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Church of All Saints, Great Thurlow

Description: Church of All Saints

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 19 December 1961
English Heritage Building ID: 283130

OS Grid Reference: TL6808250333
OS Grid Coordinates: 568082, 250333
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1257, 0.4540

Location: 112 Bury Road, Great Thurlow, Suffolk CB9 7LF

Locality: Great Thurlow
Local Authority: St Edmundsbury Borough Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: CB9 7LF

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Listing Text


832/22/212 GREAT THURLOW

C12-C15, with restorations in 1741, 1880 and 1956.

Flint rubble with stone quoins. Tiled roofs.

Nave with W tower, N and S aisles and N porch. Short chancel with N vestry. The chancel retains its original Norman plan.

The nave is Perpendicular, but the chancel retains evidence of its Norman origins. The embattled W tower is of two stages, the lower stage very tall with diagonal buttresses and a W window but no W door. The upper stage has a Perpendicular window in each face, that to the E a single light, the others 2 lights. There is a small, open lead cupola probably C18 on the top of the tower.

The nave has an embattled parapet and square-headed 2-light clerestory windows. The S aisle has a plain parapet, diagonal buttresses, an uncusped 3-light E window, and a chamfered S door with a connecting path to the Hall, the adjacent house. The N aisle has an embattled parapet, diagonal buttresses, one N buttress and uncusped 2 and 3 light windows. The N porch has a plain parapet, with a chamfered outer opening and a double chamfered N door in a square frame with carved spandrels. The N door has a nnnnC15 plank and cover strip door.

The short chancel has a coped parapet and a 3-light late Perpendicular E window and a 3-light uncusped S window. There are C12 angle shafts on the NE and SE corners, indicating that the original C12 chancel has not been lengthened. The N vestry has a N door and a 2-light square-headed E window and an octagonal chimney in the angle with the nave and chancel.

The interior is painted and plastered. The chancel arch was rebuilt in the C19 in a Decorated style with many tiny mouldings, moulded capitals and polygonal responds. The 4 bay N and S arcades have chamfered arches that die into lozenge-shaped piers. Tall tower arch, late C14 or early C15 with a moulded arch and capitals on polygonal responds; the lower section is closed by a C17 screen. C19 tie beam roof in the nave, the tie beams embattled, the trusses with collars and timber wall posts below the tie beam. The chancel roof is C19, a boarded wagon rood divided into panels by moulded ribs with a carved, embattled wall plate. The aisle roofs are C19, virtually flat and divided into panels by moulded beams and ribs.

Square probably C12 font with tall, narrow blind arcading in an early C12 style. The shafts at the corners are very similar to those on the exterior corners of the chancel. Screen enclosing the E end of the S aisle is largely C20, but the top beam is early C17. C17 panelled screen closing the tower arch with a balustraded gallery. C17 polygonal pulpit with two tiers of panelling on a later stone base. Simple C19 choir stalls with shouldered ends and poppyhead finials, the fronts with tracery and buttresses. C19 nave benches with square ends, moulded tops and traceried panels with buttresses. 1950s reredos with a gilded frame with Corinthian pilasters supporting an inscribed cornice. Kneeling putti with candle holders at the corners. The central panel has a repeat pattered textile. C20 communion rail with turned balusters in a late C17 style. Organ of 1782 by Holdich of London, restored in 1981.

Some interesting stained glass, including fragments of medieval glass reset in the SE chapel and in the N aisle. Fine, painted armourial glass of 1741 records the beautification of the church by James Vernon, Esq., Lord of the Manor. Below it is another inscription recording the work in 1956 of Ronald and Florence Vestey. In the S aisle, a window signed by J Cameron of London, 1899 and another of 1921. Early C20 glass in the N aisle, and E window by Harry Harvey of York, 1958. There are Russian silver chandeliers in the nave. Medieval graffiti has been whitewashed over.

Good monuments including c.1460-70 brass to John and Margery Gedding, and another of Thomas Underhill and Anne, his wife c.1530. C20 monument to Florence Vestey, a large oval in alabaster with coloured metal arms at the top and a dove in polished aluminium in the SE chapel, and as a monument to Ronald Vestey, a small sculpture of a shepherd and his sheep on a wall bracket by Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993), dated 1990.

The earliest fabric is the C12 chancel. The core of the nave is probably also C12, but it was wholly remodelled in the C15 with the addition of aisles and a tower. It was beautified in 1741 by the Vernon family and again in 1880. It was restored and rearranged in the 1950s to designs by Laurence Bond.

Great Thurlow church is in Domesday book, but the earliest fabric is C12 suggesting that an Anglo-Saxon timber church was rebuilt after the Conquest. Unusually, the Norman chancel remained unextended, although the rest of the church has been rebuilt. The reason for this is unclear. In the post-medieval period the church was refurnished by James Vernon, Lord of the Manor, in1741. It was further restored in the C19 and again in the mid C20 by the Vesteys.

Cautley, H M, Suffolk Churches (5th ed, 1982), 357
Mortlock, D P, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches, I: West Suffolk (1988), 87-88
Pevsner, N, rev. E Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Suffolk (1974), 237

The church of All Saints, Great Thurlow, St Edmundsbury is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Excellent medieval fabric mostly of the C15 but including the high survival of an unextended Norman chancel.
* Excellent fittings, including a very fine C12 font, good monuments of the C15-C20, and interesting glass including a fine C18 painted window.

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.