St Mary, Walpole, Suffolk

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Feature Sets (2)


St Mary's is a flint church with ashlar dressings consisting of a nave with a three-bay N aisle, chancel and W tower with a short spire. The church was rebuilt in 1878 and at first sight it appears to be all of that date, but the S nave wall includes a doorway with a 12thc. arch, and the chancel has pilaster strips suggesting 11-12thc. fabric. The S doorway is the only feature described here.


Walpole was held by 17 free men from Count Alan in 1086, although the Domesday Survey recorded that others also held land there, valued with Bramfield. A church with 16 acres and half an acre of meadow was recorded.

Blyth Valley Team Ministry, i.e. Blyford, Bramfield, Chediston, Halesworth, Holton, Linstead Parva, Spexhall, Thorington, Walpole, Wenhaston and Wissett.


Exterior Features


Nave, S doorway

Round headed, two orders under 19thc. porch. The doorway is entirely 19thc. except for the outer order arch and its label.

1st order: Plain chamfered jambs supporting plain hollow chamfered imposts and an arch with an angle roll. All 19thc.

2nd order: Jambs and imposts as first order except that the jambs have plain stop chamfers at top and bottom. This section is all 19thc. The 12thc. arch is carved with lateral centrifugal chevron on the face; a fat roll towards the intrados, then a slimmer roll and a narrow fillet, with a cogwheel edge. The label is carved with a series of discs, each carved with an eight-spoked wheel and linked to its neighbours by straight reeded clasps to form a chain.

h. of opening 2.08 m
w. of opening 0.97 m


The label decoration is a more sophisticated version of the label of the W window at Westhall. The chevron is identical to that at on the N doorway at Wissett.


  • H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 333.
  • D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 3 East Suffolk. Cambridge 1992, xxx.
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 473.
Exterior from SE.
Exterior from NE.
Interior to E.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TM 367 747 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Suffolk
now: Suffolk
medieval: North Elmham (c.950-1071), Thetford (1071-94), Norwich (from 1094)
now: St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
now: St Mary
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter