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See the beautiful and rare roof angels of Cawston parish church like never before

PUBLISHED: 19:08 16 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:37 17 March 2019

Angels, around six feet high and wearing feather suits, on hammer beams, in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Angels, around six feet high and wearing feather suits, on hammer beams, in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

For hundreds of years, they have stood relatively unscathed in the wooden hammer beams of a medieval church.

One of the small angels around the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston, between the main larger angels. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne of the small angels around the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston, between the main larger angels. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And now, during a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, admirers from all over the country have flocked to see a group of spectacular cherubim angels in a north Norfolk village’s 14th century church.

The chance for members of the public to climb up to the roof of Cawston parish church and marvel at the carvings and original paintwork inside St Agnes has come about thanks to a major repair project.

Team vicar, the Revd Andrew Whitehead, first came to the church more than three years ago. He said by hosting the ‘hard hat’ days , it gave people the opportunity to get close to the heritage within the building and showcase what was happening there.

“There are many unique and interesting features within this church,” he added.

One of the angels in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston which has had repair work to its right wing in the past. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne of the angels in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston which has had repair work to its right wing in the past. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It has been great to be have been able to offer such a unique experience for people.”

The church was recently awarded £221,800 of Heritage Lottery funding for urgent repairs on the high leaded windows and to introduce a state-of-the-art drainage system to take rainwater away from the building.

It also means the community will benefit from the creation of a new multi-purpose space.

The work, which has involved putting up scaffolding inside the building, has allowed the now fully-booked tours of the angel roof to take place. It is believed that only 170 other examples are left in existence, including ones in Wales and York, with 140 in East Anglia.

Angels, around six feet high and wearing feather suits, on hammer beams in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAngels, around six feet high and wearing feather suits, on hammer beams in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Whitehead explained that the display in Cawston’s church is unique due to its rare features, including the scale of the angels and the upright position they stand in looking at each other.

The angels are also a higher rank known as “cherubim angels” as shown by their double wings and feather suits.

The white chalk and glue primer used before they were painted is also visible and some even have red and green paint on them preserved from the 15th century.

- To learn more about the church and on-going projects there visit the website where you will find a wealth of information.

Visitors take a look at the angels on hammer beams in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston, as a major repair project allows close scrutiny of the roof. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYVisitors take a look at the angels on hammer beams in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston, as a major repair project allows close scrutiny of the roof. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Angels, around six feet high and wearing feather suits, on hammer beams in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAngels, around six feet high and wearing feather suits, on hammer beams in the unique angel roof at St Agnes Church in Cawston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

St Agnes Church in Cawston which is undergoing a major repair project, which includes work on the unique angel roof.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSt Agnes Church in Cawston which is undergoing a major repair project, which includes work on the unique angel roof. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY



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