Sunday, 23 August 2015

All Saints Church, Ringsfield

A charming thatched roof church set in a delightful churchyard away from the village,
It’s narrow C15 tower contains a small perpendicular west window.
In the early part of the year I imagine this churchyard is awash with Spring flowers.

On the north side outside of the church, adjacent to the C16 arch braced roofed porch  is the 1902 gravestone of Princess Caroline Murat, who was grand-daughter of the King of Naples and great niece of Napoleon Bonaparte. The grave is marked by a flamboyant angel. Sadly her grave now seems like a forgotten relic of a bygone age. She came to Suffolk when she married her second husband, the squire of nearby Redisham Hall…from all accounts she didn’t look on her time in Suffolk with much favour and yearned for her previous life in America and Paris.

By the mid C19 the church had become rather run down so an extensive restoration throughout took place in 1883/84
A large brick memorial to Nicholas Garneys who died in 1599, was reset into the south wall of the church. He was High Sheriff for Suffolk in 1592  The Garneys were early resident owners of Redisham Hall.

Most of the interior of All Saints is the work of the Victorians. The church appears long and narrow and quite gloomy. Originally the nave held early box pews which were removed, and even the West gallery was taken out.

The C17 pulpit was much altered but it still retains it’s early tester board.

There remains a C17 black and gilt lower rood screen with it’s panels painted with texts from the scriptures

The octagonal font is from the C15 and carved with Tudor roses, flowers and shields.

There is only one remaining C15 bench with it’s poppyheads still surviving, and this  now resides in the tower.
I found the stone reredos set under the East window to be quite harsh in appearance.

The church contains some lovely C19 stained glass

Much of the churchyard is given over to promoting wildlife conservation which makes it an interesting although difficult experience to reach some of the older gravestones.

The inside of this church became flooded up to 2 feet high on August 26th 1912 when there was a great deluge in East Anglia, when 6” of rain fell within 12 hours.

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