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St Mary, Uggeshall, Suffolk

(52°21′59″N, 1°36′22″E)
TM 456 804
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Uggeshall stands in rolling arable land in E Suffolk, 6 miles S of Beccles and 5 miles inland. The church, along with Church Farm and Manor Farm form an eastern nucleus with Uggeshall Hall 0.7 miles to the N, and the main cluster of houses half a mile to the west. The church has a nave with a taller chancel, both thatched, and a solid and stocky W tower with a wooden bell stage, also thatched. The nave is of rendered flint and can be dated to the 12thc. by its N and S doorways. There is a 13thc. lancet at the W end of the S wall, and the other nave windows have Y-tracery or Perpendicular tracery, pointing to remodellingsc.1300 and in the 15thc. The flint chancel is not rendered. Its chequered brick and flint E wall is 18thc., and the entire chancel appears to have been remodelled in the 19thc. It has a variety of windows (plain lancet, geometrical, Y-tracery and flowing) all of which have been renewed. There is a N organ room, also 19thc. The flint and chequered flushwork masonry of the W tower is not as high as the nave, but its plan is large and has heavy diagonal buttresses and a polygonal stair turret in the middle of the S wall, adding to the impression of bulk. The tower was apparently never built any higher than this. The 19thc. wooden bell stage has a gabled roof. Inside the church there is no chancel arch and the tower arch is tall and 15thc. The chancel retains its 14thc. sedilia, but the rest of it has been remodelled in the 19thc. Curiously the chancel roof is lower than the nave roof inside the church. The N and S doorways are described below. The former is blocked, and the latter has been remodelled and is under a tiny timber-framed porch.


Before the Conquest Uggeshall was held as a manor by Eskil the priest; in 1086 it was held by Robert de Courson from Earl Hugh. It consisted of 2 carucates of ploughland, 2½ acres of meadow, a mill, a salt-pan and a church. A second manor was held by Godric before the Conquest and again by Robert de Courson afterwards, this time from Roger Bigod. This manor consisted of 2 carucates of ploughland and 1 acre of meadow. A further carucate was held in 1086 by St Edmundsbury abbey, which had been held from the abbot by Godwine before the Conquest. A smaller holding of 18 acres was held by two free men, Northmann and Ketil from the king, but was appropriated by one Berengar, a man of St Edmundsbury abbey.

Sole Bay Team Ministry: i.e. Blythburgh, Covehithe with Benacre, Frostenden, Henstead with Hulver, Reydon, Sotherton, South Cove, Southwold, Uggeshall, Walberswick, Wangford and Wrentham.


Exterior Features



H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937.
D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 3 East Suffolk. Cambridge 1992.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 471.