Monday, 31 October 2016

Gedding, Suffolk

St Mary was the church that brought into question whether the Chapel of St Nicholas, Gipping was in fact the church of the day. Looking back I think Gipping outclasses St Mary but at the time I seriously wondered which was best.

This is, albeit heavily restored, a Norman church and is utterly charming if simple. The best feature of the plain interior is the chancel arch with its arches and mouldings. Perhaps not after all church of the day but a very close second [not least for the fact that they had a note on the door militantly stating that this church is open every day but the door is a little stiff].

ST MARY. Nave and chancel, and a W tower finished in brick. In the nave two Norman windows, one N, one S. The rest of the details is Dec. The church has no porches. Its most interesting feature is the chancel arch. It is double-chamfered with continuous mouldings and flanked by one tall cusped lancet-like niche l. and one r. Roof with scissor-bracing below and above the collars. - FONT. Octagonal, Perp, with simple cusped blank arches and shields. - BENCHES. Three; humble. - (The churchyard has a moat. LG*)

St Mary (3)

Chancel arch


GEDDING. Its little Norman church was once encircled by a moat, parts of which can still be traced. The nave has walls beginning three feet thick, 14th century timbers in its roof, and a pretty lancet with zigzag. Here are five 15th century benches with carved backs, and a fine medieval font with shields and tracery. On the floor when we called was the six-sided bowl of another old font.

The 14th century tower, with patterns in flint and stone on its buttresses, and topped with brick last century, has two bells from Elizabethan England. The 14th century chancel has a rare triple arch, the centre one plain and the side ones lovely with foliage.

Near the church is a fine Tudor house of mellow red brick, with a towered gateway and a moat; it is a splendid sight.

* Everyone seems to be terribly excited by the moat, it looked more like a pond to me.

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