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Church of St Ethelbert, Hessett

Description: Church of St Ethelbert

Grade: I
Date Listed: 15 November 1954
English Heritage Building ID: 281173

OS Grid Reference: TL9369061840
OS Grid Coordinates: 593690, 261840
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2207, 0.8342

Location: The Street, Hessett, Suffolk IP30 9AX

Locality: Hessett
Local Authority: Mid Suffolk District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP30 9AX

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Listing Text


4/70 Church of St Ethelbert


Parish church. Mainly C15 but with some mid C14 work especially in chancel.
Nave, chancel, north and south aisles, north chapel (now organ chamber), north
sacristy, south porch, west tower. Flint rubble, all but tower and porch
plastered. Freestone dressings: some fine late C15 carved work. The nave,
both aisles and porch have openwork parapets and parapet gables with
quatrefoils framing shields and other emblems, alternating with open arches in
each merlon. At intervals are crocketed pinnacles, and at the corners of the
porch is a pair of angel figures. Flat leaded roofs (the chancel roof is
slated with a parapet). 3-stage C15 tower with possible C14 core: fine
freestone parapets with corner pinnacles and angel figures, and much sunk
tracery. The freize has sunk panels bearing shields and other emblems: the
initials I.B. for John Bacon are included, possibly the John who lived at the
adjacent house (Five Bells Cottage, Item 4/71) and died in 1513. Beneath the
2-light belfry windows are pairs of panels bearing similar shields. Fine
complete set of C15 3-light windows in aisles and clerestory. The south side
of the porch is entirely faced in panelled freestone: the entrance archway has
a frame with St George and the Dragon in the spandrels and above are three
canopied and vaulted image-niches. The north aisle doorway is of C14: other
C14 features are confined to the chancel: fine dagger-traceried east window
with image niche above. A 2-light south window and very restored doorway (the
2nd window is a C19 copy). The late C14 chantry chapel has a square-headed
east window, and two disused grotesque gargoyles; the north aisle was
remodelled and the chantry chapel raised to provide a sacristy in late C15.
Beneath the parapet is a freize requesting Prayer for John Hoo and his wife
(John died 1491). Interior: The church has a good interior of C15 character.
4-bay nave arcade with deeply scotia moulded piers and slender shafts.
Cambered and archbraced tiebeam roof: main members moulded, and a few badly-
damaged angels beneath wall-posts. Aisle roofs similar, with deep cornice:
the chapel (added by John Hoo c.1490) has a similar roof with the refinement
of embattling and moulded rafters. Late C14 chancel arch, with late C15
screen complete up to roodbeam, and with original stencilled colouring at
lower level: loft stairs with two doorways. C14 piscina in the chancel has an
ogee hoodmould with crocketing, but almost reconstructed in C19. Mid C14
doorway into sacristy: original plank door with ironwork. An original (late
C15) ladder stair leads to the room above. Amid C14 cusped and ogee-headed
piscina in the south aisle. Octagonal font with sunk traceried panels:
believed made at Norwich c.1451 and presented by the Hoo family in 1500. Two
sets of 9 square-ended benches in nave and others in south aisle: one of the
latter is linked with a poppyhead end bearing a coat of arms dated to
approximately 1525. Fine and undisturbed late C14 choirstall fronts with
poppyhead ends and traceried fronts with carved spandrels. The choirstalls
are altered but there are 4 good ends. In the north chapel is an C18 wall
monument to Thomas Aldridge Armiger and another with rich carved drapery and
crown to Lionel Bacon (d.1651). Fine C15 wall paintings: St Barbara in the
south aisle: The Seven Deadly Sins, above Christ of the Trades in the north
aisle; and St Christopher over the north doorway. Some C15 glass at the head
of several windows, sufficient in some cases for the subject to be recognised.

Listing NGR: TL9369061840

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.