Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Hawkedon, Suffolk

St Mary impresses as you approach on the narrow road from Somerton but stuns when you arrive at the village. Situated in a walled churchyard in the middle of the village green, dominating the village the church immediately attracts you.

The interior matches the exterior with interesting glass, poppyheads, a recycled Queen Anne royal arms (converted to GIIR) and a Norman font amongst other furnishings.

Whilst in many ways this is a modest church it is utterly charming and must be somewhere on my favourite list, not top ten but definitely somewhere.

ST MARY. The church lies in the middle of a wide green surrounded by houses. Its only noteworthy feature is its S porch with a brick top. Pretty trefoil frieze. The porch has an outer stoup. - FONT. Square, Norman, with angle-shafts and big coarse leaf motifs. - PULPIT. Plain, Jacobean. - SCREEN. Dado with fine tracery. The painted figures are almost obliterated. - STALLS. The front of the stalls with tracery survives on the S side. - BENCHES. A whole set, with poppy-heads and unusual seat details. - COMMUNION RAIL. With twisted balusters; C18. - PAINTING. Transfiguration; above the E window, almost unrecognisable *. - STAINED GLASS. Considerable fragments in the E window. - PLATE. Silver gilt Cup and Cover, undated; silver-gilt Flagon 1659. - BRASS. Civilian and Wife, c. 1510, 17 in. figures, much rubbed off.

* I saw no signs of either the wall painting or the brass.

East window (3)

Poppyhead (7)

Font (2)

HAWKEDON. We may look down on it from sloping fields and see the landscape with fair cottages and barns and haystacks huddled together, and a little 15th century church standing boldly on the green, watching over all. Within the lofty nave are old benches, their poppyheads adorned with flowers; the chancel has stalls with traceried panels from the ancient screen, and fragments of glass in the east window have flowers and heraldry, heads and saints, which have seen the passing of many centuries. In our own time has been discovered a queer medieval painting of the Transfiguration; it is above the east window. The font is the patriarch of the village, with foliage probably carved by a Norman mason, the gem of all hereabouts is Thurston Hall, a lovely timbered century house with many gables.

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