January 30 – Another day of geocaching around Campsea Ashe

Rendlesham, Eyke, Alderton, Hollesley, and Boyton

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

A lovely day though chilly so we are off out geocaching again. First, we headed to Campsea Ashe. I knew we had been passed St John the Baptist church before but was not sure if we had been inside. There was no geocache here. It is a nice church with a lovely reredos with a decalogue each side of it. The marble altar rail has some lovely detail. We found a wall monument to James Lowther, 1st Viscount Ullswater who died in 1949 and also a tomb outside to Sir Gerard Lowther from 1916. We had a friend in New Zealand with the same surname and we wonder if they are related. The 14th-century octagonal font has quatrefoil and blank arches. We found an intact monumental brass under the carpet to Alexander Inglishhe, the rector from 1504. There were some lovely stained glass windows including the main window over the altar by James Powells & Sons in 1912 and some very special windows by Henry Holiday named ‘Faith and Hope’ as well as a pelican and a lamb window. There were some great cross stitch kneelers including one with a very cute mole, not a favourite animal in this country because of the damage they continue to any piece of lawn.

At Rendlesham, we visited St Gregory the Great church and found the geocache before entering the church. It had a George III royal coat of arms and a 15th-century octagonal font with four lions on the stem with four evangelists. The wonderful matching appliqued altar frontal and pulpit parament were quite inspirational. There were a wooden wine glass pulpit and a 14th-century recessed tomb of Rector John Chaperson who died in 1349. The wall monument to John, 2nd Baron and Baroness Rendlesham was ornately carved in stone and there was a variety of heraldic headstones on the floor of the chancel.

At All Saints church in Eyke, we could not find the geocache which was very frustrating. The west and east Norman arches were decorated with colonnettes and zigzags. The church was lovely with its impressive monumental brasses, one to John de Staverton and his wife from c.1420. The was an octagonal font with four lions and four evangelists on the stem. The painted pipe organ was by Noble in 1878. There were a lovely altar cloth and a carved wooden reredos. The church sports a lovely display of bench ends and poppyheads. There were some lovely medieval stained glass windows including one depicting St. Bridget feeding the beggars. The list of rectors dates from 1305 with John le Bigod.

The altar frontal at St Andrew’s church in Alderton was beautifully quilted and embroidered. There were some lovely tapestry kneelers, the most impressive was one related to the bee. There was a George II Royal Coat of Arms. The outside of the church was made of flint with square panels of flushwork showing crowned initials, shields, mouchettes within a circle and four circles within a circle near the base of the church.

Bawdsey is a village located on the other side of the River Deben from Felixstowe. Bawdsey Manor is notable as the place where radar research took place early in World War II.  Bawdsey had both Chain Home and Chain Home Low early warning radar stations during World War II. The WW2 defences included a number of pillboxes, landmines and flame fougasse installations. The beaches were protected with extensive barriers of scaffolding. St Mary’s church has an amazing 19th-century altar frontal in quilting and embroidery. There are some wonderful kneelers of all the Lords of the Manor of Bawdsey. We walked out to the mouth of the river Deben where we found a cache near the rusted sea wall. Then we noticed Bawsey Manor standing impressively on the hill above the sea. We found four geocaches around Bawdsey.

On the way back inland we found All Saints church at Hollesley. It had eight 15th-century pews with poppyhead finials and animal pinnacles to the armrests and thirty-two 20th-century pews. The bench ends were carved in the 1950’s by Henry Munro Cautley and are wonderfully intricate and varied.It had a lovely clock installed in the memory of a local farmer.

St Andrew’s church in Boyton was surrounded by snowdrops which is a wonderful sight and the promise of spring. The Norman vestry doorway is decorated with a triple range of chevrons. near the church are the Mary Warner Homes, a lovely set of almshouses on three sides of a courtyard. They date from the mid 18th-century.

On the way home, we passed the Rock Barracks, RAF Woodbridge which has been empty since 1994. Many of the defence areas are now being populated by new housing areas.

We had a great day out on a cool but clear day finding seven geocaches.