St Mary's Church - Hadleigh


The village of Hadleigh formed part of the broadcloth triangle with Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds responsible for the manufacture of this warm heavy felt like cloth which saw them referred to as the 'Old Draperies' and the village proper as it was home to the earlest fulling mill dating back to 1287.  The prosperity from the wool trade that Hadleigh enjoyed is evident in the sheer size and imposing granduer of St Mary's church.  Originally built in 1250 of flint and stone, it was significantly extended during the height of the wool industry's prosperity and is the only church with a medieval wood and lead spire in the country.


Noteable Exterior Features     

Aside from the beautiful medieval spire, St Mary's church has a very impressive red brick Tudor gateway to the south west of the church and it was in this building in1833 that the birth of the modern Church of England occurred.  

The exterior bell of St Mary's dates back to 1280 and is Suffolk's oldest and the aisle of this vast building is Suffolk's longest rebuild in the 15th century with wealth from the cloth trade and the south doorway still retains its original magnificent door from the same period.


Internal Gems Awaiting Your Discovery ...     

On entering the church you cannot fail to be impressed by the size and space of this light and airy interior. The glass is mostly by Ward and Hughes with the exception of a beautiful window, surprisingly from 1980's in the north aisle, which is next to Maggi Hambling's painting of Christ. There are some pretty impressive bench end carvings and although not on the scale, volume or workmanship of those at St Mary's in Woolpit, still worth a look. 

    Location: St Mary's Church, Hadleigh

               

        Church Street

        Hadleigh

        IP7 5DT                Telephone:  01473 527499