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English Church Architecture -

Suffolk.

 

NEDGING, St. Mary (TL 998 482)     (October 2001)

(Bedrock:  Upper Cretaceous, Upper Chalk)

 

The building (shown left, from the southeast) consists of a W. tower, a nave with a S. porch, and a chancel, and is notable chiefly for its Norman-Transitional doorways (of which that to the north has since been converted to a window), both still round-arched and displaying a curious moulding resembling a roll with fused shaft-rings at intervals, yet dated no earlier than c. 1200 on the S. side at least by the addition of dogtooth and by waterleaf capitals.  (See the photograph of the S, doorway, below left.)  This is a very individualistic, not to say idiosyncratic, composition, and it is a pity it is unclear what the overall ground plan of the church might have been at this time.  The present chancel may date from the next architectural transition - i.e. from the Early English to the Decorated style, c. 1300 - for the E. window with intersecting tracery, has cusped lights, although the Y-traceried S. windows do not.  Two other Y-traceried windows light the nave, one from each side. Pevsner considered the tower to be Decorated: it has diagonal buttresses, and a W. window and bell-openings that are two-light, with renewed reticulated tracery.  Perhaps contemporary, and certainly more interesting, is the nave S. window, west of the porch (shown below right), with cruciform lobing set vertically. 

 

Unfortunately, internally there is little evidence of any sort to support reliable dating, although the tower arch with two flat chamfers dying into the jambs and the chancel arch with the same mouldings springing from semi-octagonal responds, seem rather more suggestive of the thirteenth century than they do of the fourteenth. North of the chancel arch, a blocked rood stair may be seen, recessed in the nave wall, but the church contains no furnishings of any real significance even though the nave roof tie beams and king posts of octagonal section are mediaeval, together with a few benches with simple poppyheads at the back of the nave.