St Mary, Henstead, Suffolk
- Site Location
- National Grid Reference
- TM 488 861
; Thetford 1071-94
now: St Edmundsbury and Ipswich since 1914.
now (or name of monument): St Mary
- Type of building/monument
- Parish church
II General Description
St Mary's is a flint church with a single, thatched nave and chancel, no chancel arch and a tall 14thc. W tower with diagonal buttresses and flushwork on the parapet. The two nave doorways are 12thc. work; the S protected by a 14thc. porch.
III Exterior Features
(i) Nave N doorway
Round headed, of two orders.
The sill has been lowered. The door bears a date of 1906 in ironwork.
2nd order: en-delit nook-shafts on worn cushion bases with roll neckings. The capitals are chamfered blocks, that on the E better preserved and with the angle chamfers defined by grooves. Both have roll neckings. Imposts are quirked chamfered. The arch is decorated with centrifugal lateral face chevron, the profile having a roll at the angle and three thin incised hollows on the face outside it. There is no label.
|h. of opening (to foot of plinths)||1.94 m|
|w. of opening||0.80 m|
(ii) Nave S doorway
Round headed, four orders, of clunch.
2nd order: Plain cylindrical en-delit nook-shafts cut in sections to match the coursing of the jambs. The W base is conical with four rolls; the E of roll/hollow chamfer profile with a roll necking. The W capital is double scalloped with wedges between the cones and the shields outlined by grooves around their lower edges; the E is similar but on the W face there is no wedge between the cones and on the S the bell is not coned. They have roll neckings and their imposts are as the 1st order. The arch has an angle roll and a row of beading on the face outside it.
3rd order: Jambs as 2nd order but the shafts are carved with double-strand spiral and both capitals are double scalloped with wedges between the cones and the shields outlined by grooves around their lower edges. The imposts and neckings are the same as the 2nd order. The arch is decorated with centrifugal chevron lateral to the face; a fat roll at the intrados, then a slimmer roll between two fillets.
|h. of opening (to foot of plinths)||2.11 m|
|w. of opening||1.14 m|
3. Exterior Decoration
a. String courses
(i) Above the S doorway
In 1086 Henstead was a berewick of Wrentham, held by Godfrey de Point from William de Warenne. The same family, later called Pierpoint, remained in possession of the manor until the early 14thc., when they moved to Hurstpierpoint, Sussex. The manor of Henstead passed to the family of St Denis around this time.
Sole Bay Team Ministry: i.e. Blythburgh, Covehithe with Benacre, Frostenden, Henstead with Hulver, Reydon, Sotherton, S Cove, Swold, Uggeshall, Walberswick, Wangford and Wrentham.
Chamfered block capitals as on the N doorway also occur at Ilketshall St Andrew, where chevron of the same profile as on the S doorway also appears. The multi-billet label of the S doorway is a common feature locally, found in various forms, e.g. at Whall and Wissett.
- H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 271.
- D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 3 E Suffolk. Cambridge 1992, xxx.
- N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 265.
- A. Suckling, The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk, II. London 1848, 369-83.