The Church of St Mary, Houghton-on-the-Hill, North Pickenham, Swaffham, Norfolk, PE37 8FB

01760 440470            houghtonstmary@gmail.com            01760 724555

Houghton-on-the-Hill

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The story of the rediscovery of St Mary’s has become something of a local legend…

By the early 20th century the church was almost derelict and in a poor state of repair, with the last service believed to have taken place in the late 1940s.  After that the church gradually crumbled, being overtaken by the ivy and undergrowth from the churchyard. St Mary’s slept…

Then, in 1992, the local WI stopped by the overgrown churchyard on one of their  regular local rambles. One of their number, Gloria Davey, was fascinated by the ruins and on her return home mentioned the site to her husband, North Pickenham churchwarden, Bob Davey. Bob was intrigued enough to visit the site and, shocked by the state of the building, began a relentless campaign to see the church restored to its former glory. It was in the early stages of this campaign, working with representatives from the County Council, that it was noticed that fragments of early wall paintings appeared to survive on the walls. The gradual uncovering of the images, and on-going conservation work began, and the rest, as they say, is history…

Bob Davey was rewarded for his hard work and dedication to the site in 2005 when he was awarded an MBE.