Church Of St Mary

11 Jun 2002
Church Of St Mary, Ipswich Road, Helmingham, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, IP14 6EN
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

HELMINGHAM IPSWICH ROAD TM 15 NE 4/96 Church of St Mary 9.12.55

- I

Parish church, medieval with major alterations of C19. Chancel, nave, west tower and south porch. Rubble walling mainly refaced in C19 flushed flint rubble; freestone dressings. Plaintiled roofs with parapet gables; a large gabled plaintiled dormer with traceried window, possibly added in early C17 to accommodate the head of a large monument (see below). Good early C13 south doorway with square moulded imposts and reveals; door of c.1500 with deep moulded ribs and traceried panels. North doorway also of early C13 design, but copied or introduced in restoration of c.1845. Fine west tower by Thomas Aldrych of North Lopham; contract dated 1488 specifies similar details to the newly-built tower at Framsden. Inscription at the base states: "SCANDIT AD ETHERA VIRGO PUERPERA VIRGULA JESSE". The west doorway is moulded and labelled with shields, lion corbels and a pair of flanking niches, ogee-headed and buttressed. Above is a 3-light window. The embattled and pinnacled parapets have complex flushwork bearing the date 1545. The porch is also of c.1500 with flushwork panels to the parapets. In the nave are 3-light late Perpendicular windows, much restored in C19. Chancel mainly mid C19 in the Decorated Style; possibly a remodelling by A. Salvin c.1840 (drawings survive) of previous major alterations by Joseph Martyr c.1757. Rave roof of c.1530 in 7 bays with 2 half bays: arch braced collar beams, and pendant posts beneath arch braced purlins; principals also arch-braced from moulded shafts; deep moulded cornice. Good C15 font: the bowl has alternate lions and shields on each face, and the stem has buttresses and supporting lions above human heads.

The church contains a number of major monuments to the Tollemache family. In the nave the largest is dated 1615, to Lionel (c.1550), and 3 further generations of the same name (1553, 1575 and 1605). Each is represented by a kneeling figure within an arched recess, the three younger being below the eldest. The upper recess is supported by strapwork and obelisks and is crowned by an achievement. Monument to Lionel Tollemache (1640) with reclining figure beneath two coffered arches on Corinthian columns. Two wall tablets by Nollekens: to Lionel Robert Tollemache (d.1793) with a trophy and an oval portrail medallion above; and to Maria Countess Dysart (d.1804) with a seated figure and weeping putto with lamb. Two slabs originally in the floor, to Elizabeth wife of Sir Lionel (d.1661); and to another Sir Lionel (d.1610). Two tablets by Bedford, to Vice Admiral J.R.D. Tollemache (d.1837), and to Georgina wife of John Tollemache (d.1847). Further monuments in the chancel: to Sir Lionel (d.1727); his figure is semi-reclining and his wife sits at his feet, and behind is an entablature with pediment. To Lt.Gen.

Thomas Tollemache (d.1694); a bust in front of a trophy, in the C18 manner.

To Dame Catharine, daugher of Thomas, Lord Cromwell (d.1620). To Lady Mary (d.1715) and Lady Grace (d.1719); dated 1742.

Listing NGR: TM1907457635


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0500 IOE Records taken by John Crabb; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr John Crabb. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Crabb, John

Rights Holder: Crabb, John


Flint, Rubble, Stone, Tile, Medieval Parish Church, Tudor Religious Ritual And Funerary, Elizabethan Church, Place Of Worship, Date Stone, Commemorative, Commemorative Stone, Commemorative Monument, Plaque