We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

All Saints, Drinkstone, Suffolk

(52°13′7″N, 0°52′4″E)
TL 960 617
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter
11 August 2015

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=7542.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.


Drinkstone is a village in the Mid Suffolk district of the county, 7 miles E of Bury St Edmunds, to the S of the A14. The village is surrounded by arable farmland, and the church is at its centre. It is substantially a building of c.1330-50 consisting of an aisled nave with a clerestory and chancel. These are of flint rubble with ashlar dressings, and a brick W tower was added in 1694. The church was restored in 1866-67. Incorporated in the later medieval fabric are several Romanesque voussoirs: mostly in the arcade plinths although one is in the N aisle wall.


The largest holding in Drinkstone in the Domesday Survey was that of Ely Abbey, consisting of 2 carucates of ploughland. There was a church with 12 acres in 1066, and the estate also included woodland for 100 pigs and 6 acres of meadow. A further carucate in Drinkstone was held by a free man commended to Ely Abbey in 1066, and by Robert, Count of Mortain in 1086. Another carucate was held by Bury St Edmunds abbey, and by 11 free men as tenants.

By the reign of Henry III there was a manor known as Drinkstone Hall, held by Matthew de Lovaine, who died 1262, which remained in that family until the 16thc.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration


Interior Features

Interior Decoration


All five of these 12thc voussoirs are associated with the building of the aisles which, it has been suggested, might be slightly later than the nave. If this is the case, the voussoirs could well have come from a lateral doorway – replaced when aisles were added. The author knows of no close parallels in the county for the curious chevron on voussoirs 1 and 5, although the plain chevron at Westerfield, near Ipswich, is similarly fanned. Neither Pevsner nor the list description mentions the stones described here, and we are grateful to Sue Medcalf and the West Suffolk group of NADFAS church recorders for bringing them to our attention.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Suffolk: West, New Haven and London 2015, 217-18.

W. A. Coppinger, The Manors of Suffolk. Notes on their history and devolution. London 1905, vol 6, 262-64.

Historic England Listed Building 280782

S. Medcalf, All Saints’ Drinkstone Church Guide, Needham Market 2009.

Suffolk Historic Environment Record DRK006