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Church of St Mary

A Grade I Listed Building in Lakenheath, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.4158 / 52°24'56"N

Longitude: 0.5196 / 0°31'10"E

OS Eastings: 571453

OS Northings: 282744

OS Grid: TL714827

Mapcode National: GBR P99.D7B

Mapcode Global: VHJFS.YJKW

Plus Code: 9F42CG89+8R

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 7 May 1954

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1285945

English Heritage Legacy ID: 275834

Location: Lakenheath, West Suffolk, Suffolk, IP27

County: Suffolk

District: West Suffolk

Civil Parish: Lakenheath

Built-Up Area: Lakenheath

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Lakenheath St Mary

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Tagged with: Church building

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TL 7182, 11/25


Church of St. Mary



Church. Mediaeval with restorations of 1892 and 1904. Nave, chancel, north
and south aisles, north and south porches, west tower and west schoolroom.
Walling of rubble with freestone dressings: C12 work in Carrstone rubble
(reused in later alterations, which also employ rubble of limestone, flint and
clunch). C18 repairs in gault brick; the west, C18 extension in flint rubble
with random headers and quoins of pink brick. Roofs mainly flat, leaded with
parapets and parapet gables; chancel roof slated.

Part of the C12 chancel
survives; chancel arch with round-arched moulded head on three orders of engaged
columns with scalloped capitals. A small section of wall arcading on the
north wall was originally continued around the apsidal east end. Part of a
blocked C12 lancet is visible in north wall. The C14 south nave arcade stands
on the stumps of circular columns, apparently of C12, with octagonal bases,
suggesting a former C12 south aisle. The chancel was extended mid C13; in
north wall a lancet and a broad blocked arch into a chapel (now demolished); a
C13 doorway was moved into the arch later. Tower added mid C13; blocked
lancets in north and in south walls, pointed tower arch and west doorway which
has niche above. A 3-light south chancel window was added c.1300. North
aisle was added mid C14 in two stages, with 2- and 3-light net traceried windows
and moulded north doorway and a circular east window over the side-altar.
The south arcade was rebuilt C14; the octagonal piers have shallow blank
arches carved just below the capitals. In later C14, the tower was raised
with 2-light belfry windows, crenellated parapets and moulded cornice with
carved mask gargoyles. On each corner of the tower stand limestone figures.
South and north porches added late C14; the south has mask-carved kneelers to
the parapet gables, both have the bases of gable-crosses. The south doorway
is of C14, but the aisle walling was almost rebuilt C15, with 3-light square-
headed windows; a similar window with segmental head was inserted in east wall
of chancel. Nave roof raised C15; five bays of arch-braced tie-beams with wall-
pieces on limestone corbels, with queen posts, principal rafters and purlins.
Secondary trusses have angel-carved hammer beams. Angels also embellish
tie beams and cornices, and spandrels are filled with tracery. 2-light clerestory
windows and another of three lights (blocked) over chancel arch. To the west wall
of tower was added a schoolroom in C18; pointed chamfered arched doorway with
C18 panelled pair of doors and fanlight above. In the north and south walls
are reused C15 single-light windows and in west wall a 4-light traceried
window; these are believed to be from the ruinous church of St. Peter,
Eriswell. The chancel roof was rebuilt 1892.

In the north aisle is a fine
C13 font, octagonal, the bowl carved with crocketed arcading, the stem having
detached shafts at each corner. Fine late C15 pews with poppyhead ends,
buttresses with carved animal and human figures, and pierced backs; a set of eight
in south aisle, twenty-one further examples, some altered, in nave; one has carved C17
panelling. Four C15 bench ends have been reused in C19 choir stalls. Fine C15
octagonal pulpit with buttresses at corners and traceried panels. In the
south aisle is a restored family pew of c.1600. Traces of wall painting in
several areas: on the north nave arcade extensive areas including a C14 figure
of St. Edmund and others, overpainted with trailing foliage and abstract
patterns. Beside the chancel arch is a figure of Christ, and on the south
arcade a black-letter inscription of c.1600. In the south aisle is a Purbeck
altar tomb to Simeon Steward, d.1568; Gothic tracery and arched canopy on
engaged shafts; his coat of arms is carved in the recess. Inset in the south
wall nearby is an oblong marble plaque with coat of arms and inscription to
Joan, widow of Simeon Steward, d.1583. In the south aisle is a painted coat
of arms of Charles II, 1678. In the nave and south aisle floors are a number
of limestone and marble slabs, mainly unmarked, some probably mediaeval. For
detailed description of church, see "Suffolk Churches", H. Munroe Cautley.

Listing NGR: TL7145382744

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