A bit of a beauty, this was nearer the start of our circuit quite obviously positioned in Wolterton Park next to the main drive; It’s another life remnant a piece of the past which has gained purchase in the now by becoming a folly for the gentry. It is very pretty sitting as it does just inside the end of the driveway, visible from the house and from the Wall Road and presumably to whoever comes up the driveway which is private to us loitering types who have to come up a side driveway, the oiks entrance perhaps. This took us off our track for a bit, but it’s worthwhile. You could see it from the road but it is too far away to be anything other than another church tower, it’s only when you get up close you can see what it really is and look out over the depression next to it that would have formed the Nave and Chancel.
It is another more obvious victim of emparkment, and has a very definite cousin at Houghton, which keeps it nicely in the Walpole family as part of it owned that too. It is I am told a thirteenth century church, it and the boundary of the graveless graveyard are all that remain. According to Simon Knott the tower was built in one go, the bell stage matches the tower rather than being a later addition to something else. There may of course be an older chapel here, and we may never know anything about that. The name Wolteron is indicative of a Walther or Wulfthryth’s enclosure or tuna indicative of the age of the site as a settlement, pinning it into Saxon reasonably clearly.
The church unlike Mannington, has a known dedication, to St Margaret. In 1752 Bloomfield indicated that the nave and chancel were thatched and therefore we can assume the church was in reasonable state, the last burial recorded is in 1747 and the last baptism in 1780. Although the site is also listed as derelict and ‘consolidated’ in 1737, as luck would have it the emparkment meant the village was removed anyway, knocked down in its entirety. There is every chance that the driveway is a ghost road once travelled by the peasant folk who would have lived here. And perhaps fancifully as we walked back along the driveway away from the car parks you can perhaps fancifully see what looks like a very worn out hollow way across the fields.