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Sunday, 15 November 2015

St Peter's church, Hedenham

This church stands in a pleasant village, with it’s path rising up to the church door….interesting and perhaps a little disconcerting are the graveyard foot stones which pave the last few yards of this path.
                        Before I went inside the church I took a wander around the outside.

The North wall of the nave has three single C13 lancet windows

The chancel  appears to have been carefully restored and it’s East window has lovely tracery.
The South wall windows are of the perpendicular style, with the West tower and porch being similar. The nave buttresses are gabled and have trefoils beneath the gable ends.  A staircase projection is visible from the South side and the tower parapet has stepped battlements.  

Returning back to the South side of the church I found a large memorial tablet on the outer chancel wall for Arthur Jenney who died in 1742….sadly this tablet is badly weathered so I know nothing more about this gentleman..

While in the churchyard I found a row of large flat tombstones belonging to the Carr Family, they each have the family coat of arms on them…I found this unusual as most notable families have a large square family plot for their loved ones to rest in.

Entry into the church is through a late C14 porch door with a sundial above.

A bright airy nave contains a typical C14 font at the West end with it’s carved decoration of roses and shields….There is evidence that this end of the nave is now used for Sunday School purposes
Turning and facing East, one is struck by how colourful the chancel arch and chancel are

Sometimes C19 restorations weren't very successful,but this church seems to have embraced it...Apart from the painting around the chancel arch, there is similar painting on the walls around the chancel windows.

One doesn’t usually see churches painted in this way now, and personally I found the extravagance of the Victorian Gothic style (c1860) a little overwhelming, although nicely done 

 The restored sedilia in the chancel looks rather splendid        

There are a number of impressive wall tablets which adorn the church walls, especially in the chancel where centuries of the Bedingfield family are remembered.

Also in the chancel are ledger stones to the Bedingfield family and a lovely chalice brass on the stone of Rev Richard Greene who died in 1502…Other memorial tablets in the church are mainly for the Garneys family.

 I found the visit to this church fascinating, there is a calm light atmosphere in the nave with it’s traditional oak benches, which is in contrast to the chancel which is busy and darker. 

Traces of medieval wall painting

                                Reredos  >>

        Grave foot stones which are being used as a pathway up to the church
This is a well loved church which has successfully incorporated the new(ish) amongst the old.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Remembrance Day

With everlasting gratitude to ALL the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their Country....

Personal respect to my own family ancestors....

John Edward Goodall aged 27yrs who died on April 5th 1918 when his ship HMS Pomerania was torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Pvt. Robert Greatrix - North Staffs Regiment, aged 20yrs who died on the Western Front 17th April 1918….buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, NW of Poperinge, Belgium

 George A. Jonas MM - Leicestershire Regiment, aged 33yrs who died on the Western Front, October 8th 1918 buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Trepor, France


Telegraphist Henry Scragg aged 22yrs, died 5th July 1944 when his ship HM Trawler Ganilly, Royal Naval Patrol Service hit a mine and was sunk off the coast of Normandy.

We Will Remember Them

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

St Andrew's church, Ilketshall, Suffolk

Entering through the black wrought iron gates into the churchyard the grand round towered church of St Andrew stands before us. It has an ancient 64’ castellated tower which probably has Saxon foundations. 
The church porch has a modern statue of St Andrew in a niche above it’s doorway. The porch is partially built of red Tudor brick and the rest in C19 flint. It has a Holy water stoup inside by the Norman church doorway. The church door itself is about 500 hundred years old 

On the outer South wall of the church is a weathered plaque, this was in memory of the Sallow family in the early C18…It seems that Isaac Sallows out lived his wife and all of their seven children

On the North wall is the outline of a blocked up Norman doorway  >>

Sallows family plaque

INTERIOR….the inside of this long church with it’s *weeping* chancel walls is a sheer delight for medieval wall painting enthusiasts, some of the paintings here are as early as C12 and others C14..The image depicting the Wheel of Fortune was a very potent one in early medieval times.
The only original Norman window remaining is a small slit window which contains C19 glass with a  figure of St Andrew

The pulpit is C19 but done in a Jacobean style, and it’s tester top now acts as a table which stands nearby.

