Is This the Most Overgrown Church in the World?

(Image: Gary Troughton, cc-nc-3.0)

If you thought St Mary’s at Fulmodeston was overgrown, check out this abandoned church in the English village of Bircham Tofts.  Tucked away down the aptly named Church Lane, St Andrew’s Church is completely consumed by ivy.  If it wasn’t for the angular nature of the bell tower betraying the abandoned building’s shape, passers-by could be forgiven for mistaking the centuries-old structure for a dense copse of trees.

(Images: Gary Troughton, cc-nc-3.0)

Inside – if you can find the entrance – the building’s stonework is clearly visible.  But on the outside, the grounds are almost as overgrown as the roofless structure itself.  Dotted around the churchyard, weathered headstones emerge forlornly from the undergrowth that offers a haven for all manner of wildlife.

(Image: Gary Troughton, cc-nc-3.0)

If St Andrew’s at Bircham Tofts isn’t the world’s most overgrown abandoned church, the competition must be formidable.  Either way, the building reflects nineteenth century efforts to amalgamate small rural parishes previously served by their own individual churches or chapels.  The result is a wealth of ruined ecclesiastical structures located throughout rural Britain.



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