Earsham, Bath Hills and Bungay

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Earsham in Norfolk is close by the River Waveney and near to the Suffolk town of Bungay.
Earsham has a feel of remoteness; it is bypassed by the road from Diss and you wouldn't even know that Bungay was close. While Earsham successfully retains the feel of a small village, All Saints presents itself as a big church. The nave is quite long, but there are no aisles, no clerestory. The 14th Century tower is surmounted by a rather squat spire. It is this, coupled with the substantial chancel, that creates the feel of a sprawling building. Stepping inside the church there is no doubt that length is the overriding feature of the structure, the almost tunnel-like nave leading the eye into the bright, majestic high Tractarianism of the chancel.   
Earsham has one of East Anglia's thirty-seven-odd sacrament fonts, but is rather different from others in that it is slim, with portrait-shaped reliefs, the Last Rites and Mass panels being awkwardly squeezed into their spaces, but there is no doubt that this font is a most elegant example. The eighth panel is the Crucifixion. 
Bungay is an attractive and thriving market town situated in a loop of the beautiful River Waveney, boasting many historic attractions including the ruins of Bigod's Castle with its visitors centre, the ancient Buttercross, where a market is held each Thursday and the old borough well.
Many other sights can be enjoyed by following the Town Trail. There are many individual and specialist shops, some of which have been established for generations; there is also a wealth of antique shops. There are many restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and bars.
The Black Dog of Bungay: a brief history.  
This most famous event connected with St Mary's Church is the apparition of the Devil in the disguise of a black dog in 1577. During a storm on Sunday, August 4th, a terrifying thunderstorm occurred with such 'darkness, rain, hail, thunder and lightning as was never seen the like'. As the people knelt in fear, praying for mercy, suddenly there appeared in their midst a great black hellhound. It began tearing around the church, attacking many of the congregation with its cruel teeth and claws.
An old verse records:
'All down the church in midst of fire, the hellish monster flew. And, passing onward to the quire, he many people slew'.
Then as suddenly as it had appeared, it ran off, departing for Blythburgh Church about twelve miles away where it killed and mauled more people. 
Bungay Church was damaged; the tower struck by lightning and the church clock was broken in pieces. There is no official record of injuries caused; the churchwarden's account book mentions that two men in the belfry were killed.

England - East England - Norfolk - Countryside


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
5/23/2020 - Malcolm Watts

A most enjoyable walk, especially the Bath Hills section and down across Outney Common. The paths are very well used and easy to follow.

8/22/2011 - Walkingworld Administrator

Roy Davenport reports that he has revisited this walk and all is OK. August 2011. Adrian (Admin)

4/27/2009 - Keith & Jeannie Parker

The Otter Trust has been closed for a couple of years now

10/28/2008 - Walkingworld Administrator

Thanks to Adrian Perkions for his update. October 2008

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