St Mary’s Church

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There has been a church here since before Doomsday. The present building dates from the 14th and 16thC. Like nearly all Suffolk churches it has a splendid square flint tower with stepped buttresses and decorative flushwork parapet.The clerestory is flushwork and has a small battlement along the top. The side aisles, transepts, chancel and south porch are rendered.

The plain glass windows in the nave and clerestory throw plenty of light into the nave. The chancel with its 19thC stained glass window feels dark in comparison.

Our eyes were immediately drawn up to the marvellous hammer beam ceiling dating from around 1460. with hanging bosses. Figures carved under the beams have had their head hacked off either in the Reformation or later during the Commonwealth. Between the beams is a double row of angel heads separated by a carved frieze. Binoculars are needed to really appreciate the detail.

At the back of the church is the font on plain octagonal base with figures holding shields and knotwork patterns in the panels of the bowl.

The 19thC pews have carved poppyheads, each one is different. They were made locally and their design was based on some old medieval pews which have survived. The pulpit is Jacobean with beautifully carved arches. On the top are candles.

Above the chancel arch is the remains of a Doom painting. At the centre top is Christ sitting on a rainbow, with sun and moon and angels holding symbols of the Passion. By his left hand (north side) is a red cloaked Virgin Mary waiting to receive the righteous. At his feet is an angel blowing a trumpet to awaken the dead from their coffins. On the opposite side, two horned devils are waiting. Detail is difficult to see but there is a framed painting in the north transept of the painting.

On the west wall of the south transept is a mounted St George killing the dragon. On his right a bearded figure is watching from the turret of a castle. Again their is a framed painting in the north transept.

The choir stalls have carved fronts , poppyheads and animals or angels carved on the arms. There is a two seater sedilia on the south wall with what looks like a dog minus his head carved between the two seats. There are two 14thC carved chests, one with carved circles on the front.

This is a lovely church with much of interest. It is worth searching out. There is some parking on the verge in front of the church and it is kept open.

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