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Church of St Mary

A Grade I Listed Building in Helmingham, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.1735 / 52°10'24"N

Longitude: 1.2025 / 1°12'8"E

OS Eastings: 619074

OS Northings: 257635

OS Grid: TM190576

Mapcode National: GBR VMQ.QTX

Mapcode Global: VHLB7.SMKP

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 9 December 1955

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1033077

English Heritage Legacy ID: 279715

Location: Helmingham, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, IP14

County: Suffolk

District: Mid Suffolk

Civil Parish: Helmingham

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Helmingham St Mary

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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Listing Text

TM 15 NE
4/96 Church of St Mary

- I

Parish church, medieval with major alterations of C19. Chancel, nave, west
tower and south porch. Rubble walling mainly refaced in C19 flushed flint
rubble; freestone dressings. Plaintiled roofs with parapet gables; a large
gabled plaintiled dormer with traceried window, possibly added in early C17 to
accommodate the head of a large monument (see below). Good early C13 south
doorway with square moulded imposts and reveals; door of c.1500 with deep
moulded ribs and traceried panels. North doorway also of early C13 design,
but copied or introduced in restoration of c.1845. Fine west tower by Thomas
Aldrych of North Lopham; contract dated 1488 specifies similar details to the
newly-built tower at Framsden. Inscription at the base states: "SCANDIT AD
ETHERA VIRGO PUERPERA VIRGULA JESSE". The west doorway is moulded and
labelled with shields, lion corbels and a pair of flanking niches, ogee-headed
and buttressed. Above is a 3-light window. The embattled and pinnacled
parapets have complex flushwork bearing the date 1545. The porch is also of
c.1500 with flushwork panels to the parapets. In the nave are 3-light late
Perpendicular windows, much restored in C19. Chancel mainly mid C19 in the
Decorated Style; possibly a remodelling by A. Salvin c.1840 (drawings survive)
of previous major alterations by Joseph Martyr c.1757. Rave roof of c.1530 in
7 bays with 2 half bays: arch braced collar beams, and pendant posts beneath
arch braced purlins; principals also arch-braced from moulded shafts; deep
moulded cornice. Good C15 font: the bowl has alternate lions and shields on
each face, and the stem has buttresses and supporting lions above human heads.
The church contains a number of major monuments to the Tollemache family. In
the nave the largest is dated 1615, to Lionel (c.1550), and 3 further
generations of the same name (1553, 1575 and 1605). Each is represented by a
kneeling figure within an arched recess, the three younger being below the
eldest. The upper recess is supported by strapwork and obelisks and is
crowned by an achievement. Monument to Lionel Tollemache (1640) with
reclining figure beneath two coffered arches on Corinthian columns. Two wall
tablets by Nollekens: to Lionel Robert Tollemache (d.1793) with a trophy and
an oval portrail medallion above; and to Maria Countess Dysart (d.1804) with a
seated figure and weeping putto with lamb. Two slabs originally in the
floor, to Elizabeth wife of Sir Lionel (d.1661); and to another Sir Lionel
(d.1610). Two tablets by Bedford, to Vice Admiral J.R.D. Tollemache (d.1837),
and to Georgina wife of John Tollemache (d.1847). Further monuments in the
chancel: to Sir Lionel (d.1727); his figure is semi-reclining and his wife
sits at his feet, and behind is an entablature with pediment. To Lt.Gen.
Thomas Tollemache (d.1694); a bust in front of a trophy, in the C18 manner.
To Dame Catharine, daugher of Thomas, Lord Cromwell (d.1620). To Lady Mary
(d.1715) and Lady Grace (d.1719); dated 1742.

Listing NGR: TM1907457635

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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