ST MARGARETS CHURCH SWANNINGTONSt Margarets, together with St Johns at Alderford, and St Andrews at Attlebridge, make up the Pilgrim Group of Churches. The three villages lie on the old pilgrim's way from Norwich to Our Lady of Walsingham.
This web page is not intended to give a detailed religious, historical or architectural account - the pamphlets in the church will do that - but simply to whet the appetitie of those passing by. The varieties of window and arch design illustrate that this little church was built up and added to over the entire Gothic period; from the nave arches built circa 1300 to the south porch, which is a late 15th century addition. Note the fine knapping on this porch with the words 'THE NAZARINES' above and 'S MARGARETA' below the entrance arch. Note too, the World Wars Memorial plaques on the inside of the west wall, and the charming little headstops on the outside and either side of the priests door in the south chancel. On the butress to the left of this door is a scratch dial, forerunner of the sundial. A gnomon in the central hole would have cast a shadow on to one of the lines, giving the time of mass.
The tall screen seperating the main body of the church from the area beneath the tower is a recent addition, and provides the community with an informal meeting place. It is used , for example, as a polling station at election time. This room became even more significant after after the closure of the Village School and the 'Black Horse'.
If this site has introduced you to the village and the church, please help with its upkeep by placing an offering in the slot in the wall just inside the door. Thankyou.
Due to recent thefts, you may find the church locked. The key is available at the Old Rectory just opposite.
R GIBBONS © 2001