Among the C19 pews is a splendid C16 one on the South side of the nave at the rear of the church. It is richly carved and likely to have belonged to the man on it’s inscription-John Bongay (now spelt Bungay) He must have been a man of wealth to have afforded such an elaborate pew for his family…I noted on the pew end near the aisle a carving of a *green man* (a pagan symbol of fertility) so maybe he had the pew carved at the time of his marriage to his wife Elizabeth who died in 1559 
Over the tower arch hang the Royal Arms of the Stuarts, flanked by two C17 Garter shields

In front of the tower arch stands a fine C15 font 

In the chancel are some lovely carved angel head-stops at the ends of the roof timber.

Some of the C16 choir stalls still retain their original poppy-head ends, while the rest of the choir stalls are from the C19… a *green man* is carved on one of the old pew ends  
There is a nice Ogee Arch in the South wall of the chancel…I wonder if this was meant for an Easter sepulchre

            Church  Interior...>>>

There are some early interesting ledger-stones in the church…


  Rebeccah Antell 1656

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Chedgrave..The church of All Saints

At first glance this is a very strange looking church with it’s square stubby Norman tower capped by thatch at the North East corner of the building, and a 1990s construction added adjacent to the West of the North Aisle.

Once inside the 1880s South porch we see, what to me is the best part of the church – it’s glorious Norman doorway, it’s shafts and capitals richly carved…the Norman doorway on the North side of the church is not so impressive
East Anglia is very fortunate to have so many of these wonderful Norman doorways surviving…the carving on most of them is exquisite.

The South door sheltered by the porch has Roman numerals of 1819 in iron work on it….

There’s a nice C19 window in the porch

There are reportedly mass dials by the entrance to the church, but I assume these must have worn away with time as I couldn’t find any.

The interior is surprisingly light in this church...I like the small Norman slit window set high into the West wall

At the west end of the nave is the C15 octagonal font which has angels holding shields around it, although it's base appears to be from a later date.

The chancel is very pretty with it’s simple Altar table and a piscina set into the South wall.
The stained glass in the East window is very striking - it was restored in 1976…the  glass had been brought over from Rouen Cathedral after the French Revolution 

Although the inner walls of the church are white washed over there is evidence in the north tower (now the vestry) that early wall paintings are hidden underneath. 

The painting fragments seen around the West window in the tower are believed to date to the C11

     I liked this ledger-stone…

The North side of All Saints is a relatively modern addition to the church , built in 1819.  It’s the main  reason (apart from it’s tower) why this church is so oddly shaped.

Some of the additions and alterations over the centuries are pleasing and other not so.

I found the large churchyard  which is bordered by Scots pine trees very nicely kept,

Friday, 2 October 2015

St Peter's church, Brampton

 This church stands on a hazardous bend on a busy road and has a steeply sloping churchyard. Like most medieval churches from this era a lot of restoration work has taken place at St Peter’s over the centuries.. but this church retains it’s medieval aura.
It is a handsome building with a C15 square tower and early tracery windows.
The C15 porch is small, sheltering a pleasing church door complete with it’s original closing ring

There is a C15 octagonal font with Tudor roses carved on it’s bowl and supported by a sturdy four shafted stem.

Most of the nave furnishings are made from C19 oak, including the tower and rood screens with their lovely tracery work…A fine C19 stained glass window adorns the West wall of the tower

The chancel floor must have been raised at some point as the medieval piscina is so low to the floor - it would not have been like this originally.

The C19 pulpit stands in front of a blocked stairway to the rood loft

 The chancel holds many memorials to the Leman family who were Lords of the manor and benefactors of this church from the year 1616 until Victorian times, with some of the male family members being rectors of the Parish.  There are two Leman monuments in the chancel dating 1788 and 1807, and a memorial to Susan Orgill Leman who financed the mid C19 restoration of the church. There are also ledger stones let into the chancel floor for this influential family.

One of the chancel windows is dedicated to Rev. Thomas Orgill Leman.
The C13 tracery windows on the South wall of the chancel contain some lovely stained glass.

On the outside of the church there is a scratch dial on both sides of the priests door.

A headstone for Robert Auldous dated 1785 has been placed up against the rebuilt C19 East wall and directly below the East window….I wonder if there was a special reason for this....

There are some poignant but inspiring headstones in the churchyard, I wished I’d had  the time to peruse more of them..Gravestones only started to appear in churchyards from the C17, up until then only the wealthy could afford to show public respect for their departed loved ones.

….On a headstone for Samuel Girling aged 37 who died in 1840    reads the  moving epitaph….
 “Farewell dear wife, My life is past,
 My love to you till death did last
 And now no sorrow for me take
 But love my child for my sake”

One of the oldest headstones in this churchyard …I wonder who B.G. was..>>