Cockley Cley All Saints
Click onto the photo to open the lightbox, navigate with the arrows
All Saints church is located in Cockley Cley, a village in Norfolk about 4 miles south-west of Swaffham. It is pronounced “Cockley Cly”.
* denotes external links that open in a new window
Visiting Cockley Cley All Saints
Alas this tower collapsed as recently as August 1991. The belfry stage and much of the south wall disappeared. The rubble has been cleared away, what remains of the walls was stabilised and this gaping tower still stands. It was originally about 48 feet tall, but the highest peak now is at about 30 feet. It does however show how these walls were built with flints. This tower was made about 1300 with a facing of cut flints, evenly coursed (in layers), and with two narrow bands of blacker flints circling round at about 12 feet and 24 feet. Although a bit of old wall is visible to the north of the tower base, most of the original west nave wall was re-built at the same time as the tower, (the lines of flints continue through both parts), probably at the time that the south aisle was added to the earlier church. The north aisle is a 19th century copy of the south aisle
Much work was done on the church in the 19th century, and the chancel now has five lancet windows each side, more in keeping with its suggested date of about 1240 and its east windows of three tall lancets.
The interior of this church shows almost entirely fittings from the 19th century. The roof collapsed leading to a major restoration in 1866-68. Previously there had been a clerestory, with a line of windows above the aisles, which let more light in, but as the new roof was at a different pitch, the clerestory disappeared, making this a somewhat dark church inside, which is reflected in the quality of the interior photographs. The old font was rescued and re-cut at that time. It has a carved quatrefoil on each face of the octagonal bowl, and stands on four conjoined pillars near the tower arch.
The present vestry was made at the west end of the north aisle using parts of a screen brought here from a Sheffield church in 1990.
Although the chancel was extensively restored in the 19th century, the east windows, three separate lancets still have their delicate internal shafts, dating from the 13th century.