Monthly Archives: September 2016

In Search of St Paul’s Church Fenchurch St Paul

The Parish Church of Fenchurch St Paul which features in The Nine Tailors by Dorothy. L. Sayer’s is like Ely Cathedral it dominates the fenland landscape where the novel is set.

Ely Cathedral, Ely Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral, Ely, Cambridgeshire

In seeking what church was the inspiration behind St Paul’s in Fenchurch St Paul a cautionary approach is needed. If you take to literally approach you could argue, as Lord Peter Wimsey and Bunter came to grief on a snowy New Year’s eve while crossing the Thirty Foot Drain at Frogs Bridge, therefore in reality if you turn left at Bedlham Bridge and traverse along the Sixteen Foot Bank you will discover that once upon a time there was an Inn called the Wheatsheaf on your right hand side, now a private dwelling.

If you continue a little further on you will find a turning to the village of Christchurch where Dorothy’s father was rector after leaving Bluntisham until his death in 1928.

Memorial To The Rev Sayers, Christchurch, Cambridgeshire,

Memorial To The Rev Sayers, Christchurch, Cambridgeshire,

“Bunter turned his torch upon the signpost and read upon the sign, Fenchurch St Paul, there was no other direction ahead, the road marched on side by side into an eternity of winter”

So it is safe to deduce that Christ Church in the village of Christchurch is a good choice but…….

The Christ Church, Christchurch, Cambridgeshire, England

Christ Church, Christchurch, Cambridgeshire.

Although as you can see it is a fine place of worship and has its own distinct charm it does not fit the description or the drawings by the Architect W. J. Redhead in the book, so we will have to look in another direction.

Hear lies the problem there are a number of good candidates, Walpole St Peters for example which was used in the 1974 TV adaptation, but still it does not quite meet all the criteria.

St Peters Church, Walpole St Peters, Norfolk, Englan

St Peters Church, Walpole St Peters, Norfolk, England

Rather than carrying on and on, perhaps if below I display a collage of pictures which could be listed as possibilities you can select your own preference.

It is more than likely that the Parish Church of Fenchurch St Paul is a composite of many or is it a church in the mind’s eye and imagination of the creator.


Web Links:

Past Offences Review of Dorothy. L. Sayers The Nine Tailors

Dorothy L Sayers, Cambridgeshire Connections

Dalham, Suffolk

Dalham village is in the county of Suffolk, it lies to the east of the racing town of Newmarket and the west of Bury St Edmunds.

It has all the quality and elements that influence the design of a luxury chocolate box and if you are worried about all the calories that evokes I can ease your conscience by adding that Dalham is blest with an abundance of footpaths, but if that is not to your taste a visit to the church will be sufficient as you will have to climb up Church Lane to reach The Church of St Mary the Virgin and Dalham Hall.

One the unusual features in the village is the Malt Kiln which sits at the junction of the steep incline (East Anglian Standard) to the village church.

The River Kennet runs through the village passing past the village Inn of The Affleck Arms. it carries on to the Packhorse Bridge in Moulton.

Packhorse Bridge, Moulton, Suffolk

Packhorse Bridge, Moulton, Suffolk

Little Gidding Revisited

It is always a pleasure visiting Little Gidding and the temptation is to head the car from Great Gidding straight to the village, turning right at the red post box down the lane parking in the car park opposite Farrah House and the church of St John the Evangelist.

But on this visit inspiration called and we decided to carry on to Steeple Gidding .

St Andrews Church, Steeple GIdding

St Andrews Church, Stepple Gidding, Cambridgeshire

There is a lovely walk from Steeple Gidding that leads you to Little Gidding, it takes you past the Church of St Andrews, Steeple Gidding which is under the care of The Churches Conservation Trust, across the rolling hills of Cambridgeshire.

No I have not lost the plot for in this part of the county there are some hills of note, but then again some may argue it is because you are so near the border of Northamptonshire which accounts for undulations, but I digress, if you continue to put one foot in front of another you will finally arrive at a stile once climbed, it leads you through a field which I believe is called the King’s Field after Charles I and into the grassy lane passing Farrah House and onto the church of Little Gidding.

St John the Evangelist Church, Little Gidding, Cambridgeshire

St Andrews Church, Stepple Gidding, Cambridgeshire