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Church of St Mary and Attached Wall and Railings

A Grade I Listed Building in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2424 / 52°14'32"N

Longitude: 0.7171 / 0°43'1"E

OS Eastings: 585604

OS Northings: 263945

OS Grid: TL856639

Mapcode National: GBR QF0.G39

Mapcode Global: VHKD4.CWYV

Plus Code: 9F426PR8+XR

Entry Name: Church of St Mary and Attached Wall and Railings

Listing Date: 7 August 1952

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1342765

English Heritage Legacy ID: 466792

Location: Abbey Gardens, West Suffolk, Suffolk, IP33

County: Suffolk

District: West Suffolk

Civil Parish: Bury St Edmunds

Built-Up Area: Bury St Edmunds

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Bury St Edmunds St Mary

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Tagged with: Parish church

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Bury Saint Edmunds


TL 8563 NE,

CROWN STREET (east side),
Church of St Mary and attached wall and railings




Parish church. C14 and C15, on an earlier site. In flint and
stone, ashlar-faced on the south and west; lead-covered roofs.
PLAN: nave and chancel, north and south aisles, north-west

EXTERIOR: embattled parapets to nave and aisles. The south
aisle, in fourteen bays, has 3-light transomed and traceried windows
with 2-centred arches; stepped buttresses between the windows
and a diagonal buttress at the south-west angle. The last four
bays to the east were an extension forming a chantry chapel
given by Jankyn Smith between 1463 and 1473. He also gave the
slightly earlier extension to the north aisle to form a
chapel, and the sanctuary.
The west front is similar to that of the Cathedral of St
James, Angel Hill (qv) with crocketed finials, a stepped gable
to the nave and a 5-light transomed window; 4-light transomed
windows to the 2 aisles. An empty canopied niche on each side
of the west door. A stepped east gable to the nave with two
rood-stair turrets which have tall crocketed spires and
finials. The battlemented C14 tower is flint-faced in three stages
with stone string-courses in between. Stepped angle
buttresses, stone-faced, with flint panels.
The south side, and part of the east and west sides, project
into the north aisle, and this reduces the number of windows.
A 3-light traceried window to each face of the top stage;
2-light windows to the middle stage, and on the west side two
long narrow 2-light transomed windows to the 1st stage.
Re-used C14 north doorway within the Nottyngham porch. This
ornate porch, built in memory of John Nottyngham and his wife,
dates from the 1440s and is stone-faced, with pinnacles, a
crocketed gable and three niches above the entrance. The stone
vaulted ceiling is panelled with a wheel of blank arches and
an open pendant as the hub.
A short stretch of the precinct wall of the Abbey of St Edmund
adjoins the north-west angle buttress of the tower: the stone
quoins of the buttress stop near the top of the wall, which
rises to approx. 4 metres in part, dropping to between 1 and 2
metres. A later doorway has been cut through it.
Attached to the north-west corner of the west front is a 60m
stretch of C19 cast-iron railings approx 1m high, which divide
the churchyard from Crown Street. Set on a low stone plinth.
The railings, which have square shafts set diagonally, topped
by fleur-de-lys finials, are divided into short bays by main
verticals with iron-twist to the shafts and 4-way fleur-de-lys
finials, and include a small gate. A stretch in similar style
and materials 74m long is attached to the south-west corner of
the west front and runs down the south side of the church
along Honey Hill. This includes two pairs of double gates.

INTERIOR: nave arcades in ten bays with very tall shafted
arches. Small capitals on thin triple shafts to the arch
openings only. Impressive nave roof in which hammer-beam
trusses alternate with moulded arched-brace trusses.
Large recumbent angel figures to the hammer-beams, thought to
represent the procession at the Coronation of the Virgin.
Carved spandrels to the arched braces; tracery to the
collar braces; wall plates with demi-angels; wall posts
resting on corbels with carved figures. Above the chancel arch
a window inserted by Cottingham in the 1840s has 6-pointed
star tracery. The C14 wagon roof in the chancel has cusped
panels with carved bosses and a painted cornice with angels
carrying scrolls.
The former Lady Chapel in the south aisle was converted to a
chantry chapel by John Baret (d.1467); it has a boarded and
painted ceiling with panels, each bearing his motto 'Grace Me
Governe'. Against the south wall, his table tomb with a
cadaver monument lying upon it.

(BOE: Pevsner N: Radcliffe E: Suffolk: London: 1974-: 142-144;
Paine C: St Mary's Bury St Edmunds: Bury St Edmunds: 1986-).

Listing NGR: TL8560463945

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