December 18 – A church micro day around Melton area

Happy Birthday Dad

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We planned a great day out geocaching on our day off but the day started badly and it didn’t really improve. I had my first bout of homesickness in 19 months, I guess because it is Christmas coming up too which doesn’t help.

First, we called into the exhibition to meet Katie at Riduna Park and to thank her for hosting the exhibition in their sales office. Then we visited St Andrews Church in Melton even though there is no church micro there. It is a lovely church with a beautiful wooden rood screen made by Cautley in 1934 and a 19th-century painted organ. There were three very special stained glass windows including the Scott Memorial window by C.E.Kempe in 1903, the James Packe Memorial window by Ward and Hughes in 1873 and The Woods’ Memorial window by A.L. Moore in 1910.

The aim of the day was to visit nearby villages and to put up posters advertising the exhibition. We went to Woodbridge first to pick up our new banner which had arrived from Tradeprint. We had them make our posters, fliers, business cards and the vinyl banner. It is all done online and is made very quickly in only a few days. The quality and the service is excellent and it is very cost effective too. We also had our exhibition brochures made by them a little while ago and will continue using them as their service is brilliant.

Our first church micro of the day was at St Andrew’s church Hasketon but we seemed to be off our game already and despite looking for ages both before going into the church and afterwards but it yielded nothing and finally we had to give up.  the church had a really interesting tower with a round bottom and an octagonal top. I do not think we have seen one like this before. The font from about 1450 bears the coat of arms of the De Brewse family. It also had some lovely tapestry kneelers including one of Noah’s Ark.

Next, we went to Burgh where the village sign is a mill wheel for grinding flour. Beside it is a red telephone box converted into a lending library. One book we found there was ‘1066 and all that’ which was part of bookcrossing. BookCrossing is the act of releasing your books “into the wild” for a stranger to find and tracking where they go via journal entries from around the world. It often works in conjunction with geocaching. We did not take the book as we have not seen many other bookcrossing places in the UK yet.

Then we took a rather circuitous route to St Botolph’s church in Burgh as the road between was closed for five days from today for repairs. This church was a really great find with four C.E. Kempe stained glass windows as well as a Cox & Son and a Thomas Willement. It also had a beautiful embroidered and appliqued reredos. The church has a brilliant eight-sided font showing the symbols of the evangelists and angels bearing crowns from 1400.  It has some lovely tile work in the chancel and the sanctity and 40 x 17th-century angels adorning the roofs of both the nave and the chancel.

Next, we went to St Peter’s church at Charsfield which had a lovely font with signs of evangelists and angels and some colourful funerary hatchments for the Leman family. We did not find the geocache here.

On our way home we called into Easton. As we drove in we saw an amazing wall. It was over 6 feet tall and built in a wave, a single brick thick, a fascinating sight. We had heard recently about the crinkle-crankle wall and today we saw one for the first time. There are over 50 examples of this serpentine wall in Suffolk so we will be on the lookout for others. The crinkle crankle wall economizes on bricks, despite its sinuous configuration, because it can be made just one brick thin. If a wall this thin were to be made in a straight line, without buttresses, it would easily topple over. The alternate convex and concave curves in the wall provide stability and help it to resist lateral forces.

All Saints Church in Easton is another lovely church but with no church micro. They had a beautiful Hanoverian Royal Coat of Arms from before 1801 and some amazing funerary hatchments. The Wingfield Pews were installed by Sir Henry Wingfield, 4th Baronet, in 1650 and were placed either side of the altar in the sanctity. The low box pews were installed in the 19th century. We also found some monumental brasses under the carpet in the chancel, one to John Wingfield in 1584 and John de Brok in 1426. Some of the brasses were covered by furniture and we were only able to see the shield at the base of the brass for Dame Radcliffe Wingfield from 1601.

When we got home we opened our new vinyl banner to advertise the Medieval Mosaic and we were very pleased with it. The artwork had initially been returned to us as it was not in the correct format and Mike did many alterations so we are extremely pleased that it turned out so well. It will be a real bonus for the exhibition.