Norwich St Etheldreda
St Etheldreda is a redundant church in the City of Norwich. It is in the care of the Norwich Historic Churches Trust.
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Visiting Norwich St Etheldreda
Norwich St Etheldreda is one of the churches I haven’t been able to get into yet; it is no longer in use as a church (see below), therefore the photos taken by George Plunkett are invaluable to get an idea about what this church looked like inside in 1937 and 1938.
Until one is in the churchyard, this tower appears to be a short octagonal one! In fact the lower 25 feet are circular, but only the lowest 14 feet is original flint work from the 12th century. The top section of the round part has a lot of brick work in it, presumably to stabilise the tower before adding the octagonal part in the 15th century. The belfry stage has brick quoins and brick frames to the openings. It was rebuilt in 1723, and again work was done on it in the 1880s. The nave was also first built in the 12th century and it has a round-headed south door of that date, with scallops in the outer order and then roll and billet mouldings. Some of the stonework has been renewed, but there is still lively carving on one east capital, with a Mass Dial, (a sun dial to indicate the time of the Mass), next to it. Visible, either side of this doorway and along both sides of the church, (except where larger windows or buttresses have been added), are parts of a stone string course with a chevron pattern, indicating that the whole structure was built in the 12th century. The chevron band arches over the north doorway, which now has a pointed arch. There is a flat 11th century buttress on the south side, which possibly marked the west extent of the first chancel. Probably in the 13th century, the early apsed chancel was extended with a square east end, (it still has two 13th century style south windows), and the chancel arch was made larger. The rest of the windows are in 14C style, though many were renewed in the 19th century. The south porch was added in the 15th century, with the arms of the donors in the spandrels above the entrance. Possibly the arms of D’Albini impaling Clifton are in the east one.
The interior of the Church had a thorough restoration in the 19th century. In the 20th century much of the population moved away from this area, and congregations dwindled. Eventually the Church was closed in 1961 and became derelict. In 1991 it was taken over as artists’ studios. A new staircase and upper floor was inserted over the nave, doubling the commercial space. It gives a close-up view of the 19th century nave roof. The wall posts may still be the medieval ones.