At the sign of the Barking lion...

All Saints, Hundon

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


Hover to read captions, click to see enlarged images:

All Saints tower under repair. Photo (c) Sue Biddle

Mothers Union banner at Hundon. Photo (c) Sue Biddle


This is by way of a temporary entry, because when I came this way in the summer of 2002, the church was all closed up to enable the organ to be rebuilt. At other times, I understand that it is open and welcoming, so I must go back. Until then, a brief tour of the outside must suffice.

Firstly, I must say that I was surprised how big the village is. I am often struck by this in West Suffolk. Out east, where I live, hundreds of little parishes straggle and scatter around narrow lanes, but in the county's richer half there are fewer of them, and they tend to be proper villages, with shops, pubs, and schools.

All Saints is a grand church, instantly recognisable as part of the upper Stour Valley group, along with Cavendish, which it much resembles. Indeed, the stair turret with the little wooden bellcote might be a direct copy of Cavendish, because this church was completely gutted by fire in February 1914. However, Mortlock tells us that the rebuilding, by Blow and Billeray, largely followed the design of the original. The porch beneath is a big one, with a room in its upper storey.

I look forward to coming back, and seeing inside. Obviously, the only pre-20th century survivals here will be in stone, and so I assume that the medievalist will see as much from the outside as within; but the graveyard is beautiful too, full of trees and bushes, much in the manner of nearby Stradishall, making a long-shot of the church virtually impossible. Heavens be praised, it was never cleared to make mowing easy in the manner of so many, and is rich in 18th and 19th century headstones.

All Saints, Hundon, is just to the north of the town of Clare - turn off the B1063 at Chilton Street. I understand that it is normally open during the day.

My thanks to Sue Biddle, who donated two of the photographs you see here.

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