Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST MARY
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Statutory Address:

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

St. Edmundsbury (District Authority)
Great Wratting
National Grid Reference:
TL 68803 48189





The earliest visible fabric is the C13 chancel, but the nave is quite short in relation to its width and so probably has considerably earlier origins. The nave windows are largely C14 in style. The tower was added in the C15. The whole building was heavily restored in the C19. The screen is dated 1877. The W end of the nave was divided off for social purposes by a timber screen in the late C20.

MATERIALS Flint with stone dressings. Red tiled roofs.

PLAN Chancel and unaisled nave with W tower and N porch. Chancel and nave without structural division internally.

EXTERIOR The exterior is heavily restored. The chancel has angle buttresses, and a C13 triple lancet E window with a continuous hood mould. There are 3 C13 lancets on the N side, and 2 on the S. There is also a chamfered S chancel door. The nave has C14 style windows, all slightly different. On the S from the W the windows are two lights with a square head, two ogee lights with a pointed head, and a smaller two-light window. The S nave door has a pointed head and a hood mould. The nave N wall has three 2-light windows, all heavily renewed, that to the W of the porch with a square head, the others pointed. The gabled N porch has a double chamfered doorway on octagonal responds with brattished capitals and a C15 inner door with a square hoodmould and carved spandrels. The door itself is also late medieval. The embattled, 3-stage W tower has a SE stair turret, with diagonal buttresses on the NW and SW, and the NE and SE buttresses flush with the Tower E wall. There is a 3-light W window, and 2-light belfry windows, with a clock on the N. Scars of an earlier roofline are visible on the E face of the tower.

INTERIOR The interior is painted and plastered. Tall double-chamfered tower arch and medieval timber ceiling in tower with hollow chamfered beams divided into panels. The W end of the nave is divided off by a C20 screen with round-headed glazed arches. The nave and chancel roofs are C19. Canted open wagon roof to the nave with scissor bracing below the collars, and 2 brattished tie beams. The chancel has a scissor braced roof, boarded behind the rafters. There is no chancel arch, and the division between nave and chancel is marked by an infilled truss in the form of a large trefoil. It is comprised of a brattished beam with curved, infilled braces and a pointed arch above. Below this beam is a chancel screen of 1877 with a crested coving and delicate tracery. Head corbels slightly to the W of the screen on either side mark the position of the former rood screen, and the curve of the former rood stair is also still visible. Below this is the remains of a probably C15 trefoil headed piscina in a square frame. Chancel E window with shafts and a continuous hood mould over all three lancets. The 3-seat stepped sedilia and matching piscina are similar in form to the E window.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES C13 3-seat stepped sedilia and matching piscina in chancel. The sedilia has moulded arches on clustered shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The piscina has a continuous roll moulding and a moulded hoodmould. The remains of a further C15 piscina with a trefoil head in the nave below the former rood beam. N door: late medieval plank and cover strip door. Both nave and chancel have C19 encaustic tile floors in a geometric pattern. C19 pulpit with two timber panels with linenfold and tracery on a moulded stone base. C19 choir stalls with poppy head finials and tracery panels to match the screen. C19 nave benches have square-headed moulded tops with miniature buttresses flanking blind panels. Pretty chancel screen of 1877 with a crested coving and delicate tracery. Glass in the chancel of the 1870s by Constable of Cambridge. Very small timber font of 1989 with an octagonal bowl on an octagonal stem.


HISTORY A church in Wratting is mentioned in Domesday book, but it unclear if this referred to Great or Little Wratting. The earliest visible fabric is the C13 chancel. The nave was rebuilt in the C15, but may have earlier origins. The entire church was heavily restored in the C19 and much of the glass was lost during WWII.

SOURCES Cautley, H M, Suffolk Churches (5th ed, 1982), 372. Mortlock, D P, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches, I: West Suffolk (1988), 89-90. Pevsner, N, rev. E Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Suffolk (1974), 241 Jo Co x notes and photos. Photos and other info on

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION The church of St Mary, Great Wratting, Suffolk, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * The church has excellent survival of medieval fabric, including a C13 chancel, fine C15 tower and nave with possible early origins. * Some good medieval fittings survive, including a sedilia and two piscinas. * The whole has been heavily restored, and has a very good C19 screen and an interesting C19 roof.


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

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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

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Date: 10 Sep 2002
Reference: IOE01/07470/35
Rights: Copyright IoE David Guthrie. Source Historic England Archive
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