Poringland All Saints
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All Saints church is located in Poringland, a Norfolk village.
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Visiting Poringland All Saints
It used to be rather difficult to get into this church in the past, as Poringland All Saints is usually locked like all the other churches of the benefice. Today, information how to obtain a key are obviously displayed, as the church in now on the Exploring Norfolk Churches website. However, we had arranged a visit in advance a couple of years ago, so we were let into the church by a gentleman of the parish.
The octagonal belfry here is not the standard 14th century one. Here the alternate faces, between the belfry openings, have the stone framework of traceried windows, but instead of glass, these are blind, infilled with flint. The unusual thing here is that it is proudwork, where the whiter, cut flints are set back within the stone, more complicated to make than flushwork! In fact the pattern of the tracery is different in the real openings and the dummy ones. The tower is all one build, with the belfry fabric the same as the circular part, and there is no sign of there having been a belfry lower down.
The nave has striking 15th century clerestory windows on both sides, with brick frames under a curved brick hood mould. There does not appear ever to have been aisles here, which is the usual reason for raising the roof to add a clerestory. The south-east nave window is such a large late 15th century window that it cuts into the clerestory! The south porch is made of red brick, in the 17th century. The chancel is 14th century and the east wall has three cinquefoiled niches, one either side of the window and one above it, with yet another small aperture above and a gable cross. There are grotesques under the east gable ends.
The nave is covered by a 15th century hammer beam roof with additional support from central kingposts on short beams. There are no angels, but there is caved foliage in the spandrels of the longitudinal arch braces below the wall plate. The 15th century lion font has seated lions around the stem. On the bowl area lion, SE winged bull (Luke) S Tudor rose, SW winged lion (Mark), W angel with shield, NW winged angel (Matthew), N Tudor rose, NE eagle (John). The south east nave altar has a triptych with St Paul and St Peter either side of two angels with chalice and host, which is probably from north Italy in 16th century.
The east window has some medieval glass in its tracery, including two shields showing the Instruments of the Passion, the Cross, the spear, the robe, and the twenty pieces of silver. The main lights have in the centre the Risen Christ, showing perhaps the wounds from the scourging? The north light shows a kneeling Blessed Virgin Mary with a scroll, starting “Maria gracia…” from an Annunciation scene. The south light has a smaller Risen Christ, showing the stigmata (wounds) and holding the Banner of the Resurrection. Below in the centre is a heraldic representation of the Holy Wounds, two hands and two feet around a red heart.