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English Church Architecture -

Suffolk.

 

REDLINGFIELD, St. Andrew (TM 186 707)     (March 2009)

(Bedrock:  Neogene to Quaternary, Crag Group)

 

This is a very humble building (shown left, from the southeast) consisting of a chancel, a nave with a S. porch, and the stump of a tiny former tower, now capped with a saddleback roof.  It is pleasant to find the church open but it is unlikely to detain the visitor long. 

 

The chancel has been entirely reconstructed in Flemish bonded brick, most probably in the eighteenth century, when the mediaeval windows and priest's doorway  were apparently re-used.  The three-light E. window is the most significant, with reticulated tracery from Decorated times, but the origins of the building may go back to c. 1300 or earlier if the S. window with Y-tracery (now with its central mullion replaced in moulded brick) or the blocked N. doorway to the nave with two flat-chamfered orders, are indicative.  The nave is constructed of stone rubble below and rendered brick above, and lit by a S. window with cinquefoil-cusped Y tracery to the east of the porch and a two-light window with supermullioned tracery to the west. The porch (below right) has an outer doorway carrying a series of narrow mouldings above semi-octagonal responds and is faced to the south in uncoursed knapped flint with a little limestone rubble.  The roof is collar-braced, the windows are blocked, and the inner doorway carries one flat and one hollow chamfer which is also suggestive of an early fourteenth century date.

 

To this the interior of the church adds really very little.  It is probably most notable for the octagonal font (illustrated left), defaced and badly worn though that is.  Supported on a stem with lions at the angles and wild men in between (all of which have been decapitated), the faces of the bowl are aligned with the false points of the compass - that is, the points between the cardinal and ordinal directions (west-northwest, west-southwest, south-southwest etc.) - and carved with angels holding shields and the symbols of the Evangelists.  The only other features of the building which require mention are the blocked arch in the W. wall of the nave, with a little doorway beneath, leading into what now passes as a tower, the absence of a chancel arch, and the small piscina in the S. wall of the nave.  This is trefoil-cusped with just the hint of an ogee point, so the date here is probably no earlier than c. 1315.