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The parish church of St Mary, Surlingham, Norfolk
The parish church of St Mary, Surlingham, Norfolk

Round-tower churches are a type of church found mainly in England, mostly in East Anglia; of about 185 surviving examples in the country, 124 are in Norfolk, 38 in Suffolk, six in Essex, three in Sussex and two each in Cambridgeshire and Berkshire. There is evidence of about 20 round-tower churches in Germany, of similar design and construction to those in East Anglia. Countries with at least one round-tower church include Andorra, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Poland and South Africa.

There is no consensus between experts for why the distribution of round-tower churches in England is concentrated in the East of England:

Many other (less likely) explanations are offered in communities containing the churches, including appeals to ancient stone circles and the remains of wells.

Round-tower churches should not be confused with similarly shaped structures such as the Irish round towers found in Ireland and Scotland, or with round churches, which have a circular plan and are often found in Denmark or Sweden.

List of round tower churches in England

Berkshire

Cambridgeshire

Essex

Norfolk

Suffolk

St Peter's Church, Bruisyard, Suffolk
St Peter's Church, Bruisyard, Suffolk

Sussex

List of round tower churches in Sweden

Scania

Blentarp Church in Scania, Sweden
Blentarp Church in Scania, Sweden

Sources