St James's Church - Nayland


Standing in the heart of the village of Nayland, St James's church was an important centre for the Suffolk wool industry and although documents note its existence as early as 1303, it was the wealth of the wool and cloth trades and bequests and donations of money and property, made to the church by wealthy clothiers, such as John Abell who in 1525, himself was memorialised with the erection of the south west porch,  that saw the church take on its existing form.  It was built by the master mason John Wastell, himself responsible for a number of notable local landmarks, including; King's College Chapel, Cambridge and St James's Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds.

    
   

Notable External Features     

The unbutressed church tower remained in its original state until it sustained damage, rendering it unsafe, during the Great Essex Earthquake in 1884.  Following its full restoration in 1963 it is now home to the belfry, which is beautifully lit by lancet windows under ogee arches and the six bells can still be heard today ringing the changes throughout the village.   Other interesting external features are the stone-capped octagonal brick and flint faced rood-stair turret  of the south isle and the 15th century north porch in which two sets of Royal Arms are located.   


Internal Gems Awaiting Your Discovery...     

Nayland was once the home of John Constable's Aunt, who in 1809 commissioned him to paint a portrait of Christ, titled "Christ Blessing the Bread and Wine of the Last Supper" which still today can be viewed hanging  behind the alter.   Other gems are the stained glass of the west window located behind the font, the painted panels from the old rood screen located in the south isle and the church organ which was built by George III organ maker, Samuel Green of London and is housed in the St Francis Chapel. 


    

                   Location:   St James's Church, Nayland

         

                           High Street

                           Nayland

                           Suffolk

                           CO6 4JE             Telephone:  012069 262993