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Revealed: Ornate interior of church before it was consumed by fire

PUBLISHED: 13:56 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:25 04 September 2019

Picture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. Picture: Simon Knott

Picture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. Picture: Simon Knott

Simon Knott

This is the ornate interior of a medieval church before it was destroyed by fire.

Fire has gutted the church at Wimbotsham, near Downham Market  Picture: Chris BishopFire has gutted the church at Wimbotsham, near Downham Market Picture: Chris Bishop

Flames tore through St Mary's Church at Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, this morning.

Fire crews arrived to find the 12th Century building well alight as they battled to bring the blaze under control.

Picture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. One of the wooden figures carved by James Rattee in 1853. Picture: Simon KnottPicture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. One of the wooden figures carved by James Rattee in 1853. Picture: Simon Knott

The roof over the main part of the building collapsed, while wooden furniture inside the building was consumed by the flames.

Priceless items which were lost included a 15th Century table, pews and bench ends decorated by intricate carved figures and animals.

Picture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. One of the wooden figures carved by James Rattee in 1853. Picture: Simon KnottPicture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. One of the wooden figures carved by James Rattee in 1853. Picture: Simon Knott

The carvings were the work of the acclaimed 19th Century wood worker James Rattee, examples of whose work can be found in Westminster Abbey and churches across the Diocese of Ely.

A wooden door dating back to Norman times - believed to be one of the largest of its kind in the area - was also destroyed.

Picture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. Picture: Simon KnottPicture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. Picture: Simon Knott

Picture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. One of the wooden figures carved by James Rattee in 1853. Picture: Simon KnottPicture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. One of the wooden figures carved by James Rattee in 1853. Picture: Simon Knott

Picture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. One of the wooden figures carved by James Rattee in 1853. Picture: Simon KnottPicture from 2016 of the interior of St Mary the Virgin Church in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, which has been gutted by a fire. One of the wooden figures carved by James Rattee in 1853. Picture: Simon Knott

A Norman door at the church  Picture: Simon KnottA Norman door at the church Picture: Simon Knott

Firefighters can be seen through the doorway after the wooden door was destroyed in the fire  Picture: Chris BishopFirefighters can be seen through the doorway after the wooden door was destroyed in the fire Picture: Chris Bishop

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