
connection in the form of a medieval Latin antiphoner. It dates from
the 14th century and has 285 ornately coloured pages and was probably made by the monks of Langley Abbey. Antiphoners were banned in the 16th century when the
English Book of Common Prayer was published. Fortunately the book was hidden by a local family and
has survived in tact. Originally the church had two antiphoners,
but one of them is now in the British Library.
St. Helen's is also famous for its painted rood screen.
It is one of the finest in the country and shows the 12 apostles.
The church tower also affords a spectacular view of Broadland
and is well worth climbing. It is accessed by a narrow
staircase which leads to a trap door (above the bells) and then a
viewing platform. St Helens is often referred to as 'the
cathedral of the Broads'.
The detective writer Gladys Mitchell also uses St Helens
as a location in her 53rd novel - Wraiths and Changelings