RTCS Archive

A record of RTCS activities and events in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017.

2017 Round Tower Churches Tours.

Fritton St Edmund south Threxton Bramfield by Andy Seago Aslacton

Four churches visited in 2017: Fritton St Edmunds, Threxton, Bramfield & Aslacton

Many thanks to ‘Lyn and Dick for their hard work in setting up these tours and for the excellent Information they provide for us.RTCS at South Pickenham

6th May 2017 Fritton St Edmund, followed by Ashby and Lound, and AGM at Lound Village Hall.

3rd June 2017  South Pickenham, Threxton, Merton

1st July 2017  Theberton, Thorington, Bramfield

5th August 2017  Matlaske, Stody, Letheringsett

2nd September 2017  Wacton, Aslacton, Tasburgh

                                                                RTCS at South Pickenham

2016 Round Tower Churches Tours. 

Saturday 7th May 2016 Holton, Wissett and Spexhall, and AGM at Spexhall Village Hall.

4th June 2016 Potter Heigham, Dilham, Witton

2nd July 2016 Little Saxham, Higham, Snailwell

6th August 2016 Bexwell, West Dereham, East Walton

3rd September 2016 Thurgarton, Wickmere, Thwaite

  potter heigham RTCS at Little Saxham bexwell gary troughton wickmere tower

Holton by Bill Goode, Potter Heighman, Snailwell by Colin Hothersall, Bexwell by Gary Troughton, and Wickmere

Sunday church Tours 2016. 

17th April 2016 Scole, Billingford, Thorpe Abbotts RT, Brockdish

Thorpe Abbots Admiring Billingford tower

Thorpe Abbotts, Admiring tower of Billingford 

15th May 2016 Harpley, Houghton, West Rudham, East Rudham

19th June 2016 Felthorpe, Alderford, Swannington, Attlebridge,

17th July 2016 Hilborough, Bodney, Didlington, Foulden,

Harpley Felthorpe

RTCS Study Day: Saturday, 15th October 2016. At Rickinghall Inferior Village Hall. Speakers:

  • Ian Groves (Ruined churches).
  • Mark Mitchels (The Bible in English).
  • Michael Rimmer (The Angel Roofs of East Anglia).

A report on the Study Day was published in The Round Tower, September 2016.

Thefts of lead roofs

Merton missing leadEDP published a letter from RTCS Chair, Stuart Bowell on March 10th 2016, under the heading ‘Churches society welcomes the support to stop the theft of lead.’ A high profile campaign to combat lead thefts from church roofs is welcomed by the Round Tower Churches Society. The support of the EDP and its sister paper, the East Anglian Daily Times, church bodies and the police commissioners in Norfolk and Suffolk , have highlighted the devastating impact of dozens of lead thefts in recent months. When St Peter’s Church, Merton, near Watton, (see photo left with plastic roofing on nave) was the target of thieves again last August, the Round Tower Churches Society gave £500 towards the estimated £25,000 cost of repairs. It was the second theft in four years from that church. Members have also given generously to the society’s “lead appeal” since it was launched last autumn.

2015 Round Tower Churches Tours. 

9th May 2015 Eccles, Quidenham, Croxton and AGM at Croxton.

Croxton model of Norwich C   Eccles tower

Window at Croxton- model of Norwich Cathedral. Tower at Eccles.

6th June 2015 Hassingham, Acle, Fishley

Fishley  Acle by Bill GoodeFishley and Acle by Bill Goode

4th July 2015 South Elmham All Saints, Ilketshall St Margaret, Gisleham

Gisleham Hardwicke Knight 1923  Gisleham RTCS  All Saints South Elmham

Gisleham by Hardwicke Knight in 1923 and RTCS at Gisleham & All Saints South Elmham

1st August 2015 Hardwick, Morningthorpe, Forncett St Peter

Hardwick Morningthorpe Forncett St Peter Forncett St Mary

Hardwick (outside only- work on inside has been delayed), Morningthorpe and Forncett St Peter. We were also shown Forncett St Mary, brought back to life by local people- a real achievement. 

September 5th 2015 Hardley, Hellington, Surlingham. 

Hardley RTCS visit  Hellington Norman door  Surlingham lion

RTCS at Hardley, Norman door at Hellington & lion from Surlingham’s font. 

