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The church of St Margaret of Antioch & St Remigius, Seething, Norfolk

The village name of Seething denotes an ancient foundation – compounded of Old English and Saxon elements. We know that before the Normal Conquest, the people of Sytha lived here.

The double dedication to Saints Margaret of Antioch and Remigius is very unusual.  The wall painting on the nave’s south wall is likely to portray St Margaret but there is no depiction of St Remigius, who was the Bishop of Rheims.  There was initially a second church in Seething and it is possible that this was dedicated to Remigius, his name being added to that of St Margaret when the other church fell into decay at an earlier date.

St Margaret was thrown into prison in Antioch for her Christian beliefs.  There she was tempted by the devil in the guise of a dragon with which she is usually depicted doing battle.

The church is built of typical Norfolk materials, flint and rubble.  Expensive imported stone was only used around the doors and the windows.  The roof is thatched as most of the local churches would have been originally.  In the stone dressings on the south side of the church, medieval mass dials can be seen.  These were an early form of sundial which told the time for mass.  A number of the incised lines radiate from the central point in the circle on the dial but the style to make the shadow has almost disappeared.

Although the fabric of Seething church is substantially of the 14th century, the round tower tells of an earlier foundation, probably around 1100AD.  There may well have been a wooden church here.  There are around 180 round towers in England, almost all of them in East Anglia, in Norfolk and north east Suffolk.