Sunday, 22 June 2014

Charm & Harm at Thornham Parva

During my travels today, I took the opportunity to pause and explore as I visited one of my favourite churches, St Mary at Thornham Parva in Suffolk. As you can see it has a lovely truncated Norman tower and is all flint and thatch textures in the bright light of a glorious late June day. 

It would be truly remiss of me not to highlight the wonderful medieval retable (altar piece), that is probably a survivor, originally displayed in the pre-Reformation abbey at Thetford in South Norfolk. 

As with all the best churches, the old sits naturally beside the new. Here is a delicately inscribed modern window that I found quite captivating. 

I paused a good while inside the church admiring the medieval wall paintings, the old wooden coffer in the chancel, the dinky little font and the quaint 'barn build' eighteenth century gallery at the west end of the nave. I paused and I took time to breathe in the beetly age of the church. Strings of sun-lit dust beamed through the windows. It was silent and still and I was glad to have decided to divert a little to return here once again.

After some time, I decided to step outside into the sunshine and look at the final resting place of Basil Spence, the artist and architect who designed Coventry Cathedral, following the destruction of the original through German raids in World War Two. He is buried alongside his wife Joan in the tranquil surroundings of a rural Suffolk churchyard. It is a shame he only lived in this area for around a year before his death in 1976. 

Next, I located the Evil Pond located on the fringe of the burial yard. Being obviously evil, it was, to my reckoning, almost certainly bottomless. I was also fascinating by the intensely evil blue light playing upon its surface. The surface scum was endlessly shifting, kaleidoscopically - I found myself having evil thoughts and knew that it was time to move on...

As an antidote to this intoxicating experience of pure liquid evil I decided to take some time to stand in the sunshine and look upon the beauty that surrounded me. Here are just some of the things that caught my eye...

I urge you to go and visit this delightful church for yourself, but do please be extremely wary of that Evil Pond.

~ Munro Tweeder-Harris Esq ~ 


  1. A lovely post on a very enlightening subject... or should that be the other way around??? I forget. However, it was enlightening... or lovely... I think. Probably both.
    Evil ponds are, as I once told my batman in India (it was 86 in the shade and I have always doubted he was listening. Always the problem there don't yer see! Had they stayed with the empire we could have done them yards and yards of good. Would have sold them mini metro's at cost!....)
    it's always the water that causes problems. NEVER TRUST THE WATER...

  2. A great post and my first comment on this blog i find the story fantastic and interesting thanks for posting guys