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Ranworth Saint Helens Church, Postcode NR13-6HT.

Ranworth, Saint Helen Church.



Ranworth Saint Helens Church, is a fine example of a Perpendicular Period church dating back to 1370, it is  has a fine selection of rood screens from mid-15th century, a figure of a saint against its beautifully coloured background decorates each panel, The font possibly Saxon in age. The church has whats called a Cantor's Desk. a piece of pre-Reformation furniture that has survived. It was used by the singers for their music and also for singing the Gospel. (it has Plainsong Gloria painted on the front and an eagle, the symbol of Saint John and the opening words Gospel, in Latin, painted on the back! The church, standing at 35' above sea-level has a 96' tower.The organ is built or constructed by Norman & Beard Ltd of London. Ranworth Saint Helens Church, west tower, south and north porches, nave and chancel. The chancel is thatched, the lofty 15th century tower has no sound holes and the north porch has a parvise  over, and in the Sarum Antiphoner, bequeathed to the church in the 15th century. The main doors of each porch have 15th century tracery. The nave with its great width of 31' has a modern roof, but the chancel roof has a plain arch brace. Lofty tower arch very simple, and tiny old bench ends and a plain octagonal font with shallow sinkings on bowl. It might be any date, but it is of Purbeck and I suspect it is 13th century. The Arms of George III. in the chancel are remains of an Easter Sepulchre largely constructed of wood, six old stalls with well carved misericordes and arm rests, very good 17th century altar rails, a simple angle piscina and the roller for lenten veil in the south side. but what everyone comes to see is the marvellous screen probably the finest coloured screen in the country. That is was a vaulted screen is certain, but whether it was vaulted on both sides one cannot say, as some stupid boards have been nailed over the spandrils of arches on the east side. There is by the sculptor Cushing a monument to Kerrison dated 1804. After the Reformation, Norfolk churches suffered greatly from the deliberate destruction of "Popish relics" (a campaign which Augustus Jessopp called The Great Pillage"). and also from neglect, changing taste and over-enthusiastic restoration. Therefore, very little survives of their rich and colourful medieval fittings and furnishings. This makes rare survivals particularly precious, like the screens at Ranworth, the Easter Sepulchre at Northwold, the roodloft at Sheringham, the "Dance of Death" at Sparham, and the painted rood at Ludham. 


Ranworth Saint Helens Church, Postcode NR13-6HT.
Ranworth Saint Helens Church, Postcode NR13-6HT.
Ranworth Saint Helens Church, Postcode NR13-6HT.
Ranworth Saint Helens Church, Postcode NR13-6HT.
Ranworth Saint Helens Church, Postcode NR13-6HT.
Ranworth Saint Helens Church, Postcode NR13-6HT.
Ranworth Saint Helens Church, Postcode NR13-6HT.