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English Church Architecture -



WORLINGTON, All Saints (TL 691 738)     (September 2005)

(Bedrock:  Upper Cretaceous, Lower Chalk)


This little church (shown left, from the northeast), though something of a mishmash of styles and periods, is now essentially Early English in the chancel, Decorated in the S. arcade and W. tower, Perpendicular in the nave, S. aisle and clerestory windows, and eighteenth or early nineteenth century in the porch.  The chancel is lit by a single N. lancet, a three-light E. window formed of cinquefoil-cusped lancets inside an encompassing arch, suggestive of c. 1300, and two S. windows, one two-light and renewed, and the other, an odd transomed, lowside affair, of probable Decorated origin, with four daggers set in a saltire in the head.   The diagonally-buttressed, embattled W. tower rises in three stages and has a tall W. doorway of complex profile and a two-light Decorated window above, with over-wide lights and tracery formed of two mouchettes and two daggers, on either side of which there is a small worn niche.  The nave has a clerestory formed of two-light Perpendicular windows, set on the aisleless north side between the windows below, while the latter are four-centred and three-light, with supermullioned tracery and quatrefoils in the apices. The S. aisle has a three-light, untraceried Perpendicular E. window and four two-light, square-headed S. windows, one to the west of the porch, beyond which there is still room for a vestry - probably once of two storeys, to judge by the position of the slit windows in the W. wall.   The S. porch is constructed of gault brick and has a round-headed outer doorway resting on brick imposts. Its W. wall is decorated externally by two blank, round-headed arches with a circle above, one of which now contains a memorial slab whose barely discernible inscription appears to commemorate a certain Howard Bucke, who died at the tender age of 17 in 1807.  The porch inner doorway is double-flat-chamfered and there is a cusped stoup to the right.


Inside the building, the S. arcade consists of five double-flat-chamfered arches springing from octagonal piers with hollowed sides incised with cusped arches (see the S. arcade pier, right), in the manner to be seen at Lakenheath to the north, and somewhat further away, at Norton and Rattlesden to the southeast, where the dates are similar (i.e. early fourteenth century) and the mason seems likely to have been the same.  The tower arch is very tall and formed of an inner, flat-chamfered order rising from semi-octagonal shafts, and an outer order decorated with a sunk quadrant: this could be early Perpendicular.  The chancel arch, which bears a flat chamfer and a wave moulding, dies into the jambs, and there is a heavy rood beam high above.  The nave roof (illustrated left, from the west) is formed of tie beams alternating with two pairs of hammer beams with the angels sawn off.  The tie beams each support three pairs of queen posts rising to arched braces.


The church contains several old benches at the back of the nave, not special by Suffolk standards but probably of fifteenth century date, and there are also a number of minor monuments, two of which are mentioned by Gunnis (Dictionary of British Sculptors: 1660-1851, The Abbey Library, 1951).  The first, by Benjamin de Carle (1788-1864), commemorates Mary Gataker (d. 1839), and the second, by Humphrey Hopper (1767-?), commemorates the Rev. William Coop (d.1835). Another monument by Hopper may be seen at Hempstead in Essex.