Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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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:
TM 10560 65790


MENDLESHAM CHURCH ROAD TM 16 NW 7/39 Church of St Mary 29.7.55

GV I Parish church. Medieval, restored 1864-6. Aisled nave, chancel, west tower, north and south porches, the latter now a chapel. Flint rubble, stone dressings. South aisle has C19 knapped flint facing. Nave and aisle roofs leaded, the chancel plaintiled. Fine C15 square tower in 4 stages with diagonal buttresses; the plinth and deep embattled parapet have fine flushwork. Moulded west doorway with shield-carved spandrels, above which is a 3-light window. Paired 2-light belfry openings. Both aisles have C13 origins and retain original doorways of this date. South doorway has 3 orders of colonnettes, the outer order keel-moulded, and a richly-moulded arch. North doorway has similar jambs but a narrower, less richly-moulded arch. Windows in south aisle are mostly renewed, with Y tracery; 3-light east window has reticulated tracery. North aisle has mostly original 2 and 3-light C14 windows under pointed segmental arches; C15 3-light east window. Fine C15 porches with good flushwork. South porch has moulded entrance arch with shield-carved spandrels and a central canopied image niche. Original 2-bay roof: angels at the foot of each wallpost, carved spandrels to end braces, wallplates with brattishing. North porch has moulded entrance enriched with fleurons, and with a much-weathered angel at the apex; eroded shields in spandrels; flanking canopied niches. At the level of the upper chamber, a further canopied niche flanked by 2-light windows renewed in 1980's. Embattled parapet retains original and well-preserved pinnacles at each corner, carved as lions and wild men. 5-bay clerestorey: 2-light shallow- arched windows, probably C15. A good set of gargoyles below the embattled parapet. C14 chancel: to south, 2 3-light windows under segmental arches; to north, 2 windows in Perpendicular style, one mostly original. 5-light east window inserted 1864; C14 shafted jambs internally. At junction of chancel and north aisle, a circular brick rood stair turret of c.1500. Interior. C13 6-bay arcades with circular piers and abaci; the 6th (east) bay is separated from the remainder by a short length of wall, against which the adjacent arch is carried by corbels, that to the south with dog-tooth decoration. Arch of 6th bay has short vertical sections above the capital, probably intended to accommodate parclose screens enclosing chapels. C13 chancel arch has similar form. Nave and chancel roofs renewed 1864-6; nave roof has panelled canopy of honour, partly C15. Restored medieval crown-post roof over south aisle, the moulded tie beams with remains of original painted decoration. North aisle roof is substantially medieval. East window of north aisle is shafted, and incorporates a central image niche for a chapel altar with cusped segmental arch on demi colonnettes, the canopy lost. 4-centre arched entrance to rood, stair adjacent. Trefoil piscina in south aisle. Plain C15 octagonal font. Fine font cover and pulpit, both of 1630 by John Turner of Mendlesham; font cover restored 1908, pulpit set on stone base 1866. Good set of C15 poppyhead benches, many with carved ends and backs, some retaining carved figures on arm-rests; some were restored in C19. At east end of nave, brass of John Knyvet (1417) in armour, the inscription and all but one of the shields missing. Arms of George III in south aisle. Chamber over north porch has been used as the town armoury since 1593; the collection of 23 pieces rates as 'the most complete armoury of any English parish church' (Pevsner).

Listing NGR: TM1056065790


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Suffolk, (1974)


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: 02 May 2007
Reference: IOE01/15349/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Hubert Smith. Source Historic England Archive
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