Monday, 21 March 2011

Alpheton, Suffolk

SS Peter &; Paul was locked with no sign of a keyholder but is beautifully situated away from the village and by the Hall. Peering through the windows revealed a spartan interior with seemingly little of interest still it would have been nice to have a look around.

ST PETER AND ST PAUL. Nave and chancel, and quite a substantial Perp W tower. Pretty S doorway with fleuron decoration; Dec Sedilia and Piscina composition damaged by a later window. The Piscina is in the angle of the window. Niches l. and r. of the chancel arch, the one to the N re-fixed higher up in the C19. — STALL. The back made up of two misericords. - PULPIT. Jacobean. - SCREEN. Only the dado. - BENCHES. Some ends with poppy-heads. - PAINTING. St Christopher, on the N wall; dim.

SS Peter & Paul

ALPHETON. It has a little church in the middle of a farm, with the old Alpheton Hall next door; and it has been snatched from ruin in our time. Well worthy of saving it was, for the church is mostly 15th century. The doorway is carved with pomegranates and roses, with a king and queen to greet us as we come. The porch has an old roof and a seat of gnarled oak. The font has been here all the time, and there are traces of a 16th century wall-painting of St Christopher, a picture hidden for centuries. The west window has a little old glass, the small Jacobean pulpit has dainty foliage, and on each side of the chancel arch are two lovely niches, one with a vaulted canopy in which we noticed a smiling man with a rich store of fruit.The chancel stalls were made last century from oaks which were growing in the rector’s garden when the church was new.

Early in this century the Old Felstedians took an interest in the church and restored it, but the tower began to crack and was wrapped in wire netting until it could be restored. The King and Queen subscribed to the fund for putting the church in order; the top of the tower was rebuilt, the walls restored, the old north doorway uncovered, and the oak rafters of the tower revealed.

UPDATE 20 02 13: Still locked although I'm informed by Simon Knott that it's open daily from Easter.

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