Thursday, April 4, 2013

UK2013: Sudbury Churches

I spent a week in the Suffolk town of Sudbury, where I spent my days in the office and my evenings seeing friends and family from the surrounding area. It was very good to catch up with everyone. My company put me in a B&B near the centre of town which was very convenient for walks. I spent the early mornings going around the town and water meadows (of which more later) and checking out the local churches. Although I'm not religious, I do enjoy church architecture, and Sudbury has three very nice churches within easy walking distance of the town centre. You can find out as much as you like about Suffolk Churches from this fine website:

St Peter's

This church is hard to miss, since it lies at the top of the market square right in the centre of town. It is not used as a regular place of worship any more but is opened up for art festivals, craft fairs and the like.

View as you come into town

Tower clock with battlements

This sundial is just above the side vestibule entrance. It reads 'The Lord's name is praised from the rising of the sun'. There's a Green Man underneath which is interesting, too.

The side entrance.

Close up of the three figures over the side entrance. No idea who they are, but I do like the attention to detail; the one on the right has a metal staff, too.

All Saints

This church is down at the bottom end of Sudbury. It is in regular use but was closed up when I came by.

This side door is interesting, I wonder if it has been altered over the years, or if the thin red stones over the lintel are purely decorative. Maybe they were an original archway?

This is the main door at the front of the tower. I love the ornate carving they put into the woodwork on these doors.

Looking up at the tower.

Round the corner we can see more of the church. This tower has a staircase in the corner by the look of it; that rounded piece running all the way to the top.

St Gregory's

This church is back towards town, along the line of the water meadows. There is a lot of greenery here which apparently used to be houses; now it's open space from which the church stands out. I got lucky here, arriving at the same time as the Vicar, who opened the church for morning services. He kindly let me in to have a quiet look around.

The war memorial stands guard as you approach.

Carefully-shaped yew trees are a common feature of British churchyards. You can see this tower also has a staircase.

The main vestibule

Another nicely carved door, although this one is worn from use.

Coming in from the door, you enter the nave and can admire the elegant arches, and ornate font.

Standing near the font, looking the other way.

Standing in the middle of the nave, looking towards the altar. Notice how the chancel does not line up with the nave.

A close up of the painted ceiling, restored in 1966.

Lastly, another little side door... I never notice where these come out inside the church. Maybe they keep gardening supplies in here!


  1. If you'd asked the vicar of St Gregory's I'm sure he would have loved to have shown you the skull of Simon of Sudbury or even taken you up to the top of the tower where there are breathtaking views over Sudbury. Our Brownies and Guides are regular visitors and Greg (the vicar) is very proud of his church. :-)

  2. Thanks for the info! I was pressed for time that morning but maybe I can have a look on my next visit :-)