At the sign of the Barking lion...

St Nicholas, South Elmham St Nicholas

At the sign of the Barking lion...

home index e-mail what's new? - a journey through the churches of Suffolk

    The Saints is a wild part of north-east Suffolk, and its twelve parishes are generally sparsely populated - there are only three proper villages in the whole area. Surprisingly, only one of the parish churches has been lost since the Reformation, and that is St Nicholas. After the Reformation, this parish was consolidated with the equally tiny parish of All Saints, and St Nicholas rapidly fell into dereliction. The stained glass was rescued by the Rector, and later found its way under the Victorians into the chancel window at far away Eyke.

Parts of the masonry may have been incorporated into the walls of St Peter's Hall, a couple of miles away.Today, no trace of the church survives in situ at all. Early in the 20th century, the site was marked by a cross, but this is now private land, and a vast hedge obscures the view of it; it was barely possible for me to confirm that it still exists, let alone take a photograph. The one at the top of this page was taken on a winter's day in 1999, but coming back in the high summer of 2008 this corner was completely overgrown, and I could see nothing at all. If you are lucky enough to get permission, you'll find it in the grounds of Moat Hall Barn; but a clue is the adjacent Church Cottage and Church Farm.


Simon Knott, July 2008

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