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Church of St Mary, Grundisburgh

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 16 March 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 285444

OS Grid Reference: TM2234651073
OS Grid Coordinates: 622346, 251073
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1132, 1.2459

Location: Stoney Road, Grundisburgh, Suffolk IP13 6TA

Locality: Grundisburgh
Local Authority: Suffolk Coastal District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP13 6TA

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Listing Text

GRUNDISBURGH THE GREEN
TM 25 SW
(North Side)
2/79 Church of St Mary
16/3/66
GV I
Church. Late C13, with C15 additions and alterations. Chantry chapel of
c.1527 and tower of 1751-2. Flint and rendered flint with ashlar
dressings, brick, lead roofing. Nave, chancel, south-western porch-tower.
South-eastern chantry chapel. Tower: south face: Flemish bond brick.
Projecting plinth which dies back via an offset of moulded brick. To the
corners are clasping buttresses which take the form of two tiers of
pilasters the upper order more attenuated and giving the impression of
Tuscan surmounting Roman Doric. Central ground floor doorway with a round-
arched head having moulded brick, projecting springers, gauged brick
voussoirs and ashlar keystone. Rectangular date stone immediately above
with moulded brick surround which reads:

This Steeple was Built
The Bells set in Order
and Fixt. At the Charge of
Robert Thinge Gent.
Lately Deceased A.D.
1731-1732

Two-light window above this with round arched head similar to that of the
lower doorway. Moulded string course above this marking the top of the
entablature-pieces of the lower order of pilaster buttresses. Rectangular
sundial with segmental top above this and above that a circular clock face
of metal with Roman numerals. Further 2-light window above again with
round arched head similar to those below, save that a moulded band extends
from the level of the springing to the pilaster buttresses. The belfry
stage has a similar, wider opening with louvres. Above the upper order of
pilasters are entablature pieces with triglyphs and guttae. Panelled
parapet above with renewed brickwork. Eastern front: Flemish bond with
fired headers except on the buttresses. The lower body abuts with nave
aisle and the upper body is blank save for the belfry opening which is
similar to that on the southern face. Western face: similar save that the
rectangular staircase turret projects from the lower left hand side. North
face: abutts church at lower level, without fired headers, similar belfry
opening. Nave: west face: rendered flint, diagonal buttresses dying back
into the corners via 4 offsets. Central 3-light window with Geometrical
tracery of C19 date with trefoil heads to the lights and quatrefoils and
sexfoil to the apex. Ashlar coping and cross to gable. South face:
rendered walling to left of tower-porch with one Perpendicular clerestory
window with stepped transom which has brattished top. Brick voussoirs
above alternating with knapped flint. To right of the tower-porch the nave
aisle has two bays divided by a buttress with a further buttress to the far
right. The windows have curvilinear Decorated tracery of 2-lights each
with trefoil heads and quatrefoils to the apex. String course with
gargoyles below a battlemented parapet. Recessed clerestory above this has
5 windows each of 3-lights and similar to that seen at left of the tower,
and with similar brick voussoirs. A deep band of flushwork runs at the
level of the springing of the window arches decorated with coats of arms,
crowns, a lily in a vase and crowned initials. North face: rendered flint.
Lower range of 3 windows having Perpendicular tracery largely renewed in
the C19. Above this run 9 clerestory windows each of 2-lights with trefoil
heads, the tracery largely renewed in the Cl9. Diagonal buttress at right
and shoring buttress at left. Chancel: east face: rendered, with ashlar
quoins to the corners. Band slightly above the level of the springing of
the window arch. Central 3-light C19 window of early curvilinear type
which may follow the form of an earlier window. Quatrefoil heads, central
ogee arch and three arcuated triangles to the apex. South face: single
Perpendicular window of 2 lights with quatrefoil heads at right. To left
of this is the projecting chantry chapel, the southern wall of which has 2
Perpendicular windows of 3 lights, the tracery replaced in the C19.
Diagonal buttress at right with ashlar quoins and flushwork to the outer
face. Further buttress to extreme left of similar pattern with brattishing
above the offset. Central wide buttress surrounding a priest's door which
has a 4-centred arch. The buttress reduces in girth via lateral offsets to
enclose a canopied niche containing a statue of a female saint holding a
lily in her left hand. Miniature buttresses to either side of this with
crocketed pinnacles. Battlemented ashlar parapet to top of chapel bearing
an inscription in Gothic script, now defaced which records it as dedicated
to Thomas and Alicia Awall. Coats of arms to the projecting battlements.
The eastern chapel face has a 3-light window with Perpendicular tracery,
mostly replaced in the C19. North face: rendered flint rubble.

