Church of England Diocese of Norwich Woodton

About Woodton Church

This church is beautiful positioned on high ground and away from the road. The tower consists of Norman work and the octagonal top is 15th century. It contains a peel of 6 bells (5 John Brend bells of 1641); these were resorted and re-hung in 1983.

The nave and chancel date from about 1300. the south aisle was added some time before 1348, when the Black Death swept the country. The roof of this aisle retains its original medieval timber framework. There is a large squint from the aisle to the chancel and near it, at the aisle end, is a fine carved head. The north porch dates from 1420 and is built in the perpendicular style. This retains its original arch based roof and embattled cornice. A vestry was added to the porch in the early years of the last century.
The font is Norman, although it has been greatly restored. The pulpit is Jacobean and stands where the screen must have been. A door in the north wall hides the rood-loft.

There are some fine Suckling memorials on the walls and floor, including the fine effigy of Ann Suckling in the chancel. Their remains lie in a vault beneath the church.

The east window in the south aisle is noteworthy. Its arch is surrounded by tiny fluerons and has a carved head at its apex. In the tracery of this window is some good medieval glass, depicting the figures of St. Catherine, with her wheel, also another saint. In the south aisle can also be seen two medieval benches with poppy-heads. There is a 13th century piscine in the chancel. The window itself was brought to Woodton be the then Rector, Frederick Lee, in the 1930s. it had been installed in the church at Tenterden in Kent in 1839, as a memorial to the Reverend Philip Ward, a connection of the Nelson family. During a restoration there in 1932, they discovered that the centre light featured beside Jesus a large and somewhat hideous Devil. Some were scandalised by this and the upshot was that Mr. Lee, who was on a visit to the town, brought the whole window back to Woodton. When it was installed here it was found that there was no room for the devil, which has disappeared with the exception of the tip of a scaly wing and a green claw!

In 1880 the church was extensively restored and was given a new floor and roof, also a south porch. In 1966 the aisle roof was extensively repaired and the electric lighting and heating were provided. By 1984 the bells were once again ringing to call people to worship.