Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Blythburgh
Southwold's majestic 15th Century church
(Photos/words © urban75, May 2007)
Now dwarfing the tiny village surrounding it, Holy Trinity, Blythburgh used to be the focus of a thriving medieval town.
A church has stood on this spot since 1620, with the present tower appearing around 1330.
Over the years, the church has survived several calamities; in 1577, the impressive steeple was flattened by lightning, with the falling spire damaging the roof and font; while the grumpy Puritans rocked up in 1644 and demanded that paintings, stained glass windows, crosses and cherubim be removed within eight days. Or else.
By the late 19th century the church was in very poor condition, with the roof so leaky that congregations needed umbrellas by the 1870s.
A successful 1881 restoration fund appeal saw the building getting some much needed attention over the following years.
Latterly, the church has been used for performances as part of the annual Aldeburgh Festival - it must be pretty amazing to hear a concert in such surroundings.
When we visited the church was completely empty for some time, and we could really appreciate the size, the solitude and history of the place.
With a local population of just 300 souls, there's not much chance of there being a shortage of space inside the Holy Trinity. It's absolutely massive!
See panorama of Blythburgh church interior
Although the benches were reconstructed in the late 19th century (reputedly from the main post of Westleton windmill), the
medieval bench-ends are authentic and a treat to admire.
The carvings are based around the seven deadly sins; the seven works of mercy, and the four seasons - find out more here: suffolkchurches.co.uk
High on the roof are these spectacular angels, twelve in total.
There may have been up to 20 angels, but thanks to their high placement, even the notoriously thorough Puritans were unable to drag them down from their high perch.
Climbing the tight stairs to the blessed sacrament chapel.
Inside the bijou chapel.
The rather spooky modern village war memorial
Despite the disturbing woman outside, Blythburgh really is worth a visit!
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