© Mr Hubert Smith
CHURCH OF ST MARY AT STOKE, STOKE STREET
IPSWICH, IPSWICH, SUFFOLK
Mr Hubert Smith
15 April 2003
19 December 1951
Date of last amendment:
04 August 1972
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642/12/13 STOKE STREET
16-APR-04 CHURCH OF ST MARY AT STOKE
(Formerly listed as:
CHURCH OF ST MARY AT STOKE)
Anglican town church. Probably C14 NW tower; C15 N aisle; N transept and SW porch 1863 to the designs of Phipps (information from John Barbrook), the rest of the church thoroughly rebuilt by Butterfield in 1870-1871 in the Perpendicular style. Plan of nave and chancel, N aisle (the former C15 nave) and NE chapel, N and S transepts, NE vestry roofed parallel to the N transept, NW tower, SW porch. Knapped flint and freestone with slate roofs and pierced C19 ridge tiles to the nave and chancel, brick parapet to tower. The nave and chancel are decorated with stone bands and some chequerboard decoration in the gables and the porch has flushwork decoration.
EXTERIOR: The Butterfield chancel has diagonal buttresses and a 5-light traceried E window. Buttressed nave with 3-light traceried windows, the W window narrow. The N transept has a 3-light N window and diagonal buttresses. NE chapel has a 3-light E window with a transom in the tracery and diagonal buttresses. The N transept has diagonal buttresses and 3 light windows; 3-light windows to the N aisle. Unbuttressed W tower with a C19 moulded W doorway below a 2-light Tudor-arched W window; Y-traceried belfry openings. Richly-decorated SW porch with a coped gable and diagonal buttresses, the gable filled with chequered flint and ashlar blocks and a roundel window with Flamboyant tracery. There is flushwork blind arcading above the doorway which has a square-headed frame and carved spandrels.
INTERIOR: Plastered and painted. No chancel arch. The tower arch has been blocked by a later screen, but its W face shows a double-chamfered arch. Simple moulded doorway into the vestry is said to be the doorway to the former rood loft stairs, preserved when the vestry was built. The N aisle preserves a very fine hammerbeam roof with 2 tiers of purlins, the hammerbeams carved with figures holding shields depicting the symbols of the passion. An engraving of 1854 shows that the heads of the figures were lost and the existing heads are later replacements. Butterfield arch braced roof to nave and chancel, plastered behind the rafters, with pierced tracery decoration above the collar. 5-bay arcade with corner shafts to the piers, the W bay narrower and taller than the others. The braces on wooden posts on carved stone corbels. 3-bay stone panelled reredos by Butterfield, the panelling extending across the E wall of the sanctuary and infilled with C20 painting. C19 encaustic tiles to the chancel. Ogee-arched aumbry in N wall with a crocketted finial, painted white and gilded. Choir stalls with shouldered ends and poppyhead finials to the rear row. The backs of the 2nd row are decorated with blind tracery. c. early C20 timber drum pulpit on a low wineglass stem, the sides carved with blind tracery. C19 stone font with an octagonal bowl with carved sides and a brattished cornice on an octagonal stem and plinth. The front has been painted white and gilded. C19 nave benches with square-headed ends, moulded tops and 2 vertical panels. Stained glass includes an 1871 E window to the designs of Clayton and Bell and an E window in the N aisle of 1864, to the designs of P R Burrell. Heaton, Butler and Bayne window in the nave signed with a memorial date of 1905.
A fine C14-C15 church with an outstanding hammerbeam roof in the N aisle (formerly the nave). The C19 rebuilding is mostly by Butterfield and there are good fittings and stained glass.
Pevsner. Suffolk, 1974, 293.
Information from John Barbrook.