At the sign of the Barking lion...

dedication unknown, Washbrook

At the sign of the Barking lion...

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Washbrook old church

    The modern parish of Washbrook was known as Great Belstead in Saxon times, and was large enough to support two separate parish churches, the lonely surviving St Mary a few fields off, and this one, equally remote and now lost. John Blatchly records that a Vicar was instituted to the church as late as th 14th Century, and that John Kirby found ruins visible on his journey through the county in 1764. Roy Tricker tells me that the final remains were dynamited by the landowner in 1954 to permit deeper ploughing, but in fact you can still see exactly where this church was - or, at least, its graveyard. It forms a fallow area in the corner of the field which rolls down towards Washbrook village from the junction of Pigeon's Lane and Swan Hll, the road which runs from behind the Holiday Inn hotel in Ipswich towards Washbrook and Copdock. A tree marks one corner of the former graveyard, but unfortunately a public right of way does not approach it. The Suffolk Archaelogical Survey found burials at the site in the 1970s.    

Simon Knott, October 2009

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