Interior: porch: church door with richly moulded surround of ashlar with
wave moulds and hollow chamfers terminating in run-out stops above a
moulded base. Nave: roof of 9 bays, the trusses of double-hammer beam
construction. The wall posts and the lower hammer beams terminate in
carved angel bosses all of which bear scrolls held diagonally. Four-
centered arched braces run along the walls connecting the wall posts and
spring from the wall posts to the lower hammer beams. Further arched beams
connect the lower hammer posts to the upper hammer beams and end against
the upper pendant hammer posts which have floral drop-finials. Another
series of arched braces rises from these upper hammer posts to the cambered
and brattished collars which support square king posts against which are
set angels with spread wings. The wings and many of the heads of the angel
bosses appear to have been replaced during the restoration of the 1880s.
The purlins are heavily moulded and have brattishing and the ridge beam is
also moulded as are all the common rafters. Deep cornice with 6 layers of
moulding being a combination of cable, vine leaf scrolls, brattishing and
fleurons. The southern aisle has an arcade of 3 double-chamfered arches on
octagonal piers with moulded capitals and bases. South aisle: roof of 6x2
panels with richly moulded transverse beams and longitudinal beam and with
square floral bosses to the intersections. Wall posts bearing pendant
angel bosses of C17 date holding shields. Arch braces connect the wall
posts to the transverse beams. Octagonal font above 3 steps, the upper two
of which have quatrefoils to the risers. Octagonal shaft with seated lions
and buttresses. Defaced figureheads and flowers below the bowl which has
eight sunken panels showing angels bearing shields and lions alternately,
the angels being heavily defaced. Four-centered arch with ashlar surround
to the rood loft stair on the northern wall immediately above which are
remnants of coloured wall painting. Larger wall painting to west showing
St Christopher. Rood screen of 5 panels divided by buttresses. Central
ogee archway with decorated cusps and crockets. Panelled dado to either
side with painted decoration including sacred monograms. Above each panel
are 2-lights with floral cusps and above these and the central archway is
miniature tracery. Above the whole a rich cresting with brattishing and
vine leaf scrolls with roll mouldings. (This screen was restored in 1967).
Parclose screen dividing the south aisle from the chantry chapel similar to
the rood screen. Chancel: roof of 3 bays, the trusses consisting of wall
posts (those to the south resting on stone corbels in the form of crowned
figures bearing shields). These connect with the cambered tie beams which
are richly moulded to their undersides. Arched braces also run between the
two with boarded infill to their spandrels. King posts above these with
arched braces extending to the ridge and purlins. The common rafters and
purlins are all chamfered and several of the common rafters appear to be
C19 replacements. Piscina with dog-tooth ornament to the chamfered sides
and to the pointed arch and hood mould of late C13 (Pevsner) or possibly
earlier. Chantry chapel: now houses the organ. The ceiling is similar to
that of the southern aisle save that the wall posts rest on stone corbels
showing crowned figures bearing shields showing the arms of the Awall
family and the City of London. The arcade divding the chancel and chantry
chapel is of 2 arches the piers having moulded bases and capitals and
shafts of quartrefoil section with fillets to the outer faces and inner
corners which rise up through the lower level of the capitals. Wall
monument in the chancel to Sir Charles Blois of 1730. Rectangular tablet
with aedicular surround of grey and white marble. Lower ledge supported on
console brackets between which is an apron of grey marble bearing a
cartouche with central coat of arms. White marble pilasters to either side
of the tablet have central recessed panels to the tops of which are winged
cherubs' heads and below which are foliage trails. Knots to the frieze and
dentilled cornice. Further small aedicular surround above this enclosing a
free-standing sculpture of a cherub holding a golden trumpet. Swags to the
pilasters and console brackets supporting heavy segmental entablature, the
centre of which is slightly recessed. Urns at either side. Monument to
Martha Brook of 1657, supported on 4 console brackets between which is
diamond-point rustication and an oval cartouche, the brackets supporting a
ledge on which is a central reading desk in high profile to either side of
which are mourners, five male at left and five female at right. Above this
an oval plaque of black marble set against carved drapery with a coat or
arms above. The chancel floor has a series of 11 ledger stones to the
Blois family.

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


Listing NGR: TM2234651073

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.




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