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St Andrew, Marlesford, Suffolk

(52°10′26″N, 1°23′45″E)
TM 323 583
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Marlesford stands on the rising land on the N side of a tributary of the river Alde in the rolling arable land of central East Suffolk 2 miles NE of Wickham Market. The village extends from the hall and church in the N to the A12 which now forms its southern boundary. St Andrew's has a nave with a short S aisle and a S porch W of the aisle, a chancel and a W tower, all of flint. The earliest work is in the two-bay S arcade, which has circular piers with 12thc. imposts and bases, but later four-centred arches with two chamfered orders. For the rest, the N nave windows are square headed reticulated and the aisle windows 15thc. Perpendicular. The aisle is wide and was probably broadened when the arches and windows were remodelled . The gabled porch is 15thc. with flushwork decoration on its façade and a gabled parapet with wavy tracery. The chancel has a very plain arch and 14thc. fenestration with some 19thc. replacements. The tower is 15thc. and has diagonal W buttresses and a battlemented parapet with chequered flushwork.


The chief landholder in 1086 was St Edmundsbury Abbey, which had held Marlesford since before the Conquest with 1 carucate of land and 12 acres as a manor. This manor also included six acres of meadow. The abbey also held nine free men and two half free men with 83 acres and an acre of meadow. A second manor had been held by 1 free man commended to Eadric before the Conquest, consisting of 36 acres with one acre of meadow, and a further six free men commended to Eadric held 21 acres here. This land was held by Robert Malet in 1086. The king held 35 acres in royal demesne and a church with 16 acres, and before the Conquest, six free men commended to Thormoth of Parham held 25 acres from Edward the Confessor, listed under William I’s holdings in 1086. Finally there were 13 acres held by half a free man that were recorded under the holdings of Count Alan in 1086.

Benefice of Campsea Ashe with Marlesford, Parham and Hacheston.


Interior Features



Pevsner dates the pier of the arcade toc.1200. The present author sees no reason to date it (and the responds and their bases and imposts) as late as this, but in view of the simplicity of the mouldings no date more precise than the 12thc. can be ventured.

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, 357.