Welcome to All Saints Crostwight, whose name in old English and Norse means Cross in a wooded clearing. We are part of the parish of Honing with Crostwight in the Smallburgh Benefice. The church dates from the late C13 or early C14 and stands in fields where once a village mentioned in the Domesday Book thrived. The church shows many signs of rebuilding and repair but is basically unmodernised. It is a very spirit-filled church with great charm.
The Tower became dangerous (from ivy which pulled it sideways) and in 1910 the upper part (including the belfry) was taken down and capped with an unusual pyramidical roof of red pantiles. The bell was re-hung lower down; it is dated 1480 and was cast locally at South Repps; it is still rung for services. The windows are newer, probably C18 replacements. It's thought that stone for the chancel may have been taken from the abandoned Priory at Bromholm after 1539. The east window is of Victorian design from a 1896 restoration.
The north wall is mostly faced with round flints which show attention to detail by being carefully graded and layered. The south wall is particularly fine with cut flints. The chancel roof is thatched. The porch has niches where figures of saints may have been located,(such figures were denounced as images and abolished mid 16thC). Some old repairs on the west side of the porch used thin, possibly Roman, bricks.
There is a flower drain inside the porch (again thought to be a Piscina re-sited from either the chancel or Bromholm Priory), perhaps reset in the wrong place?
The much repaired C13 font is of Purbeck marble in a typical Early English design.
The interior has a number of monuments & features, most highly regarded amongst these being the nationally important late 14th Century wall paintings. They were first noted in modern times in 1847 when lime wash was removed.
a) the seven deadly sins which hang like leaves on the Tree of Life; below are seen Satan with a cauldron full of sinners amid flames. Adam and Eve are depicted standing either side of the tree;
b) a 'warning against gossips' showing two gossiping women being overheard by a demon;
c) St Christopher carrying the Christ-child over the water;
d) Scenes from Christ's Passion in 3 layers extending to the window. The Triumphal entry, The Last Supper, Washing the disciples' feet, Gethsemane, Pilate, The Entombment, The Ascension.
Sir Peter Roscelyn, patron of the church in 1300, is buried in the chancel. The C15 oak screen is said to be the 6th oldest in Norfolk, and though stripped of its paint still retains some lovely carvings in the spandrels of the dado. Outside grotesques show the site of a plague pit from the Black Death.
A serenely peaceful church.
The church is now in urgent need of repair and the wall paintings are in a very fragile condition. Historic England has placed it on its Heritage at Risk Register. A programme of repair and conservation is being planned and will be undertaken as soon as funding (estimated at £400,000 in 2019) is secured.