Star heritage role for special Suffolk historic church

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A round tower church in Suffolk is set for a “starring” role in a new heritage promotion.

St Mary’s Church, Ashby, on the Somerleyton estate, is on the route of the Angles Way long distance path.

It has a distinctive tower, which is thought to date from the late 13th or early 14th century with a later 15th century octagonal addition.

Presenter and Norwich-based producer Nick Patrick was keen to explain the importance of round tower churches to the Norfolk and Suffolk landscape.

As he brought up in the Saints in north Suffolk, he has always been intrigued by round towers, so interviewed the Society’s vice-chairman Michael Pollitt.

With a shortage of natural stone, it made sense to use local material including flints and lime mortar to build churches with round towers, he explained. Hence Norfolk has more than 130 and Suffolk about 40 of the country’s 186 surviving round towers.

Ironically, the interview took place by St Mary’s, Fishley, near Acle, which is

close to another popular route through the Broads, the Weavers’ Way.

The series of 10 podcasts, which each lasts just three minutes, will highlight landscape and historic features on sections of the Angles Way from Great Yarmouth to Geldeston locks.

The entire route extends to 93 miles through the Waveney Valley ending at Thetford.

See the Broads Authority’s website for Heritage Open Day podcast details.