At the sign of the Barking lion...

St Nicholas, Easton Bavents

At the sign of the Barking lion... - a journey through the churches of Suffolk



I left my family on the pier, having first handed over all my loose change for the amusement arcades. I wandered northwards along the beach. I mused that Easton Bavents would probably be considered a suburb of Southwold, if it had any houses. Very quickly, I left that poshest of Suffolk towns behind, and found myself on a low cliff, over which a few miserable seagulls wheeled.

St Nicholas was one of those vast coastal churches erected in the late 15th century. It was certainly still in use in 1639, and a Rector was instituted in 1666, but shortly after this the whole lot went over the cliff, along with most of the village. The fixtures and fittings may have been rescued, because the south aisle screen at Southwold is clearly not from that church originally.

The word 'Bavents', I've always assumed, was a family name - there are some graves to them I'd seen in a churchyard somewhere to the south of here recently. 'Easton' because, well, how much further east can you get?* Coastal erosion has been worse here than at Dunwich, five miles to the south, and the site of St Nicholas now lies a good mile and a half out to sea. So I took a photo of the sea instead.  

*Answer: not much. By the end of the 16th century, Easton Bavents was the most easterly parish in the British Isles. That honour now goes to Lowestoft Christchurch. Mind you, St Nicholas is still further east, in a manner of speaking.



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