At the sign of the Barking lion...

St Peter, Brampton

At the sign of the Barking lion...

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www.suffolkchurches.co.uk - a journey through the churches of Suffolk

Brampton

Brampton on a hill porch

   
   
stencilled windows   Way back in the 1990s, I came across St Peter almost by accident, rearing its head up on its mound at a fairly vicious bend in the Beccles to Blythburgh road. Thereafter, I often passed its stately landmark tower, but it wasn't until the late summer of 2008 that I finally came back here. It was open, as I fully expected - they pretty much all are around here. Back in 1998, it had been more of a surprise to me, not then knowing the variations in welcome and suspicion across the county.

On an earlier entry for this church I observed that, despite difficulties of access, this church, God bless it, was open. In all honesty there is not a great deal to see here, beyond admiring the exterior. This, I suppose, makes its being open all the more admirable, since it actually gives access for prayer rather than for tourists. All of which remains true today, although, as I also observed at the time, everything is pleasant enough; neat and trim, and well cared-for. One thing that is of more than mild interest is the piscina in the sanctuary, set low-down in the wall after the Victorian restoration raised the floor level. It has a credence shelf at the back, and another little alcove that Mortlock thought might be for towels. The George III coat of arms includes familiar words, but credits them as a text from the book of Samuel intended to support royal leadership of the church, which is unusual and interesting.

This is an interesting church for the student of Victorian stained glass, since it not only contains good glass by William Warrington, it is also the only church in Suffolk to contain work by his son James. But mostly, here is an ancient building being used in a lively manner by its local people, and I liked it for that.

I am afraid that my return visit was in something of a hurry. Brampton parish has its own railway station on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line, and at the end of a long day I was heading home, wanting to catch the next train which left in barely twenty minutes. Trains only go every two hours, so I did not want to miss it. But the station is a good two miles from this church, so it was with regret that I was only briefly able to enjoy the pleasing mid-Victorian ambience of the the interior, a well-kept and obviously much-loved rustic atmosphere that hasn't changed much in almost 150 years. I must go back soon.

  asleep
   

Simon Knott, November 2008

looking west looking east chancel William Warrington glass font
God Save the King John Squire banners

 

 

 

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