…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menowerthemagogs...Out and About in East Anglia (The Sunday Special)

The focus of this is churches, which is why it has been kept separate. The lead-in is last week's post which began in Cambridge.  Two things connected; Round Church and the pew critters at Greater St Mary's.

As we drove out of Cambridge at around 5:30pm the day which had dawned grey and damp had long since cleared to a glorious sunlight canvas on which hung all the incredible architecture of Man and the wondrous architecture of Nature.  There came a point on the road, as we were headed to Bury St Edmunds, that Aitch asked "did you see that?!"  I had and she had beaten me to it with the exclamation.

Over to our right, high on a slope and peering over some trees, was a round tower.  It surely called us, for in seconds the decision was made to veer off the road.

Well, take the next off ramp, which was virtually seconds later.

This was a follow our noses adventure.  Yabbadabbadoooooooo.  There was a longish road leading us into a village which we discovered to be Barrow. This is where the duck pond was. When we had purchased our hot chips, there was a gentleman there who was able to tell us that the round tower could be located by following another road round to the right and right again; but if we were interested there was another round tower church at Little Saxham which was also close by.  

It didn't take much to persuade us as the evening was lingering lovely.  We headed to the Saxham church first.

Just as we were starting to think we had been led down the garden path (as it were), it sprung upon us. The door was open and we were greeted by the personalities of the pews.

There was sure a lot of attitude!

(Check out that organ, by they way...)

Within the tower itself, was this little window, through which the setting sun gleamed.

It was a fascinating find of a place and whetted our appetite for finding the very one which had drawn us off-route in the first instance.

Again we began to wonder.  Nearly as far again the opposite side of Barrow was the hamlet of Higham and just as we were giving up thoughts of a sighting, there it was!!! St Stephen's.

However, it did not welcome us. The door was firmly fastened. (Reading Simon's entry on this matter, it becomes clear that in this particular parish, the key-holder sees a 'place half empty'!) Oh well. We circled the round-tower church and pondered the fact that this design was making itself known to us.  They could become addictive!

It turns out that there are very nearly 200 such buildings in the UK and the majority are in East Anglia, many in Suffolk and a significant portion in Norfolk.  Nearly every where we turned it seemed, we began to spot the round towers.

We drove away from the setting sun then.  It had been a grand day out.


  1. I could be there forever, transfixed.

  2. Beautiful buildings, love stained glass windows and these churches look a bit different to most

  3. Oh, wonderful! I've heard of the round-towered churches of East Anglia, but have never seen one in the flesh so to speak. Your post comes a close second to that pleasure, Yam, especially the lovely church interior at Saxham. That woodwork is super.


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