Aylmerton St John the Baptist
St Johns church is located on the northern outskirts of Aylmerton, a village about 5 miles south of both Cromer and Sheringham.
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Visiting Aylmerton St John the Baptist
St John the Baptists church in Aylmerton is another of those churches where I cannot remember anything spectacular from my visits. It sits in an elevated position north of the village, and is usually kept locked; as far as I can remember no keyholder was displayed on my first visit. On our second visit a couple of years later, we were able to contact a churchwarden who was very friendly and extremely welcoming, and I was able to take photos from the interior as well. As far as I know, this is still the current locking status, it is locked, but a keyholder is displayed.
Unfortunately, I am not convinced with the quality of the photographs I was able to take on my visits so far, meaning that St John the Baptist is high on the list of churches to be revisited.
The round tower here was added to an earlier church, in the late 13th or early 14th century. It was not accessible from within the church. There is a small doorway on its south side, formed of flint jambs and an arch of Barnack stone, which was not available until the 13th century. The battlements would have been added in the 15th century. The west nave wall has two small windows, one on either side of the tower. These would have been part of the widening of the original narrow Saxon nave.
The tall south porch was raised in 1420 to provide an upper room, or parvise. It is accessed from inside by its own stairs, just east of the south doorway. The nave windows were made bigger and better during the 15th century. The chancel was rebuilt in the 14th century and has a large east window with attractive “butterfly” tracery stonework. The modern stained glass is from the end of the 19th century, a dedication in the window showing the year 1898. At some stage the chancel was longer, but was then shortened again. On the north side of the nave are the remains of a north chapel, which became a ruin in the 16th century.
The nave is full of light with its large windows. The tower arch was cut through the nave west wall, some time after the tower was added. The font is Victorian, made in 1876.
The Rood screen dates from about 1445, but has been much renewed. It now has open tracery in the lower half, which would have formerly had a backing of boards.
The church is overall well kept, and “The Friends of St John the Baptist” seem to do a very good job in keeping it in this state.
However, this makes the church seem rather modern, and it does not have as beautiful an atmosphere as many of the churches still preserved closer to their original state.