Brooke St Peter
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St Peter’s church is located in the village of Brooke, about eight miles south of Norwich.
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Visiting Brooke St Peter
While building this new website and therefore “revisiting” all the churches – even though only by looking again at all the photos I took – I am often surprised how long ago my visits really were. St Peter’s church in Brooke belongs to these “surprising” churches. The exterior photos are amongst the oldest ones on the website, and even our second visit where the interior photos were taken was over a decade ago. The interior looks rather modern, but St Peter has a lot of history on offer.
Unusually the plain, low parapet on this tower has twelve sides to it! The round tower has been built with very clear courses of flints in its lower section, (perhaps 11th century), then a tall section of smaller flints, and the upper section with the belfry made of random flints. This top stage was probably rebuilt in the 15th century. Below the south-east nave window appears to be an early flint quoin, which perhaps marks the extent of the first 11th century church here. The whole church is supported by hefty buttresses, mostly made of red brick. The chancel dates from the 14th century, with curvilinear tracery in the east window, though this was replaced in the 19th century.
Just inside the nave is one of the twenty-five 15th century seven sacrament fonts still remaining in Norfolk, with three others of them also in Round Tower Churches. It still has traces of its original colour. The sacraments shown are E Eucharist, SE Confirmation, S Penance, SW Extreme Unction, W Crucifixion (not a Sacrament!), NW Baptism, N Ordination, NE Matrimony. It is supported by four angels in robes holding scrolls and four feathered angels with symbols of the Sacraments.
Above the font is a gallery, which still has the organ in it. By the north door is a print showing one of the lesser-known Archangels, Raphael, and Tobias. At the east end of the north arcade hangs an hour glass in its metal stand. These were used to time the sermons in the 17th century.
The chancel has wood panelling all around, with lots of spikey pinnacles, all from the 19th century. In the north-west wall of the chancel is an aumbrey (cupboard) with a heavily carved door showing the Deposition (taking of Jesus’ body down from the Cross) in the style of Rubens. This is probably 17th century Continental work.