Book Review: Parish Churches of East Suffolk.

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Thorpe St Peter

I have been reading  A photographic and historical guide to the Parish Churches of East Suffolk by Adrian S. Pye. It contains some very interesting information.For instance it  mentions churches that no longer exist. For instance Ashfield Cum Thorpe Saint Peter, OS Grid Ref TM 200622. which is now ivy covered flint and mortar ruins.

Also Buxlow Saint Peter, OS Grid Ref TM 413631.  Which was demolished in or around 1622. Also Covehive Saint Andrew,OS Grid

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Buxlow St Peter

Ref TM 522818. which was in use before 1622 but the dwindling congregation couldn’t afford its upkeep.Then there is Foxhall Saint Andrews, OS Grid Ref TM 230437. All that is  left  is a flint wall that is now the northern wall of a barn. Linstead Magna Saint Peter, OS Grid Ref TM 317763. was in existence in 1922.

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Saint Peter’s Linstead Magna

The local farmer bulldozed it and used the materials to make roadways around his farm. The author says

“Hardly a highway to Heaven!”

It also at the back has a list of ruins and known sights of churches not mentioned in the book including Ipswich St Mildred. Which of course, was  on the site of where Mannings pub is. Though it does not mention Stoke St Augustine which was in the vicinity of where Shiloh Church presently is.

Also some of the things he says about existing churches could be rather off if you are a local parishioner. For instance, of Felixstowe St Andrew he says that

This Modern Church has been described as many things. To me it has little appeal….it was completed in 1931 but lacks the tower that it was originally designed to have. My opinion is that it would have improve the appearance and made it look more like a church and less like a multi Storey car park. Best hidden by trees.

I’ve always thought it looks like a church myself.

Of Shotley St Mary he says

I had expected to find a beautiful traditional parish church sitting on a prominence overlooking the estuary. What I actually found is ugly to the extreme. The squat tower is cement render that looks like a toilet block.

Of Trimley Saint Martin he said

The walls everywhere are rendered with horrible cement and no attempt at decoration or breaking up the plain that has been attempted……. don’t bother trying to go inside. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Now as my family is from Trimley Saint Mary I found this highly amusing and then I turned the page. Where he says of Trimley Saint Mary,

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St. Mary’s Trimley

The tower is 14th century but is a Pitiful site the church is rendered in cement and is not at all appealing to the visitor ……… don’t try to have a look around, it isn’t worth it.

Bloody cheek!

Of St Mary le tower in Ipswich he says

Because this building is enclosed by surrounding buildings it is impossible to photograph in its full glory. I have used this black and white  I discovered on the postcard. My grateful thanks for the photographer, because no one will ever be able to see that view again. Shame on you, Ipswich!

Excuse me? You’re calling shame on us while talking about our civic church? The sauce!

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personally I think it looks awesome.

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