Monday, 5 March 2012

Edwardstone, Suffolk

St Mary the Virgin is one of the most welcoming, and beautiful, churches I have yet come across; as they say on the church sign "You are welcome here at all times, may you find peace and the influence of the Holy Spirit". I don't know about the Holy Spirit but I certainly found this a peaceful church with some fantastic brass, a beautiful reredos and a rather good remnant of a wallpainting. This definitely gains a place in my top ten.

ST MARY. In the grounds of Edwardstone Hall, a house which has been largely pulled down.* W tower, nave and N aisle (of 1460), no clerestory, tiled roofs. The chancel windows, if reliably restored, point to c. 1300. The piers of the arcade Perp: quatrefoil with ļ¬llets. The same type between chancel and N chapel. - PULPIT. Jacobean, good and big, with back panel and tester. - MONUMENTS. Benjamin Brand d. 1636 and wife and children. Brasses in the medieval tradition. The inscription tells us that they were by ‘Providence after 35 years conjunction divided (by) Death, after 12 days Divorcement reunited’, and that she had twelve children ‘all nursed with her unborrowed milk’. - Thomas Dawson, by John Bacon jun. 1808, with an elegant white urn in front of a grey obelisk.

* The brick gatehouse of the Hall remains (P. G. M. Dickinson).

Benjamin & Elizabeth Brand (5)


Wallpainting (1)

EDWARDSTONE. It has grown up by the River Box where a Norman monastery once stood. Through a long avenue of elms lining the road, and by a path across a lovely park, we come to its oldest neighbours, the red brick hall and the church, with a 14th century nave and chancel and a 15th century tower. The 17th century gave the church the domed cover of its ancient font, the lofty panelled pulpit with a sounding board, and two lovely carved chairs in the sanctuary. Portrayed in brass is a family which must have seen all this fine Jacobean woodwork when it was new: Benjamin Brand and his wife, who died in 1636 within 12 days of each other, with 12 little Brands below, six upright sons in cloaks and capes with bows at knee and foot, and six upright daughters, all but one wearing hoods.


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