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© Mrs B.A. Curtis ARPS

IoE Number: 433474
Photographer: Mrs B.A. Curtis ARPS
Date Photographed: 21 August 1999
Date listed: 09 December 1955
Date of last amendment: 09 December 1955
Grade I

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GREAT BLAKENHAM STOWMARKET ROAD TM 15 SW 3/55 Church of St. Mary 9.12.55 - I Parish church, mediaeval. Nave, chancel, west tower and south porch. The vestry and organ chamber were added in 1877 with other alterations. Flint rubble walling; the chancel and upper stage of tower are plastered. Plaintiled roofs; the tower roof is flat with parapets. The nave walling is largely Norman and has sections of coursed flint rubble. The north and south nave doorways both have plain round arched heads of C11 or early C12 form, but are not opposite; the former may be earlier. The south chancel doorway is similar and has interesting and early graffiti on the jambs. By the south doorway is a Norman lancet. Other windows are of c.1200; the east window has 3 separate pointed lancets with a vent above, but the centre light was re- introduced in 1877 to replace a C14 window. 2 small pointed lancets in the chancel side walls of c.1200 and another in the nave. The plain 2-stage tower was added in mid C14; it has 2-light traceried belfry openings and a similar west window. On the south walls of the nave and chancel are several scratch- dials, some early. The nave roof, of C14 or C15, is of coupled-rafter type with double collars, the lower set with soulaces (the last couple against the tower, with single collars, remain from an earlier roof). The cornice was added or renewed in C19. Similar chancel roof, with single collars. A roodloft stair and doorway of c.1500 in south wall. The south porch is also of c.1500, open, timber-framed and standing on a high plinth. The doorway has a 4-centred head with rose-carved spandrels. The mountant above is carved with an image of St. Mary in a buttressed niche. The side windows, in 2 bays of 4 lights, have fragmentary traceried heads. The roof has moulded arch- braced principals without ties. The moulded inner south door may be of this date, but the cinquefoiled framing at the head suggests C14 work. A 3-light window near the south door is of c.1500. C15 octagonal limestone font; on the bowl are carved emblems of the passion and on the stem are traceried buttresses with sunk panels between - an unusual design. Fine mid C17 pulpit with arcaded panels and a sounding-board with acorn drop finials. In the tower is a tombchest of Richard Swift (d.1645), with carved achievement; it was removed from the north chancel wall, probably in 1877. In the tower floor is a marble slab dated 1663.

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