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Church of St.Mary the Virgin, The Causeway, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk. IP31 3AA.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member greysman
N 52° 18.108 E 000° 55.879
31U E 358948 N 5796621
Quick Description: A large church for quite a small village, almost purely Perpendicular in construction.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/15/2015 1:53:50 PM
Waymark Code: WMNPWT
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 0

Long Description:
The church of St Mary the Virgin in Walsham-le-Willows is Grade I listed and entirely of Perpendicular design having been built in the C14th and C15th. It consists of a nave with north and south aisles, a chancel, a north porch and a vestry at the north side of the chancel, and a west tower. The interior was restored in 1878.

The church is built in random kidney flint with strap pointing and freestone dressings. There are lead roofs to the nave and aisles and plain tiles to chancel.
The tower, of five stages, has a moulded freestone base, random black knapped flint to the lower stages with an admixture of small stone blocks, the four stepped diagonal buttresses are faced with freestone. It has a stair turret with 4 small slit windows on the south side. The west door has continuous multiple moulding to the arch and a hood-mould, there is a three-light window above with mouchettes in the tracery, and two-light cinquefoil-cusped Y-traceried bell-openings on each face at the fifth stage. The embattled parapet is faced with trefoil flushwork panels which, with the pinnacles, may have been added later. These pinnacles are "the armorial beasts of Edward IV: northeast, the bull of his Clarence dukedom; southeast, the griffin of his forebear Edward III; west - the white lions of his Mortimer ancestors” (Edward IV reigned 1461-70 & 1471-83.)
The north aisle has a base of lozenge-patterned flushwork and three three-light windows with cusped traceried heads, there are diagonal stepped buttresses to east and west faced with flint and stone panels. The fine north porch projects from the north aisle, and is faced entirely in lozenge-patterned flushwork. It has an empty ogee-headed niche above the doorway. The shallow-pitched open timber roof has an embattled cornice. In the porch are stone benches along the side walls with wooden panelling above, they are inscribed and dated 1541. The north doorway has a continuous moulded arch and a hood-mould with supporting heads.
The south aisle has a base of large square freestone blocks alternating with flushwork panels, four three-light traceried windows and a south doorway with a continuous arch.
The clerestorey has twelve closely-set two-light windows to the north and south, they are not synchronous with the aisle bays and have four-centred arched heads with red brick, black knapped flint and flushwork panels between.
The chancel has a small priest's door on the north and a projecting turret for the rood stairs, two C19th restored three-light windows in Perpendicular style on the south side, and a five-light C19th east window, the traceried head filled with fragments of medieval stained glass.
The interior has matching nave arcades in seven bays, fluted octagonal piers, the tops with a small cusped blank ogee arch to each face and double-chamfered arches.
The very fine low-pitched nave roof has tie-beams alternating with hammers, making fourteen short bays altogether, the shafts for the hammerbeams and braces going down between the clerestorey windows. The tie- and hammerbeams all have moulding and two rows of brattishing, and in the spandrels of the supporting braces 'suns in splendour' alternate with stars. The ridge-piece is moulded and the purlins embattled with large flowers at the intersections of the main timbers. The matching cornice also has double brattishing and the arched spandrels below are decorated with stars. Tenons at the ends of the hammers show where angels or figures should have been, they were removed by the churchwardens in 1538, acting on the orders of Edward IV’s grandson, Henry VIII. The main timbers have traces of colour and patterning, the whole roof still apparently mediaeval but may not be as first constructed (c.1400) as the sun carvings are a Yorkist addition. They are called ‘roses en soleil' and were Edward IV’s favourite badge, similar carvings appear in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, built by Edward in 1475.
The font is ornate and octagonal in the Decorated style, it has a panelled base, each face of the bowl, which is supported on crowned heads, has a flamboyant ogee arch with droplets, the top is crenellated.
The fine rood-screen is said to date from 1441 and is complete to the coving and cresting, the tall one-light divisions have flamboyant ogee arches, the dado has traceried panels painted alternately in red and dark green.
The main interior fittings date from the restoration of 1878: benches; stone pulpit; reredos below the east window; the chancel roof. A few old poppy-head bench ends remain in the chancel and south aisle. There is a repaired trefoil-headed piscina in the south-east corner of the chancel and another in the south aisle. A considerable amount of medieval stained and painted glass has been incorporated into the tracery and lights of the east window. There are wall tablets to members of the Hunt family on north and south chancel walls. At the east end of the south aisle is a medieval sepulchral slab and a few incised encaustic tiles with faces. The iron-bound parish chest is Medieval. The Arms of George III hang over the south door. Hanging above the nave arcade is a 'Virgin crant' on which garlands were hung in memory of Mary Boyce who died in 1685, aged 20. The north and south aisle roofs each have fourteen bays, matching the nave roof, they have ogee-moulded main beams and very large plain joists with a brattished cornice.

The co-ordinates given are for the north porch.
Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 1/1/1400

Age of Church building determined by?: Other reliable source

If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: Church of England.

If Church is open to the public, please indicate hours: From: 9:00 AM To: 5:00 PM

If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Sunday

Street address of Church:
Church of St.Mary the Virgin
The Causeway
Walsham le Willows, Suffolk UK
IP31 3AA


Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: Not Listed

Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: Not listed

Secondary Website for Church or Historic Church Building: Not listed

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