Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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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.

Mid Suffolk (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 97442 62479


WOOLPIT GREEN HILL TL 9762 5/135 Church of St Mary - 15.11.54 GV I Parish church, medieval. Nave, chancel, north and south aisles, south porch, west tower. Mainly flint rubble with freestone dressings. Leaded roofs with parapets and parapet gables (the nave roof has lost its parapets). In the chancel is a C13 south doorway with nook shafts. Of c.1300 is the double piscina and east window: this has good net tracery, inner shafts of marble and image niches in the buttresses at the eastern corners. The north chancel doorway of c.1300 leads into a rebuilt c19 vestry. The chancel walls were raised for remodelled windows, perhaps in early C16. 5-bay nave arcade: the south side is of mid C14 character. 2-light mid C14 windows in south wall, and at the south-east corner of the aisle is a niche for the image of Our Lady of Wool pit in the window reveal. The tall chancel arch has similar mouldings and pier capitals, and the north arcade is of similar but later C14 character. Early C15 north aisle windows and doorway. Circa 1439-51, the nave clerestory was built with a fine double-hammerbeam roof in 10 bays. The eastern bay is longer, leaving room for the fine integral vaulted canopy of honour with restored decoration. The roof is heavily moulded and brattished, the braces all have carved spandrels, and a canopied figure stands beneath each truss. Although the angels attached to the cornice, wall posts and hammerbeams were restored in C19, most of the remaining work is medieval. Aisle roofs also renewed 1439-51: these are of similar character to the nave roof. Beneath each main truss are more canopied figures but at the intermediate trusses the principal rafter is carved in the form of a pair of downward-looking angels. The chancel roof was rebuilt in C17, in 5 bays of archbraced collarbeam trusses, but the C15 cornice remains. The rafters are from a C14/C15 canted single rafter roof and the bosses are also from the previous roof. The south porch, added also c.1439-51 is one of the finest in Suffolk. It has a parvise chamber above, and the south face is entirely of freestone panels. The interior is fan- vaulted with well-carved bosses at intersections. The inner doorway has a crocketted hoodmould and a frieze of carved crowns, fleurons and lions heads in a casement. The outer doorway is similar, but has two small image niches set within the moulding on each side. The buttresses also have two tiers of stools for images, and 5 more once stood beneath ogee-headed canopies above the entrance. The side walls have chequered flushwork and the parapets have pierced quatrefoiled merlons, and pinnacles at the corners. The side windows also have ogee-headed and pinnacled hoodmoulds. In 1702 the medieval tower fell, being repaired in 1708; this again fell in 1852 and was entirely rebuilt by R.M. Phipson in the Decorated Style, with a tall freestone spire supported by flying. buttresses from the parapets. Interior fittings: simple moulded late C14 octagonal font. C15 rood screen with rich painting at the base, mainly restored: the tracery is complete, and part of the roodbeam remains with some decoration at the upper level dated 1750. At the base is a pair of early C17 gates with balusters and strapwork at the head. Two sets of C15 poppyhead benches in the nave, much restored but with panelled and buttressed ends and animal figures upon the buttresses, and brattishing and quatrefoils on the backs. In the chancel is one fine C15 stall surviving from a series and with a matching buttressed book rest, but without its misericord. 4 further good bench ends are attached to C19 choirstalls. Octagonal pulpit on a marble pillar, 1883 by George Gilbert Scott. Fragments of medieval glass in several chancel windows.

Listing NGR: TL9744262479


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

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: 07 Sep 2002
Reference: IOE01/07480/08
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Roger Eburne. Source Historic England Archive
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