Tuttington SS Peter & Paul

What you need to know about this church

SS Peter & Pauls Church Tuttington

Where to find this church

Church Information

St Peter and St Pauls church is located in Tuttington, a Norfolk village about 3 miles west of Aylsham.

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Tuttington St Peter Paul church
Church from south-west
Tuttington St Peter Paul church

Visiting Tuttington SS Peter & Paul

It is not easy to take nice photos of the western side of the church of Tuttington SS Peter and Paul, as the power cables hanging openly over the street are unfortunately a bit disturbing. However, it is nevertheless a pretty church with nice features.

This round tower has bands of cut black flints at about five feet and again at twenty feet from the ground. The use of cut flints only started about 1400, so the date of this tower must be 15th century. It had four belfry openings with trefoil heads, but now the west and east ones are infilled with bricks. There is no sign of a belfry lower down, so the whole tower is of one build. The parapet is of red brick and dates from the 18th century. There is a short spire of about 10 feet, which replaced a taller one in 1750. The nave, on each side, has a plain parapet along its length, and has large windows, two with 15th century panelled tracery and a centre window with Decorated curving tracery from the previous century. All the windows are of the same size, the same mouldings and the same outer arch, and as other churches in this locality have this pattern, it seems to have been a fashion of about 1400, maybe a bit later, in this part of Norfolk. The chancel has the earlier curving style in its side windows, but the larger east window is 15th century. The tall south porch once had an upper room with windows either side, but it now has no floor. Maybe the nave walls have been re-faced? The flint work looks very different from that to be seen in the chancel walls.

The spacious nave has a marvellous collection of 15th century bench ends on its pews. Many of them have carvings of rural scenes or animals (real or imaginary). The front one on the south side has an elephant with a howdah on its back, with a passenger peeping out! The carver had probably never seen an elephant. There is a milkmaid, a man with a tabor (drum), a woman with a fox stealing her poultry, a man being attacked by a griffin, and many others. Both the central Decorated windows have fragments of medieval glass in their tracery. Perhaps the smaller lights made it easier to accommodate fragments, rather than in the panelled tracery of the other windows? The font, in front of the 13th century pointed doorway into the tower, is 15th century with shields on each panel of the bowl, a near horizontal corona with squared flowers and lion heads, and a traceried stem. The cover is dated 1638. The pulpit has the date 1635 and Jacobean carvings on the sides of its steps, possibly made from a re-used pew? The pulpit itself looks 18th century. The high altar has 1632 carved on its south end. The chancel has a 15th century piscina, with pierced tracery and a small side opening above the dropped-sill sedilia.

Conclusion: open and welcoming church with unusual bench ends

Tuttington St Peter Paul church
15th century font
Tuttington St Peter Paul church