Monument record WPT 007 - Church of St Mary (Med)

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Woolpit Church lies in the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the archdeaconry of Sudbury and the deanery of Lavenham.


Grid reference Centred TL 9745 6248 (81m by 99m)
Map sheet TL96SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Woolpit Church lies in the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the archdeaconry of Sudbury and the deanery of Lavenham. Status: rectory. (S1) The structure is: chancel, nave, N aisle, S aisle, W tower, S porch. (S1) The S aisle and the chancel are in the Decorated style, the rest of the church is in the Perpendicular style. The chancel is C14 and must be very early as it has a piscina with a double drain. The rood screen is Perpendicular double hammer-beam with fine niched and canopied wall posts. The S aisle, at one time, contained the chapel of "Our Lady of Woolpit" and formerly held an image of great repute. A C14 cusped angle piscina and a dropped window sill sedilia are all that remain of the former chapel today. The aisle roofs have arch-braced principals with canopied niches to the wall posts. The present tower replaced a Decorated tower which had been struck by lightning in 1852. Norman mouldings were found inside the base of the tower when it was rebuilt. The replacement tower and spire were built in 1854 by Richard Phipson. The tower is 70 ft high and has an openwork parapet. The stone spire is supported by flying buttresses and rises a further 70 ft. The S porch is C15, Perpendicular and dateable to circa 1430-1455. It is lierne vaulted and has a chamber above it. (S2)
In 1844 the nave roof was completely restored by Henry Ringham. New angels were carved to replace those sawn off by Dowsing. (S2)
Part of medieval wall excavated by J Wiley in 1998-89.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <S1> (No record type): SAU, Suffolk parishes, a guide to their archaeology and history, 1984-1985, manuscript.
  • <S2> (No record type): SAU, Atkinson R G, Summary of documentary sources for churches in Suffolk, 1986, manuscript.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Barker, H. R.. 1907. West Suffolk Illustrated. 394, (ill).

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Aug 6 1997 12:00AM

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