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


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1254254.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 29-Nov-2021 at 23:43:47.


Statutory Address:

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

Mid Suffolk (District Authority)
Needham Market
National Grid Reference:
TM 08775 55177


TM 0855 3/122 9.12.55

NEEDHAM MARKET HIGH STREET(EAST) Church of St. John the Baptist

GI Parish church,mainly rebuilt over the period C.1470-C.1500,but retaining some earlier fragments.Until 1901 a chapel of ease,the church is parallel to the High Street and aligned north-west/south-east.Nave,chancel,and south porch with bell-turret;there is no structural division between nave and chancel.Flint rubble with much flushed flint and limestone rubble;freestone dressings.Plaintiled roof;the upper nave roof is flat and leaded. At each bay is a large three-light C15 window.Between each and at each corner is a flushwork-panelled buttress,those on the south side with a canopied niche whose image stool is supported by an angel.At the upper stage,is part of an inscription which reads in total:"Christ his have merci on us".A similar inscription is on a tablet high over the priests doorway.The latter has some reused moulded C13 stonework,but is mainly of late C15;the door bears carved arms including those of William Grey,Bishop of Ely 1458-1478.A mid-C14 window at the north-east corner suggests the survival of C13/C14 fabric at the east end. The fine hammerbeam roof over the nave is technically one of the most outstanding of its type in Suffolk.An illustrated report in Proc.Suff.Inst.Arch.,Vol.XVII,Pt.2,1920,shows that the lower half of the roof had been almost destroyed by a C18 coved ceiling.This was removed and the roof restored with new hammerbeams in 1880.The roof is in six bays,with long arch-braced hammerbeams emerging from a very deep C19 coved cornice.At the ends of the beams are tall posts with pendant bosses,linked at mid-height by cambered and arch-braced straining beams,and again at the head by arch-braced camber-beams supporting the flat roof.At one third height the posts are linked with the adjacent truss by slender C19 ties;and again at two-thirds height by heavier beams upon which stand the timber-framed clerestory.In each bay is a trefoil-headed clerestory window.The main beams are embattled and brattished,and the braces have richly-carved spandrels of foliate and floreate form.The use of hammerbeam construction in this way to give a clear span of thirty feet and to support a clerestory is considered by many authorities to be the culmination of C15 carpentry design in Suffolk.The chancel roof was rebuilt with arch-braced collar-beam trusses in 1880.The south doorway has moulded and shafted jambs and a square label over the arched head;a fine pair of moulded framed doors with vinescroll-carved panels.At the north doorway a similar pair of doors existed until c.1900.In the north wall is the roodloft staircase of c.1500;of the rood screen nothing remains.In 1883,the south porch was built on the site of an early C16 porch of red brick which bore the initials T.R. probably for Thomas Raven,clothier.Internal fittings are of late C19/C20

Listing NGR: TM0877555177


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
'Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History' in Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, , Vol. 17, (1920)


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: 16 Nov 2006
Reference: IOE01/14816/17
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Hubert Smith. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].