Double click (or whatever) on the photos to enlarge.

Cowper Memorial Congregational Church at EAST DEREHAM. It was built on the site of the house in which the poet, WILLIAM COWPER, died in 1800. The poet, George Borrow was born in the town.

The holy well of SAINT WITHBURGA at East Dereham.

Withburga was originally buried on this site but the evil monks of Ely stole her relics and they have never been returned.

The seven sacrament font inside ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH, East Dereham. It was commissione in 1468 and cost £12 14s. 9d.

The bell tower of St. Nicholas Church was built, separate from the main church, in the mid 14th. Century.

William Cowper is buried in St. Nicholas Church.

Girls just want to have fun and the the two wicked sisters had loads of fun on Branchester Beach.

North Elmham Chapel.

In the late Saxon period North Elmham was the principal seat of the Bishops of East Anglia and the centre of a great episcopal estate. Excavations have revealed evidence for an earlier timber structure, probably the Anglo-Saxon cathedral, which went out of use when the seat of the Bishop was transferred to Thetford in 1071. Some time between 1091 and 1119 Bishop Herbert de Losinga founded a new parish church for the village and built a small private chapel for his own use on the site of the old timber church. In the 14th century, Bishop Henry le Despencer held the manor of North Elmham. He turned the chapel into a house and in 1388 obtained a royal licence to fortify. He was not a popular man, especially in Norfolk where he was despised for his merciless quashing of the Peasants’ Revolt, and this fortification suggests he felt ill at ease among his tenants. There is no record of any bishop occupying the site after Henry’s death in 1406 though manorial courts continued to be held there. When Elmham passed into the hands of the notorious Thomas Cromwell the ‘castle’ site was assigned to the vicarage and gradually fell into ruin. (ENGLISH HERITAGE)

The tower of St. Mary's Church, NORTH ELMHAM.

Saint Helen's Church, GATELEY.

I had half an hour to spare whilst I waited for a neighbour of my in-laws to turn up with a key. I popped into this church just for something to do. It turned out to be the most interesting 30 minutes of my trip. This is a truly beautiful and holy place and I recommend that anyone who finds themselves in this neck of the woods should take the opportunity to pay this little, well hidden church a visit.

There is a (14th. Century) rood screen (which somehow managed to escape the vandalism of the Reformation) with fine paintings thought to be East Anglia, which are of a local flavor. The Saints chosen for the screen are for local devotions. From left to right they are Saint Etheldreda, foundress of the Diocese of Ely shown as a nun with a Latin inscription, Scta Adria, or Saint Audrey. Next is Saint Elizabeth, also shown dressed in a nun's habit and her arms crossed as if in an echo of the Visitation, The Blessed Virgin, turned to face her cousin. A third image is of the Mistress of Ridibowne, a local devotion. Virtually nothing is known about her. Ridibowne was probably either Redbowne in Lincolnshire or Redbowne in Hertfordshire. On the other side of the screen are paintings of Saint Louis of France, Henry VI labeled in Latin as 'the Blessed Martyr Henry VI' , St Augustine and Sir John Schorne, conjuring the devil into a boot. Sir John Schorne was a clergyman, he is said to be best known for his ability to cure the gout. (WIKIPEDIA)

Oooh, yes! that's the spot.
And the dead won't mind.



  1. The pictures are simply wonderful. The dogs look so happy and I love the look of BLISS on the face of that sheep who is scratching its old body against the grave stone!

    You know, old churches over on your side of the pond have a particular smell to them which is quite lovely. Your photographs of St. Helen’s really evoke that for me.

  2. Jonathan, your action shots of the dogs are spectacular! All the photos are excellent. Thanks so much for posting these. They are a real treat on a dreary, foggy day.

  3. these photos are wonderful, the shot of the dogs reminds me of the four tri color collies that I have had and tugs at my heart…….These photos of the buildings and beaches are so clear and beautiful I wonder if they could be used commercially? I knew an Italian man who had a picture framing business. eventually he started to travel back to Italy, took beautiful photos there, came back enlarged and printed them, put them in simple frames. And they sold like hotcakes. Hhmmmmm! also they would be great (with the histories you provide) as calendar photos. ‘jest sayin’. !

    You and Mrs much in thoughts and prayers at this time of
    stress and uncertainty for your family.

  4. Of course, we here in the South Elmhams also claim a seat of the Bishop at the ruins of the old Minster. The debate continues with no definitive evidence in either direction.

  5. I think that if you already have an actual ruined minster you could allow North Elmham a completely disappeared cathedral, don’t you SR? It would be the Christian thing to do.

  6. Jonathan, what a lovely photo essay! The dogs! The churches! The sheep! As a knitter I am just in love with the sheep grazing the graveyard and scratching on the stones.

    Prayers and good wishes for you and Mrs. MP!

  7. Yeah, that last sheep pic is a prize-winner, MP. You oughta enter it somewhere (pref., w/ a Fat Cash prize!)

  8. I love the sheep! And the churches! And the beach! And the dogs! Thank you, MP; I needed that.

  9. Thanks, Jim. My main problem is having shaky hands. I have to take multiple snaps of each scene and hope one of them comes out okay.

  10. I always smile when I am reminded of the move of the cathedral from North Elmham to Norwich. it happened because the bishop had PURCHASED his appointment to the see, and felt so guilty over the simony that he went off to Rome, got absolved, and built the Norwich cathedral as atonement.

  11. MP, living here across the pond in a land that conspicuously lacks old churches and much in the way of sheep, I can’t tell you how much I want those images, and the others you’ve taken, together in calendar form, so I can enjoy them all year. I don’t suppose you’d consider. . .

    Not that your dogs aren’t wonderful, too.

  12. Well, thank you. It’s really a bit late to sort it out for this year, but I may deliberately take photos for such a project for next year.

  13. Please? I’m surely not the only one who thinks a calendar of your photographs would be a fantastic idea. We really are a church-and-sheep-deprived bunch over here, and your photos rock.

  14. Two calendars could be produced as a fundraiser for St. Laika’s: one of all MP’s photos, and one that included contributions from all of us. I could share some of the photos I got of the 1000 year old Spanish monastery that is now in north Miami, for example. And I’m sure everyone else here could share something really interesting from the places they live.