Grandmother knits a replica of Sandringham's St Mary Magdalena Church
A great-great-grandmother has knitted a two-and-a-half foot tall model of St Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham as part of a bid to knit the whole royal estate.
Margaret Seaman, 91, from Caister-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, spent almost three months creating her woolly version of the Grade II* listed church, where members of the Royal Family typically attend Christmas services.
The intricate knitted building measures 45 inches long (1.15 metres), and 30 inches high (76cm) to the top of its steeple.
Margaret has even knitted in the stained glass windows along the front of the church, and a little clock face for each of the three sides of the steeple.
The great-great-grandmother-of-one said it was the hardest knit she has ever done. But the challenge of the church isn’t putting her off – as it is just part of her project to knit the whole of the Sandringham Estate.
Margaret Seaman, 91, from Caister-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, knitted a woolly version of St Mary Magdalene Church, where members of the Royal Family typically attend Christmas services on the Sandringham Estate (pictured with her masterpiece)
The handy grandmother had risen to fame this September with her woolen replica of the newly-built Nightingale Hospital for a NHS fundraiser, which had taken her three months to make.
Just like her ‘Knittingale’ effort, the St Mary Magdalene Church impressed with a level of detail that required painstaking work.
Margaret made the news last year for knitting Sandringham House and Gardens – but decided not to stop there, and continue on to do the whole estate.
She said: ‘I’ve got plenty left to do. I’ve now done the lake and the ballroom, and have just finished the church.
It took Margaret three months to knit her version of the grade II building, pictured. She even knitted the stain glass windows, and wants to move on to knit the stables
‘I’m moving on to the museum and the stables next.
‘I’ve got to get a move on, as I am hoping to present the finished estate at the Norfolk Makers Festival in February next year.’
Margaret said the idea came when her grandson took her to Sandringham Estate last year for her 90th birthday.
She said: ‘He took me as part of my birthday present, and when I came home that day I said to my daughter, “I think I might knit the estate”.
‘She looked at me and said, “You must be crazy'”.’
The Queen attends the church’s Sunday service when staying in Sandringham, as well as the Christmas Service (pictured on Christmas Day 2019)
Members of the royal family usually take part in a public walkabout on Christmas, where they greet members of the public. Pictured: The Prince of Wales, 71, Prince William, 38, Kate Middleton, 38, Meghan Markle, 39 and Prince Harry, 36, on Christmas day 2018
Margaret has so far raised more than £5,000 for the NHS for her knitted Sandringham House and Gardens.
And, speaking about the church she has just completed, she said: ‘I think it’s the hardest thing I’ve done so far. I found it quite a challenge.’
As part of the church, Margaret knitted between 80 and 100 trees to stand out the back of it – each with hundreds of tiny leaves on them.
Margaret rose to fame this September with her knitted replica watches of the Nightingale Hospital, renamed ‘Knittingale’ for the occasion, which she created to raise funds for the NHS (pictured)
She said: ‘The leaves take about a minute or 90 seconds each, so it’s very time consuming.’
Thankfully, Margaret lives with daughter Tricia Wilson, 72 – who helps her out with the more fiddly parts.
And the pensioner says she never gets tired of the knitting. She said: ‘I’m just as happy being indoors knitting as I am outdoors, so this has really given me a purpose during the lockdown this year.
‘I knit from when I get up in the morning to when I go to bed. I’m quite happy just sitting and knitting all day.’