Yaxham St Peter
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St Peters church is located in Yaxham, a Norfolk village about 2 miles south-east of Dereham.
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Visiting Yaxham St Peter
Even though we have already been a couple of times at this church, the weather has never been our friend, thus the exterior photos of St Peter’s in Yaxham do not do this pretty church justice. The 12th century tower here seems to be more oval than round. It contains much ferricrete in its lower levels, and at the level of the belfry sills there is a change in the flintwork. It appears that a 14th century belfry was built to replace the earlier 12th century one. The north-west nave quoin is fashioned from blocks of ferricrete, very even in size so probably late 12th century. Ferricrete is a locally found rough dark brown stone, deposited 2-70 million years ago. The north nave has large 15th century windows, and there is a 14th century aisle on the south side, with four clerestory windows above. The chancels windows appear to be 19th century, but they are in the 14th century style with curving tracery. The south porch was added in the late 14th century. The south door is covered with tracery carvings, including keys for the emblem of St Peter.
Immediately inside the Church there is a screen, probably once in a side chapel, separating off the entrance area from the south aisle. It has fine foliaged carvings in the spandrels of the tracery, and a top rail of quatrefoils. The tower arch is rounded and above it is a small round-headed arch, both formed of ferricrete pieces. The top one was an upper doorway to access the first floor of the tower, by a ladder from the nave (before pews were installed). The 15th century font has much detailed carving, with the panelled stem rising to vaulted arches, and shields below the bowl. The panels of the bowl have elaborate crocketted finials in front of trefoil headed recesses. In the south aisle are attractive 20th century carved birds and animals on the ends of the pews. There are traces of wall paintings near the pulpit, with a small blue figure at the top in the reveal of the window. This is thought to be the Christ Child from a St Christopher painting. The Rood screen is probably 15th century, and restored with a different coloured wood. In the chancel some 18th century carved panels have been re-used to make some choir stalls. The chancel piscina incorporates a credence shelf.