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All Saints, Hemley, Suffolk

(52°1′58″N, 1°19′47″E)
TM 285 424
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Hemley is on the estuary of the River Deben in SE Suffolk, 4 miles from its mouth. The village is on the W side of the estuary, where the flat, marshy land alongside the river begins to rise to a sandy, arable landscape. Hemley was formerly a port and a centre of salt manufacture but nothing of this remains; only the church, Hemley Hall half a mile to the N, and a few houses clustered around the end of a lane from Newbourne that stops at the edge of the marshes. The church had fallen into disrepair by the 19thc. and was largely rebuilt in 1889. It consists of a W tower and a nave and chancel of mixed knapped flints, septaria and assorted stone rubble, decoratively laid with the effect of crazy paving. Nave and chancel are similar height and width (though separately roofed), and separated by a wooden chancel arch on corbels. The nave has a 14thc. S doorway under a timber-framed porch dated 1889. The blocked N doorway is ofc.1300. All the windows are 19thc., in a variety of styles of the later 13thc. and early 14thc. The tower is of red brick with blue brick diapering and may date fromc.1500. The only Romanesque feature is a Purbeck marble font.


Two free men, Osfrith and Godric, held 20 acres and an acre of meadow in Hemley before the Conquest. This was held by Roger Bigod in 1086. There were also 10 acres here belonging to Clopton, listed under the holdings of Roger de Poitou in 1086, and a border with five acres belonging to Clopton, listed under William d’Arques. Several pre-Conquest holdings were, in 1086, held together by William de Bosc who held them from Ranulf, brother of Ilger. The pre-Conquest landholders were Beorhtmaer (22 acres and an acre of meadow), Wulfweard (20 acres and a half acre of meadow), Hardwin (five acres and a half acre of meadow) and Beorhtric (9 acres and a half acre of meadow). There was a church here with 8 acres. This conglomerate was clearly the main holding here.

Benefice of Waldringfield with Hemley and Newbourn.





Pevsner describes the font as Norman, Cautley as 13thc.

H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 268.
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, 261.