Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Suffolk (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TM 20403 54943


TM 25 NW 8/104

OTLEY CHURCH ROAD (West side) Church of St. Mary the Virgin

16/3/66 GV II* Church. C15 and C16. Flint rubble and knapped flint with ashlar dressings and a plain tiled roof. West tower, nave with south aisle, chancel and south western and north western porches. Tower: Early C15 west face: diagonal buttresses with panels of flushwork to their outer faces which die back by 4 offsets. Projecting plinth that dies back via an offset and has an arcade of trefoil headed niches, now blank but probably formerly containing flushwork. Panels containing shields at either side of the door which has a richly moulded surround with colonnettes and casement, ogee and keel mouldings. Late C15 door with much replaced work of C19 or C20 date showing figures of saints to the central stile and hinge stiles raised on image stools and with crocketed pinnacles above in relief (somewhat similar to the door within the Seckford porch at Great Bealings). Ashlar spandrels to the door surrounds with floral motifs. Shields and floral bosses below the first stage window which is of 3 lights with trefoil heads and panel tracery. Single light window above this with cinquefoil head and band which rises to form a hood mould. Further band at the level of the sill of the belfry opening which is of renewed ashlar, following the original form and has 2 trefoil-headed lights with a quatrefoil to the apex. Brick string course below the parapet which is of C16 brick and battlemented. The south face is blank below the belfry opening (similar) but has a canted staircase turret at right which dies back at the level of the sill of the belfry and has ashlar quoins to the corners. North face: blank below belfry opening (similar) but has a circular metal clock face below the belfry stage with gilded hands. Nave: knapped flint walling (perhaps of C19) save at right where the walling is partially replaced by brick. Gabled projecting porch at far right with diagonal buttresses, central archway with chamfered surround and hoodmould and facing of knapped flint. To left of this are two 3-light windows with cinquefoil heads and panel tracery (C19 replacements incorporating fragments of the earlier windows). Above these are 4 two-light clerestory windows with trefoil heads and brick voussoirs. Central buttress to the clerestory which is cut back to its lower body and does not appear at the lower level. West face: almost entirely obscured by the tower save for the south aisle window which is of 3 Perpendicular lights with panel tracery (a C19 replacement). South face: projecting porch to left bay with diagonal buttresses having flushwork and some brick patching. Central doorway with broad chamfer showing suspended shields in relief. Canopied niche above and shallow-pitched gable above that. Three bays at right of this with yellow-brick buttresses. Windows of 3 lights with ogee cinquefoil heads and panel tracery. Clerestory of 9 windows each having 2 lights with trefoil heads and brick voussoirs. Chancel: (of lesser height and width) south face: buttress at right of centre with offsets and to left of this is a priest's door with chamfered ashlar surround. To left of this a 3-light Perpendicular window with cinquefoil heads and panel tracery, similar to those of the aisle windows. North face: vestry doorway at left. Slightly recessed and at right of this are three lancet lights set in rubble walling with trefoil heads. Octagonal chimney with offsets above. East end: 3-light windows with reticulated tracery and to right of this the vestry window is of two lights with Y-tracery (perhaps reset).

Interior: Aisle arcade of 4 bays. Columns of quatrefoil section with fillets to the inner angles and centre of each colonnette. Moulded bases and capitals and ogee and chamfered mouldings to the arches. Moulded ribs to the aisle roof and arched braces rising from short wall posts which terminate in shields to the south side and stone corbels to the arcade side. Nave roof is of 4 1/2 bays the western ½-bay canted inwards due to the diagonal buttresses. Hammer beams which take the form of the bodies of angels which have lost their wings and heads and in 4 cases have square tie rods drilled through them. The hammerbeams are supported by wall posts which also terminate in angels which have lost their heads and wings and are connected to the hammerbeams by arched braces. Further, lengthy arched braces connect to the brattished and cambered collars from which rise short kingposts. Moulded ridgebeam and 2 sets of purlins. Richly moulded cornice with 2 rows of brattishing. Tower arch has semi-octagonal piers at either side with moulded bases and caps and chamfered and painted Perpendicular arch. Chancel arch of C14 date with semi-octagonal piers with moulded caps and cut-back bases. Chancel roof of 3 1/2 bays with trusses of late C17 or c.1840 (Pevsner) which have short hammerbeams resting on wallposts with arch braces. Scrolled arch braces connect with the collars and above these are further scrolled braces. Octagonal font on a square base with lions to the corners and recessed panels to the bowl showing angels bearing shieldes and defaced lions. Octagonal C17 pulpit of wood with three tiers of rich panelling on a C19 plinth. Lower body of a rood screen dividing the nave from the chancel. Two arched Perpendicular panels at either side divided by buttresses. Wall monument to John Gosnold in the chancel of c.1628. Aedicular surround with black marble columns at either side of rectangular tablet. Broken pediment above with coat of arms and further coat of arms to apron. Several medieval bench ends and fragments of benches. Pevsner records an immersion font in the vestry, probably of C17 date, not seen at resurvey.

Sources: Nikolaus Pevsner, Buildings of England: Suffolk, 1975 H. Munro Cautley, Suffolk Churches, 1954

Listing NGR: TM2040354943


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Munro Cautley, H, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures, (1937)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Suffolk, (1974)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 17 Apr 2002
Reference: IOE01/06847/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Gordon Dunmore. Source Historic England Archive
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