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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Only one of it's kind in England...

                              St Andrew's Church,  Mutford.
Recently I spent a pleasant day driving round the Suffolk lanes as I wanted to revisit this little delightful medieval church of St Andrew at Mutford.
From the surrounding landscape this church would be hard to miss, as it stands proud at the top of an incline and therefore appears taller than it actually is. 
 The Doomsday book mentions two churches in Mutford but this is the only one I can find any mention of.

On entering through the church gates on the West side of the church the first thing one sees is it’s Galilee porch - the only one in England which adjoins a church with a round tower. The name ‘Galilee’ porch is so named because I believe it’s meant to symbolise the place where Christ led his disciples after the resurrection.
This porch had restoration work done twice in the C20.

There are supposed to be two scratch dials on the south end of the porch but I could only distinguish  one of them myself….These acted in a similar way to a sun dial…when a finger was placed in the centre hole of the dial the sun‘s shadow would tell parishioners when the next service would be.

The lower part of the 66’ tower is Saxon in origin, with a further section built on at  a later date.  It’s octagonal belfry was added in the C14.
The church itself is mainly C14 but was sadly allowed to deteriorate over time, and it wasn’t until c1930 that any real restoration began to take place - even so, the church was nearly made redundant in the early 1970’s but it’s few stalwart parishioners fought to keep it open. I hope it continues to survive for many years.

The interior North wall of the church originally had wall paintings which were then painted over with C17  paintings of the Creed and the Lord’s prayer.

A Norman circular arch in the North wall of the Nave is reputedly where the founder  of the original church is buried…..possibly Baldric de Bosco.


An exciting discovery was made at the beginning of C20. It is a mural on the North interior wall, it depicts St Christopher and the ten commandments… Sadly through fading, the images on this Decalogue are almost invisible now.

The Font is of a typical octagonal design and was a gift to the church in late C14 by Dame Elizabeth de Hengrave
                       
                                Inside St Andrew's Church
The pulpit, organ and pew stalls were purchased from other churches in C20 and installed in St Andrews.

The roof of the church was taken off in 1974 due to it being beyond repair, and a new roof erected.......So much hard work and money has been spent to bring this church back to life.

All the ledger stones are bereft of their brass plaques, no doubt these were ripped off at the time William Dowsing paid a visit to the church in 1643 and was under royal instructions to destroy all it’s imagery and relics.


The outside walls of the church has flint tracery which looks very appealing 



         The old graveyard at the rear of the church has been left to run wild, but in a way this only adds to it’s charm.

                      

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