St Mary's Church, Huntingfield, Suffolk

 
 

The History of the Structure

The oldest part of the church is the wall between the nave and the north aisle which was the solid outer wall of the original twelfth century church. That church would have been small and dark, the whole building probably standing within the area of the present nave. The light would have come from small high windows of which one still remains above the two round-headed arches.

This wall has been altered at least twice. It was first broken through when the north aisle was built, and again in the nineteenth century when the arches were given their present 'Norman' curves. That first church was built by the family who took their name from the village and lived in the manor for 250 years, the Lords de Huntingfield.

The chancel was added in the thirteenth century.

By the end of the fourteenth, the south side of the nave had been altered and both aisles had been built in the fashionable Gothic style with its pointed arches. The five small high, or clerestory, windows on the south side of the nave would have provided light into the nave, the advent of affordable glass having made such things possible.

The east window of the south aisle has all that remains of the medieval glass that would once have filled many of the windows. There is a record of what was still to be seen here in the sixteenth century which lists the memorial windows with the coats of arms borne by the families who once owned the Manor.

The windows of the south aisle are particularly pretty and date from the fifteenth century. Their Perpendicular style is indicated by their familiar flat-topped shape. The porch is also from the fifteenth century.

The font dates from the fourteenth century.

The ceiling painting is very special and is explained on a separate page. The work was carried out in the 19th century while William Holland was rector. At the same time the organ and vestry were added with the Vanneck family vault beneath.