13 Jan 2013

The Church at Salthouse

 I often come across beautifully descriptive passages in books that I feel I would like to share so I have decided to make this a regular feature.  Here is the first one.  Salthouse is a place we regularly visit on our holidays in North Norfolk, we were there last March when it was really hot.  We sat on the pebble covered ridges with the sun on our backs looking out to sea.  We have never ventured inside the church but after reading this description it will definitely be on our 'to do' list next time.  The heath that she mentions rises up behind Salthouse and used to be a 'lookout' area during the 2nd WW.  There are still remnants of buildings and concrete pathways.  The area is vast and when we discovered it on one of our jaunts there were lots of oo's and aa's at the variety of plant and wild life.  The area is covered is gorse and you can stand amongst it and take in the view of Salthouse below, as shown in this picture I took.


Salthouse Church, Nth Norfolk
  "Wandering over the heath, purple and russet with heather and bracken and splashed with the gold of late-flowering gorse, I came to the still unspoiled village of Salthouse.  It has one of the long line of lovely churches, strung along this coast; set on little hills, throned in peace and simple dignity, backed by the tilt of rolling fields, the sweep of sea and sky, and banners of blowing cloud.  They look like great grey birds brooding over the huddle of cobble cottages below.

Salthouse Church is beautifully kept, illumined with clear sea-light flooding through tall windows and lofty clerestory, spacious and possesses relics of a more glorious day in the glowing colours of the figures on the cruelly disfigures rood screen, and the remains of the early choir stalls.  The backs are covered with pictures of craft which sailed the seas centuries before the coming of stream, scratched by childish hands when 'Ye Towne of Salthous' shared in the prosperity born of corn, and wool, and overseas trade.

The little guide (which helps the hard struggle to raise a fund for urgent repairs) told me something I was glad to know, the reason for the narrow stone seats under the windows.  They were for the old and infirm, and from them comes the saying - The weakest go to the wall."

Taken from the book 'Norfolk Life' by Lilias Rider Haggard

10 comments:

  1. What a delightful post! I always enjoy looking round churches. Flighty xx

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    1. There are some great churches in Norfolk which always seem disproportionate in size to their surroundings - they must have been built when Norfolk was going through a prosperous phase.

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  2. Looks and sounds like a storybook place. I look forward to hearing more about the intriguing Salthouse Church. I enjoyed your lovely post, Elaine. Hope all is well. :-)

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    1. Yes, all is well, thank you Beth. Hopefully we will be able to look round inside when we next visit - although most churches are locked these days.

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  3. LRH wrote beautifully. I also enjoyed "The Rabbit Skin Cap" which she edited. I savour the work now, as it records Norfolk as it used to be.

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    1. I have a couple of books written by her and she describes the area beautifully, and a lot of it still rings true today.

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  4. I love your photo of the church and village near the sea. I'm sure you will enjoy looking inside the church on your next visit after reading that wonderful description of it:)

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    1. It is a lovely area which I never tire of - hoping for a return visit when we go again in March.

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  5. Have you any interior shots E?

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