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Church of St Mary, Helmingham

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 9 December 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 279715

OS Grid Reference: TM1907457635
OS Grid Coordinates: 619074, 257635
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1735, 1.2025

Location: B1077, Helmingham, Suffolk IP14 6EN

Locality: Helmingham
Local Authority: Mid Suffolk District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP14 6EN

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Listing Text

TM 15 NE
4/96 Church of St Mary

- I

Parish church, medieval with major alterations of C19. Chancel, nave, west
tower and south porch. Rubble walling mainly refaced in C19 flushed flint
rubble; freestone dressings. Plaintiled roofs with parapet gables; a large
gabled plaintiled dormer with traceried window, possibly added in early C17 to
accommodate the head of a large monument (see below). Good early C13 south
doorway with square moulded imposts and reveals; door of c.1500 with deep
moulded ribs and traceried panels. North doorway also of early C13 design,
but copied or introduced in restoration of c.1845. Fine west tower by Thomas
Aldrych of North Lopham; contract dated 1488 specifies similar details to the
newly-built tower at Framsden. Inscription at the base states: "SCANDIT AD
ETHERA VIRGO PUERPERA VIRGULA JESSE". The west doorway is moulded and
labelled with shields, lion corbels and a pair of flanking niches, ogee-headed
and buttressed. Above is a 3-light window. The embattled and pinnacled
parapets have complex flushwork bearing the date 1545. The porch is also of
c.1500 with flushwork panels to the parapets. In the nave are 3-light late
Perpendicular windows, much restored in C19. Chancel mainly mid C19 in the
Decorated Style; possibly a remodelling by A. Salvin c.1840 (drawings survive)
of previous major alterations by Joseph Martyr c.1757. Rave roof of c.1530 in
7 bays with 2 half bays: arch braced collar beams, and pendant posts beneath
arch braced purlins; principals also arch-braced from moulded shafts; deep
moulded cornice. Good C15 font: the bowl has alternate lions and shields on
each face, and the stem has buttresses and supporting lions above human heads.
The church contains a number of major monuments to the Tollemache family. In
the nave the largest is dated 1615, to Lionel (c.1550), and 3 further
generations of the same name (1553, 1575 and 1605). Each is represented by a
kneeling figure within an arched recess, the three younger being below the
eldest. The upper recess is supported by strapwork and obelisks and is
crowned by an achievement. Monument to Lionel Tollemache (1640) with
reclining figure beneath two coffered arches on Corinthian columns. Two wall
tablets by Nollekens: to Lionel Robert Tollemache (d.1793) with a trophy and
an oval portrail medallion above; and to Maria Countess Dysart (d.1804) with a
seated figure and weeping putto with lamb. Two slabs originally in the
floor, to Elizabeth wife of Sir Lionel (d.1661); and to another Sir Lionel
(d.1610). Two tablets by Bedford, to Vice Admiral J.R.D. Tollemache (d.1837),
and to Georgina wife of John Tollemache (d.1847). Further monuments in the
chancel: to Sir Lionel (d.1727); his figure is semi-reclining and his wife
sits at his feet, and behind is an entablature with pediment. To Lt.Gen.
Thomas Tollemache (d.1694); a bust in front of a trophy, in the C18 manner.
To Dame Catharine, daugher of Thomas, Lord Cromwell (d.1620). To Lady Mary
(d.1715) and Lady Grace (d.1719); dated 1742.

Listing NGR: TM1907457635

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.