History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Church of St Mary Magdalene

A Grade I Listed Building in Westerfield, Suffolk

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 52.0842 / 52°5'3"N

Longitude: 1.1733 / 1°10'23"E

OS Eastings: 617516

OS Northings: 247621

OS Grid: TM175476

Mapcode National: GBR VNV.9GV

Mapcode Global: VHLBM.9W44

Plus Code: 9F4335MF+M8

Entry Name: Church of St Mary Magdalene

Listing Date: 19 December 1951

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1236090

English Heritage Legacy ID: 427009

Location: Westerfield, East Suffolk, Suffolk, IP6

County: Suffolk

District: East Suffolk

Civil Parish: Westerfield

Built-Up Area: Westerfield

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Westerfield St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Tagged with: Church building

Find accommodation in





Church. Late C12 core to the C13 nave and chancel; evidence of C12 fabric (re-used zigzag in a S window). Nave and chancel in one externally, west tower c.1300, entrance through north doorway which is now inside the 1980s church extension.C.1400 refurbishment including exceptional hammerbeam roofs.

Flint tower with freestone and some brick dressings; nave and chancel rendered; tiled roof.

EXTERIOR: Diagonal buttresses to the chancel. 3-light E window with intersecting uncusped tracery and a moulding below the sill with carved ends. The S side has Y-tracery windows, one blocked trefoil-headed lancet and a priest's doorway with red brick jambs and semi-circular arch. The N side has one lancet window, the other window half concealed by the parish room. The tower has an internal SW stair turret, diagonal buttresses with flushwork decoration and an embattled parapet, also with flushwork. Large one-light belfry windows, the W window rebuilt in brick. C15 W doorway with carved spandrels, and 3-light Perpendicular traceried W window above. The W and N doors are both late medieval.

INTERIOR: Painted and plastered. Nave/chancel division defined by a doubled truss with a moulded rood beam. Exceptionally fine hammerbeam roof covering nave and chancel. The nave roof has one tier of purlins and king posts above the collar. The posts below the hammerbeams rise from corbels carved with demi-figures, the chancel carvings are winged angels. The hammer beams are decorated with carved demi-figures of kings and queens at 45 degrees. These are very intact with original heads, the nave figures holding shields with the symbols of the Crucifixion, the chancel figures are winged angels. The length of the posts is adjusted according to the window openings. Timber reredos of c.1938 with blind tracery, cresting and a central canopied niche for the cross. Panelling in the same style extends across the E wall of the sanctuary. The reredos and altar were designed by H Munro Cautley, 1876-1959, architect and diocesan surveyor, executed by Ernest Barnes of Ipswich. The lectern, reading desk, communion rail and altar are all in matching style: the lectern was designed by Cautley as a post World War II memorial. The lectern was presented in 1957. Choir stalls with tall panelled backs on the N side, the stalls with shouldered ends with poppyhead finials. 1867 nave benches with shaped shouldered. C19 timber drum pulpit on a wineglass stem. The panels are carved with large-scale linenfold panelling. Fine late medieval font with an octagonal bowl carved with the symbols of the Evangelists alternating with angles holding shields on an octagonal stem carved with stylised seated lions and slender buttresses. There a number of ledger stones concealed under the carpets. Wall monuments are mostly early C19 and C20 and include a white marble wall monument with a nowy-headed frame to H Munro Cautley and his wife. Cautley wrote extensively on Suffolk and Norfolk churches and his father was the rector of this church. Stained glass includes three windows by the William Morris Co., the W window a fine example, and two windows by Powell and Sons, the E window designed by J Bouvier.

The main part of the current church probably dates to between 1300 and 1400, although earlier fabric of the C12 attests to a greater antiquity. The church was refurbished in c 1400, when the hammerbeam roof was constructed and restored in 1867 when it was re-seated. Sanctuary re-ordered in 1938, church room added to the north in 1986-7.

Pevsner, 1975 'Suffolk' p 478
A Guide to the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Westerfield, Suffolk, 1994

The church of St Mary Magdalene is designated at Grade I for the following principal reasons.
* The church has a high survival of C14 , C15 and earlier fabric including a west tower of distinction.
* The C15 hammerbeam roof is exceptionally fine in quality and craftsmanship and includes intact carved demi-figures on the hammerbeams and corbels.
* There is an intricately carved late medieval font.
* The interior fixtures and fittings include C19 stained glass by Morris and Co. and Powells and C20 furniture by H. Munro Cautley.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.