Gresham All Saints

What you need to know about this church

All Saints Church Gresham

Where to find this church

Church Information

All Saints church is located in Gresham, a small Norfolk village about 4 miles south of the popular seaside town of Sheringham.

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Tower from the north
South porch

Visiting Gresham All Saints

All Saints in Gresham is probably not the most spectacular of all the Round Tower Churches, but for me, it is insofar special as it was the 100th church I have visited and photographed. Otherwise, there is not much I can remember of this visit. The quality and quantity of the photos is so mediocre that another visit is necessary.

This is a slightly tapering tower with Y tracery in its belfry openings. It dates from the late 13th / early 14th century, but was rebuilt from the first floor upwards in 1886/7, though possibly the belfry stonework was re-used. It is circular all the way up and has a battlemented parapet. The nave west wall shows the width of the earlier church as it still has its ferricrete quoins showing within the wall, though the church was widened in the 13th century. This old part of the wall also includes much random ferricrete. The south nave wall is rendered with plaster, but the other walls show their flintwork. On both sides the nave has pointed windows with a quatrefoil in the apex, either side of a larger Tudor square-headed window, to let in more light. The chancel has an attractive east window with “butterfly” tracery. The south porch had an upper room, known as a “parvise”, but its window is now blocked. The face of the porch is covered with white flints and there is a gable cross.

The present tower arch is Tudor, dating from 16th century. In the south-west corner is a doorway to access the stairs to the parvise above the porch.

The delight of this church is its Seven Sacrament font, dating from about 1500. It shows E the Baptism of Christ, (by St John the Baptist in the River Jordan with the dove as the Holy Spirit above). The Sacraments are: SE Extreme Unction, S Confirmation, SW Baptism, W Eucharist, NW Penance, N Matrimony, NE Ordination. The various scenes are very detailed, with many people, luckily still with their heads. So often these were smashed off in difficult times. There are 25 of these fonts remaining in Norfolk and 40 in the whole of England. The Round Tower Churches at Brooke, Seething and Gayton Thorpe also have these fonts.

The chancel has many memorials on the walls, including several 20th century ones for the Batt Family, whose crest is a bat!

Conclusion: open church with spectacular font

Gresham All Saints
Seven sacraments font