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All Saints, Honington, Suffolk

(52°20′10″N, 0°48′23″E)
TL 913 746
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter

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Honington is in the N of the county, 6 miles S of Thetford and just 4 miles from the Little Ouse that forms the boundary with Norfolk. The benefice takes its name from the Black Bourn, a stream that winds its way N through most of the parishes in the benefice before it joins the Little Ouse N of Euston. It is an agricultural area of small villages and farms. RAF Honington to the W of the village was opened as a bomber base in 1937, but no aircraft have flown from here since 1993 and it is now the RAF Regiment depot. All Saints church stands in the centre of the village, surrounded by a very small churchyard. It is of flint and consists of a nave with a W tower and a chancel with a N vestry. The nave is aisleless and has an elaborate 12thc. S doorway under a fine 15thc. porch with battlements and flushwork decoration. The N doorway is 13thc., tiny and plain. The nave windows were all replaced in the 14thc. (S) or 15thc. (N), but the chancel arch is 12thc. and very small. The chancel is 14thc. with an ogee-headed window and a piscina in the S wall. The tower and its arch are 14thc. with a battlemented parapet. A polygonal SW stair turret of brick has been added. The interior had its 15thc. benches removedc.1914 and replaced with pitch-pine pews, but some of the bench ends have been incorporated into the chancel choirstalls. It was all whitewashed in the 1940s, and a set of wallpaintings (see Cautley) covered up.


Honington was held by St Edmundsbury abbey in 1086. There were 16 free men with two carucates of ploughland, eight acres of meadow and woodland for two pigs. The holding included a church with 20 acres of land. The main subtenant of the abbey was Peter, with 1 carucate of land.

Blackbourne Team benefice, i.e. Ixworth with Ixworthe Thorpe, Bardwell, Honington with Sapiston, Troston, Euston, Fakenham Magna, Ingham with Ampton, Gt and Lt Livermere and Barnham.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

The chancel arch is clearly remade; the imposts may originally have extended above the capitals and along the E walls of the nave. Certainly some kind of impost would be expected, although those there now seem very heavy for the slight pseudo-capitals. The doorway is one of the most elaborate in the county. There is no reason to suspect that it is not all of a piece, although the combination of chamfers and chip-carving in the first order may seem anachronistic at first sight. The advanced trefoil capital of the outer order E jamb suggests that the entire ensemble is of the 1160s. At this date the chip-carving would be old-fashioned. The same workshop was responsible for the S doorway at nearby Sapiston, which has no chip-carving but similar capital forms and bases.

H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937.
D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 1 W Suffolk. Cambridge 1988, 109-10.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 277.