St Mary's Church, Huntingfield, Suffolk


The Porch and the Exterior


The porch was the last part of the church to be built in the fifteenth century and has a very pretty facade made from stone and cut flints known as flushwork, a style characteristic of East Anglia. Over the arch is the figure of Mary the Mother of Our Lord to whom the church is dedicated. The original figure was long since destroyed and this one was the gift of the Hon. Anne Vanneck in 1907.

In the angles above the arch are two shields: that on the left represents the Trinity, Three in One, that on the right bears the emblems of the Passion.

To one side the faint traces of a scratch dial on the right hand side of the archway. Once painted white with divisions marked in black, a central peg called a gnomon would cast a shadow of the sun. Its purpose was to mark the passing of the hours and to show the times of church services. There are even fainter traces of a scratch dial to be found on the south chancel door.

The walls of the church and tower are built of flint picked up from the fields, and of stone imported from Northamptonshire quarries. This would have been carried by barges on rivers to King's Lynn on the Wash, and from there by ship to the river Blythe.