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Church of St Mary, Great Bealings

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 16 March 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 285429

OS Grid Reference: TM2309548864
OS Grid Coordinates: 623095, 248864
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0931, 1.2554

Location: Lower Street, Great Bealings, Suffolk IP13 6PB

Locality: Great Bealings
Local Authority: Suffolk Coastal District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP13 6PB

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Boot Street Bridge, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Explore more of the area around Great Bealings, Suffolk at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

TM 24 NW
4/65 Church of St Mary
G.V. II*
Church. C16 and C19. Rubble flint with ashlar dressings and brick with a
plain tiled roof. Western tower, nave, chancel and north-western porch.
Tower: slightly projecting plinth which dies back via a moulded offset.
Diagonal buttresses which have flushwork panels of quatrefoil pattern at
plinth level and chequerboard and tracery patterns above. Two offsets with
brattished cresting which cause the buttresses to die back into the corners
of the tower. North face: string courses at the level of the buttress
offsets. On the lower of these rests a canopied niche with flanking
crocketed pinnacles. Belfry opening above resting on the upper string
course of 2-lights with cinquefoil heads and flattened quatrefoil to the
apex. Further string course below parapet with central gargoyle. Parapet
with stepped battlements decorated with flushwork tracery patterns. Bases
of pinnacles, now reduced, to the corners. Southern face: similar save
that it has no lower string course or niche. West front: central 3-light
window to ground floor level with reticulated tracery of C19 date, possibly
repeating an earlier pattern. Two-light window with louvres above this
with chamfered ashlar surround. Similar belfry opening to those on
northern and southern fronts. Eastern face: abuts the nave to its lower
body but has a belfry opening and parapet similar to those on the other
fronts. Nave: north face: at right is the Seckford porch of c.1520 and
English bond brick. Octagonal buttresses to the corners with offsets of
moulded brick. Northern face: central 4-centred archway with richly
moulded ashlar surround and hood mould. Ashlar panels to the spandrels
carved with coats of arms, now weathered. Above this is a further ashlar
panel with moulded brick surround running the width of the front, now
indecipherable but formerly reading ORATE PRO AIABS THOME SECKFORD ARMIGERI
ET MARGARET UXORIS (Cautley). Above this is a canopied niche with moulded
miniature buttresses at either side having crocketed pinnacles.
Battlemented parapet above with ashlar coping. Surmounting the octagonal
buttresses are a pair of stone carvings of winged angels of early C16 date,
that at right now much weathered, that at left holding a prayer book. The
sides of the porch have arcades of flushwork tracery to the plinth and each
has a central window of two lights with 4-centered head and chamfered brick
surround. To left of the porch is a late-Perpendicular window with
brattished, stepped transoms, some of the tracery being replaced in the
C19. At left again is a lancet light. Buttress to extreme left with 2
offsets. South face of Nave: walling almost entirely rebuilt c.1850.
Three buttresses, that at extreme right having 3 offsets and a gabled top,
that a left having ashlar panels carved with floral bosses. Left hand
window of 3 Perpendicular lights replaced in C19. Perpendicular window of
2-lights to right of centre with flower ornament to the spandrels. C19
copy of this to right again and of less depth. Doorway to left of centre
with chamfered surround and hood mould of C19 date. Chancel: Ridge of less
height than the nave. North face: lancet window at right and priest's door
to right of this with chamfered surround and hood mould. Decorated C19
window to left of 2 lights with quatrefoil heads and dagger quatrefoil to
the apex. Eastern Decorated C19 window of 3 lights with quatrefoil heads
and quatrefoils to the apex. South face: 2 Decorated windows with
cinquefoil heads, that at right having a higher sill than that at left.
Interior: the interior of the porch has a hammer beam roof of 2 bays, the
wall posts springing from floral bosses and the hammer beams have rounded
ends. Connecting the two are arched braces which have carved foliage and
coats of arms to the spandrels. Four-centred arched braces connect the
hammer posts to the heavily moulded cambered collar beams and there are
moulded purlins. The upper portion of the central truss appears to have
been replaced. Heavily moulded, deep cornice at either side. Doorway to
the church has moulded surround with hollow chamfer and wave mould and hood
mould above. At either side are blank ashlar shields in relief. The
double doors between are heavily moulded and divided into traceried panels
containing simple linen-fold panelling. The central closing stile is
attached to the right hand door making it wider. This stile and the two
hanging stiles have canopied niches containing image stools on which stand
figures of female saints or angels with splayed hands. At the level of the
springing of the arch runs a deep band of sinuous ornament above which are
a series of maces, those to the side curving inwards with the arch. Nave:
roof of common rafters with collars and angle braces. Panelling before the
ashlar posts with moulded cornices above and below which have brattished
enrichment. Series of fine decorated benches mostly carved c.1845-50 by
Henry Ringham but following the pattern of and incorporating portions of
C15 benches none of which now survive in a complete state. The bench ends
have poppy head finials and buttressed arm rests with decorative finials
showing eagles, dogs, the pelican in her piety etc. Octagonal Jacobean
pulpit with arched panels to the sides with jewelled rustication and
dentilled cornice. Panelled back supporting sounding board with carved
panels, dentilled cornice and acorn pendants at the corners. The base and
the extension of the back panelling are the work of Ringham as are the
reading desk and lectern in a Jacobean style. Octagonal C13 font with
shallow, paired, recessed arches to each face of the bowl. Central,
circular shaft, also 8 subsidiary shafts to the angles which may be of
later date. Chancel: similar roof to that of the nave. Choir stalls by
Ringham, incorporating no earlier work and with finials to the ends
representing the crests of prominent local families. Wall monuments: to
Thomas and Margaret Seckford, 1583 of ashlar, south nave wall, central
rectangular metal panel bearing coats of arms with architectural surround.
To either side are paired Doric pilasters with cabling to the lower bodies,
standing on panelled plinth. Correct entabulature above. Inscription to
the central frieze and lateral metopes. Pediment above with coat of arms
to the tympanum. To John and Anne Clenche c. 1629, alabaster, south
chancel wall. Central rectangular aedicular surround of white alabaster
containing 1/2-length busts of John (right) and Anne (left) with clasped
hands and prayer books set before them standing on edge. Black marble
square pillars at either side. Rectangular panel below this containing
figures of 4 male mourners in 1/2-relief, all kneeling, those two at left
with painted skulls to their right, a reading desk in relief at extreme
right. Black marble apron below with inscription. Surmounting the whole
are 3 coats of arms, 2 obelisks and 2 spiked balls. Black and white marble
pavement squares to nave and chancel laid in 1792. The Southern chancel
window has a lowered sill forming a sedilia to left of which is a piscina
which has an opening of one halved arch to the reveal and a full arched
opening to the chancel. Colonette to corner with moulded base and capital.
Ogee arches with cusps and hollow chamfered surrounds to the arches.

Sources: Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk, 1975
H Munro Cautley, Suffolk Churches, 1982

Listing NGR: TM2309548864

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.