St Mary the Virgin Church, The Street, Pulham St Mary, Diss

St Mary the Virgin Church, The Street, Pulham St Mary, Diss IP21 4RR

The church, a large one, seating some 250 people, has a prominent flint work west tower. The earliest part of the church, the chancel with its fine double piscina, dates from the thirteenth century. It was much extended and altered in the period of great perpendicular rebuilding. The most eye-catching of these additions is the sumptuous flush-work porch C.1475, the most remarkable in the county. Pevsner and Wilson, in 1999, described it as 'something phenomenal quite 'stealing the show'. After a destructive storm it was restored and repaired by G F Bodley in 1886 with tactful taste and an eye for detail. He had to restore the nave roof and the chancel arch. He went on to restore expensively, the rood screen and canopy, a font cover, a case for the organ and new altar frontals, (with their matching chest) and a new vestry on the side of the church. In his Thousand Best Churches, Simon Jenkins concludes, 'this is a medieval church restored in the hands of a master craftsman' There were also new stained glass windows and the 6 bells were rehung in a new iron frame. There are now 8 bells, still rung.