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© Mr Alan Francis Polaine

IoE Number: 280694
Location: CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN, CHURCH LANE
  WETHERDEN, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK
Photographer: Mr Alan Francis Polaine
Date Photographed: 02 May 2007
Date listed: 09 December 1955
Date of last amendment: 09 December 1955
Grade I

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WETHERDENCHURCH LANETM 06 SW4/211 Church of St. Mary the09/12/55 Virgin

WETHERDEN CHURCH LANE TM 06 SW 4/211 Church of St. Mary the 09/12/55 Virgin GV I Parish church, mainly mid C14 and c.1500. C14 tower. Mainly flint rubble; the south aisle has early C16 flushed flint with random squared limestone and brick. The upper chancel walling is in early C16 red brick. Freestone dressings. Nave and aisle roofs leaded, the chancel roof plaintiled. Nave, chancel, south aisle, west tower. A small vestry of C14 to north of chancel. Some good work of c.1330-1350 in the chancel. The east gable shows the former roofline: diagonal buttresses with enrichment at the head, a reticulated- traceried 4-light east window with an image niche above, and the carved base of a gable cross. The vestry is integral and has a slit window with carved spandrils. Moulded south chancel doorway. Heavily hoodmoulded piscina with an enriched finial and blind tracery; a carved human head looks towards the altar. Plain sedilia. On the north wall opposite is a good contemporary Easter sepulchre. Large late C14 tower with main features on west side: moulded doorway, the hoodmould with good human heads carved beneath. Image niches flanking the doorway and another above. West window deeply recessed with good tracery. 2-light belfry windows and grotesque gargoyles beneath embattled parapets. Major early C16 alterations: the south aisle built for Sir John Sulyard in 5 bays of which the western bay contains a porch. Over the doorway is a frieze containing carved coats of arms. A continuous frieze around the base of the aisle wall; flushwork arcading is interspersed with panels bearing coats of arms. The nave roof was rebuilt at this time, and possibly its outer walls also. Fine hammerbeam roof in 9 bays. Each truss has a pair of hammerbeams with pendant posts, from which rise archbraces to a tier of false hammerbeams. From the backs of these rise further arch braces to a collarbeam and kingpost. All main members are moulded and there are seated canopied figures beneath both wallposts and hammerposts. The aisle has a similarly rich but simpler roof of archbraced camber-beams with much cresting. Archbracing in both roofs has rich and varied carving, and bosses bearing shields or foliage are beneath intersections. Winged angels mainly at the east end of the aisle. The chancel roof is of single true hammerbeam type in 4 bays, of similar date and quality. C15 octagonal limestone font bearing shields on the bowl, much restored; C17 oak pyramid cover. A set of 13 poppyhead benches to north side of nave, with animal figures seated upon the buttresses: much restored, and the matching set to the south are C19 copies. In the aisle are box pews of c.1800. A fine monument in the aisle to Sir John Sulyard (d.1574) of limestone and marble. Over the tombchest are 4 kneeling figures, and his achievement is framed by an entablature on Corinthian columns. Beside it is a marble monument without inscription of C15/C16. The C19 octagonal pulpit contains oak C15 traceried panels perhaps from a rood screen. In the chancel floor is a slab with brass to John Daniell, d.1584. In the nave are 3 others whose brasses are missing, and in the aisle at least two others. In the aisle are 4 painted boards with achievements. For details of heraldic evidence for construction dates of porch/aisle (c.1484 - ante. 1520), see The Buildings of England: Suffolk: Sir N. Pevsner: Penguin.

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