Thorpe St Andrew Parish Church
The grounds of St Andrew’s Parish Church have a real fairytale air about them. With picturesque ruins, including a tower, it’s easy to get lost in the romance of the place. These ruins are, however, not a natural product of time, but were in fact purposely created by intentionally ruinating the medieval church that once occupied the site.
As the local population grew, the original building could no longer serve the needs of the expanding community. So in 1866, Thomas Jeckyll was commissioned to build a new parish church. Jeckyll was a local architect, born in Wymondham in 1827, and was seen as an important figure in the Art’s & Craft movement. As well as designing Gothic revival buildings, Jeckyll was also interested and influenced by Japanese design and created many pieces of metalwork and furniture in the style. One of his most notable works were his designs for the Peacock Room, commissioned by the shipping magnate, Frederick Richards Leyland, in 1876.
The church tower originally sported an imposing 150ft spire, but as a result of damage caused by nearby bomb strikes during the second world war, it became unsafe and had to be taken down. On entering the tower you are greeted by a vast space, which serves as a gallery for the many memorials relocated from the original church.
Inside the church, large arches separate the south aisle and nave, each terminating at hefty capitals boldly carved with angels, lions and great birds feeding their young in their nests.
To the west is a beautiful rose window designed by Dennis King. Installed in 1969, it depicts the twelve symbols of the apostles in delicate shades of pink, turquoise, blue and red.