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St Peter, Bruisyard, Suffolk

(52°14′44″N, 1°24′15″E)
TM 325 663
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Bruisyard is in E Suffolk, 4 miles NW of Saxmundham and 3 miles NE of Framlington. The village is on rising ground overlooking the river Alde; mostly pasture around the village but with Bruisyard Wood, an ancient forest replanted with softwood in the 1960s, to the NE. The church is in the centre of the village and the hall is at its Eern end. This was originally Roke Hall and was converted for used as a Priory of Poor Clares in 1366. Further details of its history will be found in VII History below. St Peter's church consists of a nave with a S porch, a chancel with a large S chapel and a round W tower, all of flint. The nave is 12thc., and the original N doorway survives, now blocked. The S doorway is mid-13thc. and has a post-medieval brick and timber rendered porch. The nave windows are all replacements, dating from the 15thc and perhaps the 18thc. The chancel arch is 13thc.-14thc., and the chancel has the remains of a 14thc. piscina. The S chapel was added as a funerary chapel for the Hare family in the reign of Elizabeth I. It was later used as a vestry and its conversion for use as a parish room began in 2004. The W tower is said to be Anglo-Saxon (church guide), although Pevsner labels it Norman. The exterior shows a single storey, although the lower part is clearly a different build from the upper. In the lower part, some courses are laid in herringbone fashion, and at the top of this section the walls bulge out and have been repaired with red brick. Above the bulge, the tower ascends more regularly and no herringbone is visible in the coursing. The top is flat, without a parapet. There is a large, pointed lancet inserted at the W, and the bell-openings are 15thc.


Before the Conquest, Ulf held 85 acres in Bruisyard as a manor with two acres of meadow and woodland for ten pigs. Eadric also held 91 acres as a manor two acres of meadow and woodland for ten pigs. Staerling held another manor, of 60 acres with three acres of meadow. In 1086 these lands were held by Hamo from Count Alan. Another manor of 80 acres was held by Wulfric before the Conquest. This contained also four acres of meadow and woodland for 40 pigs, and was held by Ralph de Tourleville from Roger Bigod in 1086. Finally, a manor of 30 acres and 1½ acres of meadow was held before the Conquest by Beorhtmaer, a free man commended to Eadric. In 1086 Ralph also held it from Roger Bigod. In 1364 the chantry founded by Maud, Countess of Ulster, was moved from Campsea Ash to Rokehall manor in Bruisyard, and a chapel of the Annunciation built. In the same year it was agreed, at the insistence of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, that this foundation should be handed over to an abbess and sisters of the order of Nuns Minoresses, or Sisters of St Clare (usually called the Poor Clares), and the transfer took place in 1366. In 1390 the abbey acquired land in Bruisyard and neighbouring parishes, and at the Valor of 1535 it held both the manor and the church of Bruisyard (along with other possessions). The house was finally surrendered in 1539, and it and its possessions were assigned to Nicholas Hare and his wife Katharine.

Upper Alde benefice, i.e. Badingham, Bruisyard, Cransford, Dennington, Rendham and Sweffling.


Exterior Features



Victoria County History: Suffolk II (1975), 131-32.
Anon., St Pete'’s, Bruisyard, undated (post 1990).
H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 235.
D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 3 E Suffolk. Cambridge 1992.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 118-19.