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Church of St Mary, Mendlesham

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 29 July 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 281624

OS Grid Reference: TM1056065790
OS Grid Coordinates: 610560, 265790
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2500, 1.0832

Location: 5 Church Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk IP14 5SF

Locality: Mendlesham
Local Authority: Mid Suffolk District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP14 5SF

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Listing Text

TM 16 NW
7/39 Church of St Mary

Parish church. Medieval, restored 1864-6. Aisled nave, chancel, west tower,
north and south porches, the latter now a chapel. Flint rubble, stone
dressings. South aisle has C19 knapped flint facing. Nave and aisle roofs
leaded, the chancel plaintiled. Fine C15 square tower in 4 stages with
diagonal buttresses; the plinth and deep embattled parapet have fine
flushwork. Moulded west doorway with shield-carved spandrels, above which is
a 3-light window. Paired 2-light belfry openings. Both aisles have C13
origins and retain original doorways of this date. South doorway has 3 orders
of colonnettes, the outer order keel-moulded, and a richly-moulded arch.
North doorway has similar jambs but a narrower, less richly-moulded arch.
Windows in south aisle are mostly renewed, with Y tracery; 3-light east window
has reticulated tracery. North aisle has mostly original 2 and 3-light C14
windows under pointed segmental arches; C15 3-light east window. Fine C15
porches with good flushwork. South porch has moulded entrance arch with
shield-carved spandrels and a central canopied image niche. Original 2-bay
roof: angels at the foot of each wallpost, carved spandrels to end braces,
wallplates with brattishing. North porch has moulded entrance enriched with
fleurons, and with a much-weathered angel at the apex; eroded shields in
spandrels; flanking canopied niches. At the level of the upper chamber, a
further canopied niche flanked by 2-light windows renewed in 1980's.
Embattled parapet retains original and well-preserved pinnacles at each
corner, carved as lions and wild men. 5-bay clerestorey: 2-light shallow-
arched windows, probably C15. A good set of gargoyles below the embattled
parapet. C14 chancel: to south, 2 3-light windows under segmental arches; to
north, 2 windows in Perpendicular style, one mostly original. 5-light east
window inserted 1864; C14 shafted jambs internally. At junction of chancel
and north aisle, a circular brick rood stair turret of c.1500. Interior. C13
6-bay arcades with circular piers and abaci; the 6th (east) bay is separated
from the remainder by a short length of wall, against which the adjacent arch
is carried by corbels, that to the south with dog-tooth decoration. Arch of
6th bay has short vertical sections above the capital, probably intended to
accommodate parclose screens enclosing chapels. C13 chancel arch has similar
form. Nave and chancel roofs renewed 1864-6; nave roof has panelled canopy of
honour, partly C15. Restored medieval crown-post roof over south aisle, the
moulded tie beams with remains of original painted decoration. North aisle
roof is substantially medieval. East window of north aisle is shafted, and
incorporates a central image niche for a chapel altar with cusped segmental
arch on demi colonnettes, the canopy lost. 4-centre arched entrance to rood,
stair adjacent. Trefoil piscina in south aisle. Plain C15 octagonal font.
Fine font cover and pulpit, both of 1630 by John Turner of Mendlesham; font
cover restored 1908, pulpit set on stone base 1866. Good set of C15 poppyhead
benches, many with carved ends and backs, some retaining carved figures on
arm-rests; some were restored in C19. At east end of nave, brass of John
Knyvet (1417) in armour, the inscription and all but one of the shields
missing. Arms of George III in south aisle. Chamber over north porch has
been used as the town armoury since 1593; the collection of 23 pieces rates as
'the most complete armoury of any English parish church' (Pevsner).

Listing NGR: TM1056065790

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.