The ivy church of Bircham Toft Norfolk

This was the 3rd church of the day and by miles the most craziest looking one of the bunch

The churchyard from the roadside-showing ivy everywhere-The ruins of St Andrews church Bircham Tofts Norfolk. Back to Norfolk churches HERE
Jump to all St Andrew's PHOTOS HERE
Church Location GOOGLE MAPS

Visited 13/02/2020. wrote 17/02/2020

Ok so, you may find churches of all shapes and sizes but one thing most have in common, they will have some ivy at least somewhere growing up them. But there’s regular ivy, and there’s St Andrew’s churches ivy. I had only just found the ruins on the day a few days before, and as I was in the area I had to take a look.

East Anglia ruined churches-St Andrews church Bircham Tofts Norfolk

Driving into the village and roughly knowing where the church was I could see what looked like a green square tree, it is an odd sight and would make much think are they seeing things. As I drove my motorhome down what seems to be a road only fit for toys and ended up jamming it into farmers track hoping I wouldn’t get on the wrong end of some off-key Norfolk farmer. And knowing there wouldn’t be a great deal to see I jumped out the van and walked to the church some 150 yards away.

Inside the abandoned west bell tower-The ruins of St Andrews church Bircham Tofts Norfolk.

I think but not 100% sure that the churchyard wall still stands and the only way in was through a small gap in the trees. Even walking into the graveyard you would never think it was once a church and with only a few little hints of headstone here and there sticking out the undergrowth.

Ruins of St Andrew's Church; The north churchyard

As the ivy-covered west bell tower comes into sight, it is something, it looked rather beautiful with its zipped up green coat of ivy and the only dead give away was a crappy looking board covering the now long gone west bell tower doorway with part of the board missing I had to go in for a closer look.

Crawling inside and scaring the hell out of a load of wood pigeons, I stud up and could clearly see what was once a tiny church. It had a single nave with no aisle and not sure it even had a chancel. If it were still in use, it would have been the smallest towered church I had found so far. The nave has been taken back by nature, and I felt it would be a perfect place for all kinds of creatures, so I hope it is left for wildlife. There was not much else left to see inside. With no roof, beams or any form of detail and back inside the bell tower, you can make out what looks like large beams that once held the bells.

Around the churchyard, it is a sad sight to see graves that have been forgotten. For me, it is fitting to go back to nature and become one with it. But graves can still be cared for if only a quick tidy up. Anyway, walking around the grounds it was full of birds and no dought many insects and that beautiful ivy would be perfect of all kinds of birds, from wrens through to owls. It is a small nature reserve in its own right.

Some history on the church

The overgrown churchyard to the south-The ruined church of St Andrews Bircham Tofts Norfolk.

Some parts of the church date from the 13th century with the alteration from the 15th and onwards. In about 1900 it was stated to have a nave and tower. It was still in use in world war two but became disused after being near to the location of Bricham Toft.

Final Thoughts

If you are passing this way, you must see the ivy-covered church that seems died but is fully alive with nature. It is both a sad sight and a pleasing one if you are a nature lover like me. If you just into architecture then maybe a box of tissues may be in order. They say nothing lasts forever, but this church is doing in a different form. Well, it was an interesting visited, off to Dunton church and the last of the day for me.

Kate Visited 13/02/2020.
wrote 17/02/2020.

The ivy church of Bircham Toft Norfolk