Thursday, 28 June 2018

St Mary's Church Battisford

Went shopping in Stowmarket and took a detour home to visit another church from the book  (100 treasures in 100 Suffolk churches)



  Another tiny church from the 12th Century tucked away in a very quiet village a few miles from Stowmarket. This part of Suffolk is close to where my Dad, Step Dad and Auntie were brought up and where their uncle and cousin lived. We were often taken to visit Great Uncle George and Aunt Nellie, somewhere in the village but not sure where. Age 7, I was a bridesmaid to their daughter when she married but I don't think it was at this church.

 This porch was full of leaves and the door had no handle so I thought I wasn't going to be able to get in but found a small back door unlocked.



The main point of interest in the church is the 18th Century musicians gallery across the west end of the church.

 The book says

 " it is one of few remaining that sprung up after many pipe organs were destroyed by Cromwell's Puritans and there was little to relieve the tedium of long services and sermons. 
The West Gallery Music Association claims this tradition came out of of a desire of parishioneers around the late 17th century to do more than sit in dull silence at the point where the psalm may be sung or said and soon great hymn writers such as thee Wesleys were inspiring village musicians all over the country, The locals would lead the congregation and, at Battisford, Fredd Mudd made stringed instruments using local wood and homemade tools. A wind instrument known as a Serpent was also played here and is now housed in the museum at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. 

There is a small organ in the church now



 The font cover was presented to the church in 1967  to commemorate the presence of the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in the village.



The knights held a half interest in the church in the 12th Century ( info from the book, not sure exactly what that means).
  

Most of the windows are stained glass, but very pale patterns rather than pictures and they don't show up at all on my photos.

More details HERE on the Suffolk Churches website and if I'd read this first I would have found the way in easier and would have looked out for the other things mentioned.

Back Tomorrow
Sue


25 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. All the ones I've visited so far have been small - there are lots of bigger ones I must visit

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  2. The Hospitallers' half interest in the church may be to do with receiving half of the income from the church.

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  3. Another nice, little church. They are my favourites.
    Too bad someone left a plastic 'glass' on one of the pews...

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    Replies
    1. Wish I had noticed it when I took the photo. - Must put glasses on for photos!

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  4. That's such a beautiful little church.

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  5. I love these kind of simple, white washed and stone churches. Some of the really old places have such a long and often troubled history that is fascinating to read about.
    In our local village here in Scotland the church has just hit the national news recently because a very rare bible has been stolen. Apparently the neighbours here say they had just had some visiting foreign fishermen and all sorts has been happening round the village - but could just be coincidence. Such a shame though it had been in the church for people to see all this time. Everyone is shocked.

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    Replies
    1. There was a visitors book in the church that said someone had torn out the pages - how stupid and senseless

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  6. What a charming little church and despite your difficulties getting in, it looks well loved and used for worship.

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  7. I'm just amazed at things that old, being surrounded by them. We have to look far and wide for relics like that, sadly.

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  8. Churches are wonderful cool places to visit in this hot weather, I visited a lot of churches in Dorset a few years ago, some absolute gems, makes me want to visit some more.

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  9. It looks very peaceful, I'm glad you found your way in.

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    Replies
    1. I walked all round the outside to find a small door!

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  10. I'm not a religious person but I love visiting churches. The buildings are so beautiful and filled with so much history. A church is where my love of history began. Our O'level (yup I'm dating myself!) project in high school was about a local church and the area around it. I think that's where my love of photography began too lol

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    1. That sounds more interesting than our O level - don't even remember any projects, but I am a lot older than you!

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  11. You are doing an amazing job for the Suffolk Tourist Board!
    I now want to visit all the churches you have featured.
    This one looks so simple, beautiful in an unfussy way and very peaceful.
    Sue

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    Replies
    1. It is in a very quiet place on a back road in the middle of nowhere

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  12. Isn't that roof wonderful?
    My friend visited from London the other day, and I took her into Bath Abbey, which of course has spectacular fan vaulting, but, do you know, I actually think traditional oak roof beams and trusses like these (if those are the right terms!) are just as stunning.
    Thank you for sharing your local churches. They are really worth seeing - they have a "quiet simplicity" - that is what I suppose you would call it.

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    Replies
    1. I must do some of the bigger ones, there are many of those in the book too

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  13. It's charming. Thanks for the photos.
    Arilx

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  14. That is a tracker organ I believe. What a wonderful little church to visit. I love these posts. They are so full of history.

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  15. What a fabulous old church and I'm so glad you were curious enough to find a door that opened as the interior is the stuff of gothic novels.. I love it! Thank you for sharing it with us. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  16. Just a lovely small church. Glad you managed to get inside.

    God bless.

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