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Host of angels in roof attracts visitors to Fenland church

120 oak angels were carved by two brothers from Norfolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

ITV News Anglia has been uncovering the history behind a Fenland church with a host of wooden angels in its roof.

St Wendreda’s in March has 120 oak angels dating back to the early 16th century, carved by two brothers from Norfolk.

The poet Sir John Betjeman once said it was worth cycling 40 miles in a head wind to see them.

  • Click below for Stuart Leithes' report

Worshippers at St Wendreda's are in good company when they attend services. There are 120 carved angels and 19 saints and martyrs looking down from on high at the church in the Fenland town of March.

It's said to be the finest example in the country of what's known as a double hammer beam angel roof.

The church has a double hammer beam angel roof. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The angels were carved by the Rollesby brothers in their workshop at Bacton in Norfolk.

Bob Dixon, church tour guide, said: “They would’ve been carved by men working on benches opposite each other and it would’ve been unavoidable that they’d be looking at each other’s faces.

"So they’d end up doing angels with each other’s faces on. So we are actually looking at the faces of the real people 500 years later.”

St Wendreda's in March in Cambridgeshire. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's the only church in the country dedicated to St Wendreda - a princess who lived in March during the 7th century.

The late poet laureate Sir John Betjeman said after visiting St Wendreda's that it was “worth cycling forty miles in a head wind to see."

The church is also holding an open tower day at the end of this month, giving people the chance to climb up and see the view from the top.

Sir John Betjeman said the church was worth cycling 40 miles to see. Credit: ITV News Anglia
It's the only church in the country dedicated to St Wendreda - a princess who lived in March during the 7th century. Credit: ITV News Anglia
The angels are carved out of oak. Credit: ITV News Anglia