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St Michael, Tunstall, Suffolk

(52°8′40″N, 1°27′7″E)
TM 363 552
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Tunstall is a good-sized village in E Suffolk, towards the S, 7 miles NE of Woodbridge and 6 miles from the coast. The landscape here is flat arable and heathland. To the E is Tunstall forest and to the S the disused Bentwaters airfield. The church stands alongside the main street at the eastern end of the village.

St Michael's has a nave with a S porch, a chancel with a N vestry and a W tower, and is of flint, rendered on the N wall of the nave. The nave is long, wide and aisleless with a 14thc. S doorway under a 15thc. porch with flushwork decoration, and a blocked N doorway. The windows are 15thc., of three lights, and the chancel arch 15thc. too. The nave walls have been heightened with brick. The chancel is lower and slightly narrower with 15thc. windows and piscina. It has been heightened with brick too, and the E wall rebuilt with a 19thc. E window with Perpendicular tracery. On the N side is a 19thc. brick vestry. Brick buttresses have been added to the N side of the nave and the S of the chancel. The W tower is 15thc. with diagonal buttresses and a SE stair. The bell-storey and embattled parapet have been partly rebuilt in brick, aand there is flushwork decoration on the plinth and buttresses and the surviving original parts of the parapet. The rebuilding was necessitated by a lightning strike in the 18thc. The church was restored by A. W. Anderson of Norwich in 1977-79, and at that time the tower top was again restored. The only Romanesque sculpture here is a Sussex marble font.


Godric, a free man, held four acres here before the Conquest, held in 1086 by Gilbert from Robert Malet.

Wilford Peninsula benefice, i.e. Alderton, Bawdsey, Boyton, Bromeswell, Butley, Chillesford, Eyke, Hollesley, Iken, Orford, Ramsholt, Rendlesham, Shottisham, Sudbourne, Sutton, Tunstall and Wantisden.





Imports of Sussex and Purbeck fonts are common throughout Suffolk.

H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 328.
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, 469-70.