2015 Sunday Church Tours. 

19th April 2015 North Runcton, East Winch, Middleton, West Winch.

17th May 2015 Hapton, Flordon, Newton Flotman, Tasburgh Round Tower church.

21st June 2015 Barney, Kettlestone, Guist, North Elmham.

19th July 2015 Welborne Round Tower, Mattishall Burgh, Mattishall, Thuxton

Welborne RTCS Visit July 2015  Tasburgh flint quoins

RTCS at Welborne (photo by Gary Troughton) and Dick and flint quoins at Tasburgh

Tours and activities in 2014

RTCS Study Day. Saturday September 27th 2014. Speakers were:

David Stannard: The Lost Round Tower Church of Eccles-next-the-Sea.

Roy Tricker: How we used our Churches in Medieval Times.

Roger Rosewell: Medieval Stained Glass.

And a tour of St Peter’s, Yaxham led by ‘Lyn Stilgoe and Richard Barham.

The day finished with refreshments, thanks to  members who brought a great selection of cakes to share.

RTCS tour at Yaxham   North nave wall Yaxham  Pew end Yaxham

Tour of Yaxham church. Elephant pew end

Tours of Round Tower Churches 2014.

May 10th  2014 Round Tower Church Society AGM and Mutford, Rushmere and Frostenden. 

RTCS at Rushmere  RTCS at Mutford

RTCS at Mutford and Rushmere May 2014

June 7th 2014: Horsey, West Somerton, Rollesby.

P1010665     West Somerton detail on pulpit RTCS at Rollesby

Mortar repairs at Horsey, pulpit at West Somerton & RTCS at Rollesby

July 5th 2014: Runhall, Wramplingham, Colney.

P1010945  Colney

The chancel and tower at Wrampling and the tower at Colney, with Saxon work and its new weather vane.

August 2nd 2014: Gresham, Bessingham, Sustead.

RTCS at Gresham  Bressingham  Sustead

RTCS at Gresham, Bressingham and Sustead

September 6th 2014: Onehouse, Beyton, Risby. 

OnehouseBeyton's tower and buttresses

Onehouse drawing from Claude Messent’s book The Round Towers to English Parish Churches published in 1958. Many thanks to John Salmon who has produced ecopies of each of Messent’s drawings. RTCS at Beyton with tower and integral butresses.

Sunday Tours 2014

April 27th 2014: Sutton, Ingham, Stalham, Brunstead.

Sutton. Photo by Simon Knott Baptism of Christ. Stalham font. Font at Sutton

Sutton. Photo by Simon Knott.  Baptism of Christ, Stalham and font at Sutton

May 18th 2014: Toftrees, East Raynham, Helboughton, South Rayham

Toftrees. Photo by Simon Knott
Toftrees. Photo by Simon Knott

June 15th 2014: Loddon, Sisland, Thurton, Bergh Apton

Porch at Loddon

RTCS members admiring the fine porch at Loddon.

July 20th 2014: Holme Hale, Ashill, Houghton on the Hill, Great Cressingham.

Holme Hale     A fine rood screen. Holme Hale

Holme Hale and its rood screen

Houghton on the Hill    Fine flintwork St Michael Great Cressingham

Houghton on the Hill   Flint work. St Michael’s Great Cressingham

Books about Rickinghall

A group from Rickinghall who are interested in local history obtained a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to publish nine books. These are:

1 The lives of the Victorian and Edwardian Rectors of Rickinghall and their families by Sarah Doig, a professional genealogist. Price is £5 and 50p from the sale of the book will be donated to the Round Tower Churches Society and another 50p will be donated to the Churches Conservation Trust.

2 The history of Rickinghall Inferior Church, a round tower church by Jean Sheehan, an RTCS member. This book sells for £3, £2 of which is donated to St. Mary’s Church, Rickinghall Inferior.

3 A Suffolk Boy in East Africa: the story of Samuel Speare, a local boy who at the age of 15 went to Zanzibar to become a missionary. He helped rescue slave boys and died tragically aged 20. A stained glass window in Rickinghall Superior Church is dedicated to him. The profits of this book will also be donated to Rickinghall Inferior Church.

