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Litcham All Saint's Church.

Litcham All Saint's Church.



Litcham, All Saints Church, dedicated in rebuilt form in 1412, it is well known for its medieval graffiti, especially the "Litcham Cryptogram. The Black Death, beginning in 1340s in China and lasting three centuries with an estimated mortality rate of between 30% and 60%. Apart from it’s well known progression in rat fleas via Marseille through the London ports, the plague also arrived here in Norfolk at Yarmouth and also Hunstanton where 63 men and 15 women died during the initial outbreak in September and October 1349, followed by a further 172 deaths in the following six months,  In East Anglia and especially Norfolk the pestis coincided with two years (1347/8) of violent and prolonged rains.  The corn lay rotting in the fields and cattle died in droves resulting in crop failure and famine.  The weakened health of the peasant population was an easy target for the bacterium.  The illness took the form of egg sized boils under the armpits or groin, coughing and spiting of blood was accompanied with inflammation of the windpipe and a raging fever, ushering in death within a hours, 4 days at most. 
Whole families perished until there were too few to bury the dead or keep the Manorial Court Rolls.  Despite this one set of records was still maintained without fail, the the Diocesan Registers.  Thus, we know that in 1349 “New Parsons were instituted in no less than 21 out of 23 parishes including East and West Lexham, Gt and Lt Dunham, Kempston, Wellingham, Godwick, Rougham and Weasenham which surround Litcham.  At Brisley, Kempston, Wellingham, and Rougham, not only the parson died but also his successor! At Horningtoft three died; the last not being replaced until the following year.  In Litcham, Roger Godewyk, the rector was replaced by William Knyghtelee on October 6th 1349.” (Eric Puddy) Litcham, All Saints Church, west tower, south porch, nave north and south aisles and chancel. Brick tower built towards the end of the 17th century. Modern roofs and benches, 15th century font and arcades, 15th century plain hexagonal pulpit and probably the chest is of this date. Fine square headed screen with heavily traceried head and crocketted overlays. The base is divided into unusually narrow panels and painted with saints. They are very defaced and over the head of each is a small angel which rather confuses the subject, but nobody will fail to recognise Saint Ursula with her virgins and Saint Hubert before the stag of his conversion. All the screen, but the panels, has been repainted and the screen is fitted with doors. There is a Stuart table, two misericordes, a plain poor man's box and the south door has a draw bolt in it's slot. Victorian Arms, and a chancel that weeps to the south. Litcham was being done up when I called, many items were just lying around on the benches. No respect at all by the builders.

Litcham, All Saints Church, Postcode:
Litcham All Saint's Church.
Litcham All Saint's Church.
Litcham All Saint's Church.
Litcham All Saint's Church.
Litcham All Saint's Church.