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About East Anglia - 2

Sunset near Saxtead, Suffolk
Sunset near Saxtead, Suffolk

East Anglia is home to over 500 medieval churches; the total number of churches is considerably larger. You will find a church in even the smallest village; for example, there are at the most 20 houses in Butley, but it does have a church. The medieval churches have a characteristic style. Generally the building comprises two levels: the steeple, which is supported by slender pillars, and above it the roof that is supported by an arcade of windows, mostly covered with clear glass in recent times. On that account the interior of the churches is generally bright and evenly lit. As the pillars are not very high, the overall dimensions are quite pleasant, so that one immediately feels at home. As the rather slender pillars do not obstruct one's view of the interior appreciably, the proportions are comfortable in comparison with the many continental cathedrals which generally have overtones of grandeur and pomp.

House with thatched roof

Two relatively modern houses with thatched roofs, which are still pretty common in East Anglia.

House with thatched roof

Another characteristic of many churches in East Anglia is that they are built of flint. Often the flint is rounded due to the churning action of water, and flints of similar size are stuck into the cement. Thus a frame made of stone or bricks is often adorned with a mosaic of flints. Occasionally use is made of flints that have been split and that are black on the inside. They are used to form patterns on the exterior walls of the church, taking care that the wall remains level. This is were masons have shown their craftmanship.

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