4 A Walk Through Rickinghall and 5 A Walk through Botesdale by Diana Maywhort, the Rickinghall local history recorder.

6 Reflections on Redgrave by Jean Sheehan, the Redgrave Local History Recorder.

Books 3-6 cost £5 each plus postage and packing. Further details can be obtained from the Quatrefoil web site www.quatrefoil.org.uk or Jean Sheehan on 01379890237. There is also a good  Rickinghall Church website. 

Rickinghall Inferior Book Launch

Rickinghall Book LaunchQuatrefoil launched its 9th book ‘Lest We Forget’ with an exhibition held in Rickinghall Inferior Church on Saturday 9th August 2014.  This book, researched by Diana Maywhort and Deborah Wells gives information on most of the men named on the war memorial for WWl from the villages of Botesdale Redgrave and Rickinghall.  Other men who returned from the war and are not mentioned on the war memorial are also included.  The book sells for £5 and is obtainable from Diana on 01379 898785 or Hilltop Hardware & Pet Food Store Botesdale.

Diana Maywhort and Deborah Wells at the launch.

2013 Round Tower Churches visited.

11th May 2013 Herringfleet (NR32 5QS), Blundeston, Gunton, before AGM at Gunton Church Hall.

RTCS visit to Herringfleet in 2007.   RTCS, Gunton, May 2013  Bill and Ada's memorial, Gunton church

RTCS at Herringfleet in 2007; At Gunton and Bill and Ada Goode’s memorial.

1st June 2013 Sidestrand (NR27 0LT), Roughton, Aylmerton.

Roughton photo taken by Andy Seago Sidestrand photo taken by Andy Seago  Roughton. Dick points out herringbone base

Sidestrand, & Roughton. Photos by Andy Seago. Dick pointing to herringbone pattern at Roughton. 

6th July 2013 Aldham, Hasketon, Ramsholt.

tea on Round tower churches visit  All Saints, Ramsholt.  

Tea and All Saints Ramsholt

3rd Aug 2013 Beachamwell, Cockley Cley, Watton.

Beachamwell taken by Bill Goode Beachamwell detail of tower

Beachamwell. Bill Goode’s photo and detail of the tower

7th Sept Stockton 2013, Kirby Cane, Bungay Holy Trinity.

stockton tower  thank you to RTCS Stockton  Kirby Kane and cedar trees

Stockton tower and welcome letter. Kirby Cane set amongst cedar trees

Holy Trinity, Bungay  Holy Trinity Bungay, Saxon window

Holy Trinity, Bungay


21st April Hoe 2013, Worthing RT, Billingford, Bawdeswell

Dick and 'Lyn start 2013 season of church tours at Hoe    Worthing

‘Lyn and Dick greeting people at Hoe and Worthing

19th May 2013 Flitcham, Anmer, Dersingham, Fring

Dersingham  Flitcham

Dersingham & Flitcham with arcading

16th June 2013 Frenze, Thelveton, Dickleburgh, Rushall RT

Rushall June 2013

Rushall June 2013

21st July 2013 Stow Bardolph, Crimplesham, Bexwell RT, Fordham


Bexwell, photo by Stephen Hart

Other activities in 2013

Talk at Shimpling St George on Saturday September 14th 2013. Round Towered churches by Stuart Bowell: a Norfolk and Suffolk speciality.

Church Tours with the Round Tower Churches Society 2012

12th May 2012 Mettingham, Barsham (Suffolk) and AGM at Ilketshall St Andrew 

2nd June  2012 South Ockendon, Broomfield, Gt Leighs, Bardfield Sailing, Lamarsh

7th July  2012 Ingworth NR11 6PD, Tuttington, Brampton

4th August 2012 Raveningham, Heckingham, Brooke

1st September  2012 Gayton Thorpe, Shereford, Great Ryburgh

RTCS also visited the Battlefield area, including West Tofts church, with its metal ‘pantile’ roof.

West Tofts, 2012

Sunday Church Tours 2012  

22nd April  2012 Mundesley NR11 8BE, Paston, Bacton, Edingthorpe

20th May  2012 Snetterton NR16 2LR, Shropham, Great Hockham, East Wretham

17th June 2012  Claxton NR14 7HZ, Ashby, Carleton St Peter, Langley

15th July  2012 Warham St Mary Magdalene NR23 1NH, Warham All Saints, Hindringham, Thursford