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What to see inside St Mary's Church

We enter beneath the tower.  This porch is rather rustic, with its old brick floor and the ancient beams which support the floor above.  The single bell, made originally by Miles Graye in 1621, was recast by C Carr of Smethwick in 1885.  There were two bells here in 1553. You can always request additional healthcare essay writing help from editors at https://essaysworld.net/global-healthcare-assignment-writing if you struggle to finish the assignment on this topic on your own

We pass beneath a beautifully moulded south doorway; the door which we open is 19th century, although its hinges are several hundred years older.  Notice the great thickness of the wall between this door and the nave interior.

Inside, St. Mary's is bright and homely, its short nave providing an intimate atmosphere for worship. Although it has its fair share of 19th century craftsmanship, this has been tastefully done and does not spoil the air of antiquity which pervades this quaint, beautiful and much cared for church.

The octagonal stone font (standing near the entrance to symbolise our entry, through Baptism, into the Christian Family) is of a type which is common in East Anglia. This is 15th century, but it was restored and re-cut just before D.E. Davy visited the church in 1846. Around the stem are lions and wodewoses (wild, hairy men) with clubs, and in the panels of the bowl are the emblems of the four Evangelists, alternating with angels, bearing shields on which can be seen the emblems of the Passion, the Trinity, the cross of St. George and the crowned "M" for Our Lady. Supporting the bowl are smaller angels with outstretched wings, also a band of carved faces, flowers and foliage. The pretty 19th century cover is probably the work of Henry Ringham.

The nave is crowned by a beautiful 15th century single hammerbeam roof, with carved cornices at the tops of the walls and carved spandrels supporting the hammer-beams.

The nave benches, with their flat-topped buttressed ends, retain some original 15th century woodwork, particularly in those to the west of the doorway. Henry Ringham did such an expert job in restoring and renewing these benches that one has to really look hard at their ends in order to distinguish between old and new work. Ringham's skilled craftsmanship may also be seen in the pulpit and in the large reading desk.

In the north wall of the nave, near the pulpit, is the 15th century rood-loft staircase which, together with its upper and lower entrances, has survived complete. It led to the loft [or gallery] above the rood screen, which divided the nave from the chancel in mediaeva1 times. The framework of the base of the rood screen remains, with its simply-carved panels. In the top right-hand corner of a panel on the south side is the carved face of a little man, who has looked out from this position for maybe 500 years.

The framework of the chancel roof incorporates some original mediaeval timbers, which may well be 14th century. The stalls in the chancel are 15th century. They are "return" stalls (forming L shapes each side) and have beautiful poppyhead ends and fine traceried panelling.

In the south chancel wall is an early 13th century lancet window, which was left in its place when the south aisle was added. It has been divided to form a 'low-side' window, through which an external bell could be rung during the important parts of the Mass in mediaeval times, so that people not able to be present could join in prayer. The north and south chancel windows have wide internal splays and in the eastern splay of the north window is a stand and a rough recess which was probably made for a statue.

The east window is interesting because it has internal circular shafts with capitals which, although restored, date originally from the Transitional Norman period of the late 12th century. The window contains pleasant stained glass made at Powell's Whitefrairs Studio (note the little friar in the bottom right-hand-corner). This dates from 1962 and is a memorial to members of the Turner family of Newbourne Hall.

The wide recess in the wall beneath this window is unusual. Bearing in mind that the chancel floor was once much lower, perhaps it contained a reredos behind the altar. The present altar is a single 17th century Stuart Communion Table. To the south of it is a fine carved chair, of great beauty and considerable age.

In the south wall of the sanctuary is a trefoil-headed piscine, where the water from the washing of the priest's hands at the Eucharist was poured, also a double window-sill sedilia, providing seats for the clergy during certain parts of the service. On the south wall of the chancel hangs a list of Rectors of this parish, going back to the late 13th century.

The south aisle is divided from the nave by a simple Perpendicular arch. It has always been known as the Rowley Chapel and it was tastefully refurnished in 1950, in memory of Cordy and Lucy Wolton, by their children. Their memorial is the woodcarving of Mr. Charles Bunbury's Suffolk stallion "Monarch", by H Brown. The altar was made by Mr E Barnes of Ipswich, probably to the designs of H. Munro Cautley.

There are several ancient features in this chapel. The roof is 15th century and in the south well can be seen a sedilium (seat) and a handsome trefoil-headed piscina, which still retains its original (but now mutilated) drain. In the floor to the north of the altar is a coffin-lid with a foliated cross, dating from the 14th century.

Not on view: Amongst the church plate is an Elizabethan chalice, with a paten-cover, dated 1570. The registers of the church date back to the year 1561.