Sidestrand St Michael

What you need to know about this church

St Michaels Church Sidestrand

Where to find this church

Church Information

St Michaels church is located in Sidestrand, a small village in North Norfolk right on the coast and just to the south of Cromer.

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Sidestrand St Michael church
Tower from the south
Sidestrand St Michael church
South porch

Visiting Sidestrand St Michael

St Michael’s church in Sidestrand is an unusual church as it is not the original church in Sidestrand. The 14th/15th century church stood to the north-east of this one on the cliff top. As the cliffs eroded, it was decided to rebuild the church further inland. The existing tower was left as a sea mark, although it had only been built as a smaller replacement in 1848. It disappeared into the sea in 1916. Otherwise the old materials were re-used for this one, and the taller tower was built as near as possible to the medieval one that had stood till 1841. It is circular to level with the eaves of the nave, then there are two octagonal stages, the upper one being the belfry with 14th century style openings, and a battlemented parapet. Above the south doorway a stone angel, holding a chalice, has been placed in the niche. It came from the east wall of the old Church. Gravestones from the old Church have been placed along the roadside wall of the graveyard.

The font stands below the tower, and there are also two coffin slabs, from the 13th century, both with crosses on. Nearby hangs a modern corona lucis (ring of light), which has a ship in full sail as its centrepiece, given in 2000. The nave has panelling round below the windows, which records the names of past members of the congregations. In the south east corner of the nave is a curious memorial, of a stone Greek type of cross, which was found in bits when the church was moved, remembering “Willi Atte Wood” of the 15th century. Below the chancel arch is a hanging Rood as a memorial for 1915, with the painted figures of Christ on the Cross, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John supported on branches of a vine. The pulpit and all the Jacobean-style woodwork in the chancel were made in the early 20th century. The flamboyant reredos is an 1889 plaster copy of one made by Thomas Earp (1828-1893), and shows the Last Supper.

Conclusion: church that had to be rebuilt further inland due to coastal erosion

Sidestrand St Michael church
East window
Sidestrand St Michael church
Font inside the tower