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© Mr Luke Barber

IoE Number: 279843
Photographer: Mr Luke Barber
Date Photographed: 20 September 2002
Date listed: 09 December 1955
Date of last amendment: 09 December 1955
Grade I

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COMBSCHURCH LANETM 05 NE3/68Church of St. Mary

COMBS CHURCH LANE TM 05 NE 3/68 Church of St. Mary 9.12.55 - I Parish church, mainly C14 and C15. Restoration (mainly to chancel) 1867 by H.J. Green of Norwich. Nave, chancel, north and south aisles, west tower, north and south porches. Flint and septaria rubble with reused limestone blocks; the north aisle and porch are plastered. Nave and aisle roofs are low-pitched and leaded, chancel and porch roofs plaintiled. The chancel has some high-quality work of c.1360, but internally much restored. A large 4- light east window with intersecting tracery. North and south windows with dagger tracery and carved hoodmould stops. Flanking the east window are image niches, and on the south wall a fine composition with piscina and sedilia; fine C14 work but almost entirely reconstructed 1867. A circular window above with unusual tracery. C19 roof with deep enriched cornice. Nave arcade, mid C14, with 6 bays of octagonal columns with moulded capitals. Late C14 tower, massive but plain: triple-chamfered formerly-open arches to north and south for processions to pass through (the tower abuts the churchyard boundary). A stoup is at the west doorway. The belfry windows are of C15. Disguised mid C14 timber-framed north porch, with heavy moulded arched outer doorway, kneebraced studded side walls and coupled rafter roof; C17 plank outer door with medieval ironwork. Inner north doorway also of c.1350; attached shafts with foliate capitals and grotesque hood-mould stops. North aisle has good C15 windows; the lean-to roof has moulded principals and a brattished cornice. South aisle has a similar roof but retains some C14 features: a plain piscina and west window; the south windows have later C15 tracery (a will of 1472 may refer). Clerestory windows are similar; the arch-braced nave roof was rebuilt in C18 with tiebeams and kingposts, reusing the C15 components such as moulded principals. The south porch is of narrow mid C16 buff bricks, with hoodmoulded side windows and polygonal corner buttresses; the outer doorway was reconstructed in early C18 with an arch of very finely-gauged red brick. Late C14 octagonal limestone font: the bowl has shields bearing shallow tracery on each of the splayed faces, and the buttressed stem has window tracery. The base of the roodscreen survives with restored paintwork and stencilling; a will of 1472 refers to making of rood stairs. A damaged C15 parclose screen in the south aisle, and one section of a lower screen in the north. Two sets of 12 C15 benches in the nave with good poppyhead ends; the buttresses have carved human and animal figures; the front rows are much restored. Early C17 hexagonal pulpit with arcaded panelled sides and a book board supported by scrolled brackets; C19 limestone plinth. A wall monument in the chancel to Thomas Sotherbie, d.1647. Good C15 stained glass in several windows: for details of this and other features, Suffolk Churches: H. Munro. Cautley.

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