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Landscape of Towers

The explorer's guide to the lost churches and religious ruins of Norfolk


Clive Dunn

Following in the footsteps of Neil Batcock and others, Dunn has produced a very attractive guide to the abandoned, ruined and lost churches of Norfolk. The county has has more medieval churches than anywhere else in the UK and more ruined and abandoned churches (over 250 to be precise). Many of them are incredibly difficult to find and require research and tenacity. This book is the ideal reference source: clear. concise and beautifully illustrated. (Keep one in the car!)

The gazetteer section of the book is divided into three sections:

1) Divine Silence: Redundant, remote or forgotten - often under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) or Norfolk Churches Trust.

2) Fallen Angels: ruined churches - equating to Batcock's categories 2 to 5.

3) Ghost Stories: the lost churches of Norfolk (Batcock's category 6)

Each entry in the gazetteer is furnished with grid references, a postcode for SatNav purposes and concise details - plus extra access information. A number of these sites are now on private land and require permission to access - not to mention those in the Battle Zone: Standford, Langford etc which require special permision from the MOD. Others - such as Morton on the Hill, Mintlyn and Tattersett - are just remote and difficult to find. 

The lost churches section is fascinating in showing just how many other churches there once were in Norfolk. Norwich, for example, which is already amply provided for with medieval churches once had another 26 and Thetford another 19. Then there are the ones lost to the sea, like Shipden near Cromer, Eccles and Sidestand (moved back from the edge).

Dunn also includes other religious ruins such as monasteries and priories.

This book is also fascinating for those interested in deserted villages - as desertions often correspond with abandoned or ruined churches. Godwick is the classic Norfolk deserted village but there are many many others.

The book, published by the Lasse Press, is beautifully illustrated through out with Dunn's lavish photographs. A previous documentary film maker - he has an artist's eye for a good image. Churches are often photogenic and ruined churches even more so and he manages to render them all atmospherically.

This book, which was obviously a labour of love, would make a wonderful gift for anyone interested in Norfolk churches or anyone interested in finding out more about them. We are lucky in Norfolk to be surrounded by so much ecleisiastical history. Published by the Lasse Trust, it costs £25.






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