Showing posts from February, 2020

The Round Church of Little Maplestead

One of the gems of northern Essex is to be found along a small country lane in Little Maplestead, a few miles northwest of Halstead. Locally known as The Round Church, it sits nestled in a beautiful spot among several ancient yew trees on the crest of a small hill. Approaching by foot across the fields or by road from Halstead it can be seen from quite far off and merits a visit, as it is a very pretty little church and one of the most historically important buildings in the area. This is the church nearest to my childhood home, although my parents were of the Congregational and Strict Baptist inclination, I attended for weddings and funerals. Both my parents are buried here and family members have been married here. It holds a warm spot in my heart, I must confess! Officially known as The Church of St. John the Baptist, the Round Church is one of only four round churches still in use in England. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages although the early records are unreliable. It i

More images of Ipswich Waterfront.

Question marks are being asked (according to the local press) about the future of the two largest buildings at that end of Ipswich Waterfront historic Wet Dock - The Mill tower and the former Paul's Silo. It was announced this week that the former Burton's building on the Waterfront is to be converted into a new arts hub, bringing a huge boost for that part of the town. However, the Mill tower is still incomplete. There are no flats completed in the tallest building in Ipswich and it is still in the hands of administrators as legal talks about who is responsible for the cladding that became dislodged in the St Jude's Storm in 2013 . Talk about Red Tape and Bureaucracy!! The former Paul's Silo (on the left) is now owned by the borough and I don`t know the plans for it at the moment. One hopes that this remaining area of the Waterfront can soon be transformed in keeping with the rest of this lovely area. At the University end of the Waterfront, this i

The Tudor connection - St Mary`s in Bury St Edmunds

St Mary's Church is the civic church of Bury St Edmunds and is one of the largest parish churches in England. It was part of the abbey complex and originally was one of three large churches in the town (the others being St James, now St Edmundsbury Cathedral, and St Margaret's, now gone). The present church is the second building to stand on the site, the first being built in the 12th century by Mr Hervey. However, nothing survives of the Norman church and the oldest part of the existing building is the decorated chancel (c. 1290). There was a major renovation between the 14th and 16th centuries and it is at this point that the nave, its aisles and the tower were built During the 16th century, John Notyngham and Jankyn Smyth, two wealthy local benefactors, died and left large amounts of money to the church. These funds contributed to building the north and south quire aisles, now the Lady Chapel and Suffolk Regimental chapel, two chantry chapels and a north and south