St Martin at Palace Norwich

St Martin at Palace NorwichThe church of St Martin at Palace is one of the oldest in Norwich. The church is referred to in Domesday Book (1086) and excavations made in the 1980s revealed foundations of a Norman church as well as evidence of one, if not two, earlier Anglo-Saxon timber churches. The building we see today dates in general from the 15th century, though it is much overlaid by Victorian work. In 1851 the North Chancel Aisle and most of the chancel collapsed. They were rebuilt in 1853-4, when a thorough 'restoration' of the whole building was undertaken. In the late 1980s the church was converted for use as a day centre by the Probation Service at this time modern structures were sympathetically  inserted in the building. The conversion has changed the character of the building. But old and new are clearly distinct from one another: the old can still be appreciated while the new has an architectural integrity of its own. Many of the windows hold good Victorian stained glass by the William Morris workshop and by Heaton, Butler and Bayne. Unfortunately their ornate decorative backgrounds have been removed, leaving the figures ‘floating’ in large areas of clear glass.

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