A parvise is a room over the porch of a church. They are quite often found in Norman churches in England. In St Martin’s, the parvise chamber is above the south porch and is said to have been used as a home for one of the priests. Access to the parvise chamber is via a small door built in the internal south wall besides the south door. The door leads to a spiral staircase up to the chamber.
Today, the parvise chamber is used as a storage area. In the past it has been used to store the lime for the lime wash on the walls. A trip to the parvise needs dust sheets to be put down in the book corner by the door to prevent the lime dust getting on the carpet. The room is only used by St Martin’s working party, a group of volunteers who meet every Tuesday night and help to keep the church in good repair. They have learned not to wear good clothes if they are visiting the parvise room!
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