Haveringland St Peter
St Peter’s church is located in Haveringland, a Norfolk village about 3 miles south of Cawston, and close to the former RAF Swannington Airfield.
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Visiting Haveringland St Peter
In the middle of a deserted airfield, St Peter’s of Haveringland church stands in splendid isolation. However there used to be Mountjoy Priory one mile to the south-west, and more recently, to the north-east, a very large mansion, built in 1852 and demolished in 1946. Our visit to this church is quite one to remember: the church is usually locked, and no information about a keyholder are given. Thus, I had contacted the parish before, and they agreed to show me around the interior on a Sunday morning before mass. When we arrived 15 minutes before the arranged time, no one was there, which seemed a bit unusual to us, as mass was about to start shortly afterwards. When half an hour later still no one was there, I got a little bit angry! And then it dawned on me: it was the morning of the change from summer to winter time, and I had forgotten to change the clock. Thus we were simply an hour too early… A short time later, someone arrived as arranged, and we were able to take photos of the interior. They are unfortunately a bit below par, so I think we will have to arrange another date, and be on time on this occasion.
But now about the church: in the 1820s this Church was depicted as having no chancel, no south aisle nor transept. A very major restoration took place in 1858, when all the new walls were faced with cut flints and all the windows were renewed. Only the north nave wall might be medieval, but it has 19th century buttresses. The round tower dates back to the 11th century, with its round-headed belfry openings with flint jambs, though the arches were renewed in the 19th century. There are also three more round-headed openings with flint and tile heads, and flint and ferricrete jambs. The parapet, with cut flint panels, is 19th century. Inside, the tower arch is tall and narrow, and the only dressed stone is used in the imposts.
The font stands at the west end of the north aisle and has a 14th century bowl, with simple trefoil arches, set on a 19th century stem. The south transept contains benches, one with the shield, a lion’s head, of Lord de Ramsey 1925. There is also nearby a very large stone in the floor, with an indent of a knight in armour and a carved inscription for Sir Roger de Bylney circa 1330.
The other transept has a fine 17th century carved chest, and near the organ a bench end with a kneeling figure on its top end. On the wall behind the organ is a brass memorial for Alice, †1561, the wife of John Day, with a shield showing the many heraldic-quarterings of all his and her family connections.
There are carved stone angels on corbels supporting the chancel arch, and more corbel heads for the wall posts. The 19th century reredos fills the entire east wall of the chancel, and contains panels showing the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Creed.