Matlaske St Peter
Click onto the photo to open the lightbox, navigate with the arrows
St Peter’s church is located in Matlaske, a small rural Norfolk village. The village is often also spelled “Matlask”, especially on the regional signposts.
* denotes external links that open in a new window
Visiting Matlaske St Peter
St Peter’s church in Matlaske lies in the middle of the rural area to the south of Holt. And even though this small town is only 6 miles away, it feels like a different world; especially on a sunny day on which we visited this beautiful church.
This tower was described as being in a bad condition in 1741, when two bells were sold. It has had several major restorations since. It could be quite early, with large flints and much mortar, but is probably 13th century. About 15 feet from the ground the wall is off-set inwards by four to six inches. The octagonal belfry would have been added in the 14th century and the stair turret on the south side appears to be 15th century.
The nave west quoins are still in place and could go back to the 11th century. The south aisle was added in the 14th century. The Church has two 15th century porches, though the south one has had its entrance infilled to form the vestry. The nave has square-headed 15th century windows.
There is no chancel, but there was one. Its walls fell outwards during a Service in March 1726, luckily no-one was hurt!
Inside, the west nave wall is uncovered flint work, showing many repairs in “brick-stitching” with bricks 20 inches x 4 inches, and the pointed arch is entirely framed with modern brick. Beneath the tower is a 14th century parish chest, with iron straps and four handles. The 15th century plain octagonal font stands nearby with a font cover, also from 15th century. It is formed of a flat cover, with upright leaves of wood, with crockets ascending the outer edges, rising to a finial.
The west end of the south aisle is screened off to form a vestry, and on that screen are the Decalogue boards, showing the Ten Commandments, which would have originally been near the altar. There is an attractive square-headed piscina at the east end of the aisle, with blind tracery of mouchettes above its cinquefoiled arch, and a trefoiled drain.
The altar stands against the east wall, with panelling along the wall and forming a screen to the east end of the aisle. Above the chancel step hangs a fine corona lucis, a ring of light to hold candles.