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Detached Bell Tower Churches
Homepage for my detached bell tower churches, with information and links, these churches have some of the most stunning grounds, they offer some wonderful photography inside and, some are in small and out of the way Fenland villages.
With Tydd St Giles, Fleet and West Walton being the stand out churches, some was built due to poor foundations and weather.
I see churches as a place to step back in time with most being the last places in the UK to see almost untouched items from the old times.
For all churches, cathedrals and abbeys click here
All Saint church Hargham Norfolk
A small church that dates to the 14th and 15th centuries, its been through restoration fully restored main building 1980s but keeping some aged look but the bell tower has been left which is rather nice and the bells were stolen in 1753 (well nothing new there then!), I visited here on the way to Banham zoo. The church is about 1 mile from Snetterton race track.
Saint Mary's church of West Walton Norfolk
Saint Mary's of West Walton dates from the 13th century built about 1240 and is unusual in that the church's Campanile or Belltower is detached some 60 feet from the main building of the church.
The tower is supported at its base by four open arches. At each corner stands a buttress which climbs to the pinnacles with gabled niches in the first, second and third storey. The tower is topped with delicately carved parapet walls.
The west doorway to the church is flanked on either side by massive buttresses, a result of remedial works carried out here after the foundations failed not long after the church was built. The south porch is arched with an arcaded buttress on each side. The nave is arcaded with six bays on each side. The arches are supported on pillars which are encircled by detached shafts crowned with capitals of stone carved foliage. The hammer-beamed roof dates from the 15th century and is supported by 24 carved angels holding shields..
St Giles Church, Tydd St Giles Cambridgeshire
The Norman church deThe Norman church is dedicated to St. Giles, dominates the eastern side of the village. The church, although extensively redesigned in the 19th century (see below), still retains its Norman architecture and feel.
The West Window was designed by Alan of Walsingham, the designer of the famous "octagon" lantern on Ely Cathedral, this rare clear glass medieval window (which survived the depredations of Oliver Cromwell) fills the whole of the western end of the building. All of the woodwork and pews in the church are later Victorian additions. In the Lady Chapel, there are still some remnants of the church's original medieval stained glass, the rest of the church's stained glass is Victorian.
The East Window shows the life and passion of Jesus Christ, while the North-Western Window depicts the church's (and village's) patron saint, Saint Giles and St. Paul (one of the patrons of the Church of ST Peter & Paul in Wisbech). The outer southern wall of the church still has the remains of a medieval sundial, which was in use when the church was a cell of the priory in Wisbech.
The church is one of the few in the area to have a separate tower. The tower fell away from the eastern end of the church in the 18th century (due to poor foundations and strong wind) and was rebuilt by Sir George Gilbert Scott when the building was extensively renovated in the 1880s. Local legend has it that the tower was pushed over by the devil, as he could not abide the sound of the church bells. The tower has a ring of six bells with a tenor weight of 8-2-8cwt tuned to A. The bells were recast for the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria, from the original ring of 5, six bells were cast. The bells hang in a wooden frame and are rung in the traditional English full circle ringing system.
St James church of Sutton St James village Lincolnshire
The parish church is dedicated to Saint James, and is unusual in that the chancel and tower are disconnected, the nave having been destroyed during the Interregnum when Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector of England.
The tower is Grade II listed and dates from the 15th century, with restorations in 1879 and 1894. The chancel is Grade II listed and dates from the 15th century – it was heavily restored at the same time as the tower, and an extension was added in the 20th-century. The font bowl is 15th-century.
Some arguments rumble on around this church, some will say it's not a truly detached bell tower due to it was once attached to the main building but again this was in Cromwell's times, to me this is a detached tower type in modern times. you can't turn the clocks back.
Church of St Mary Magdalene in the village of Fleet Lincolnshire
In 1086, Fleet was listed as Fleet (Old English: the stream, estuary or creek), in the wapentake of Elloe in the Parts of Holland of Lincolnshire.
Fleet Grade, I listed Anglican church, dating from the late 12th century, is dedicated to St Mary Magdalene. The 120 feet (37 m) church tower with spire is detached from the nave by 15 feet (4.6 m). The fabric is mainly Decorated in style, with Early English arcades and a Perpendicular west window.
According to Cox (1916), the church was restored in 1860, when the chancel was rebuilt, although the canopied sedilia was retained. In 1964 Pevsner noted 1798 repairs and considered the church "over-restored".
He dated a chancel rebuild to 1843, questioned if it was "done correctly", and recorded Victorian tracery in the aisle windows, a blocked doorway to a previous chapel in the chancel, "fine busts of great variety", a Decorated-style sedilia and piscina with ogee arches and crocketed gables, a reredos dated 1790, and a defaced 14th-century effigy.
Terrington St Clement Parish church Norfolk
In AD 970 Godric gifted part of the lands of Turrintonea to the monks of Ramsey Abbey. The name Terrington comes from the early Saxon “Tun” meaning enclosure or homestead of Tir(a)s people. The settlement is referred to in the Domesday Book as Tilinghetuna. By the medieval period, the small settlement which began on raised ground on the edge of the marsh had grown substantially.
The magnificent parish church, dedicated to St Clement (i.e. Pope Clement I), known as the "Cathedral of the Marshland", was built in the 14th century by Edmund Gonville, Rector of Terrington, who founded Gonville Hall (now Gonville and Caius College) at Cambridge University. Methodists arrived in the village in 1813 and during the Victorian era, the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel and Primitive Methodist Chapel were established along with a Salvation Army headquarters and 3 other mission chapels.
A lively shopping centre had developed by the beginning of the 20th century, but most of the independent traders have now disappeared, along with all but two of the village's pubs. There was once a railway station serving the settlement, but this is now closed.
St Mary the virgin Long Sutton church Lincolnshire
Long Sutton was historically in the wapentake of Elloe in the Parts of Holland. The Friday market dates back to the early 13th century when the town was a prosperous trading centre. By the mid-14th century, it was to be one of the richest communities in Lincolnshire. Prosperity continued into the 20th century, helped by the arrival of the railways.
In the 1950s eleven trains would daily transport passengers and local produce to and from the town. Long Sutton railway station on the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway closed in 1959 when passenger services were withdrawn.
In 1987 a Butterfly Park was opened near Long Sutton. The park was closed in October 2012 after a series of losses and bad weather. On 21 June 2012, at about 2:30 pm, a tornado hit Long Sutton. Particular damage was caused in Woad Lane with the tornado "leaving a trail of destruction in its wake and being a storm chasing I would have loved to of seen that.