A visit to Clare, with a mention of Access Cambridge Archaeology and Stour Valley Community Archaeology. Thanks for the shout out!

Heritage at Great St Mary's

“Seen from any angle it floats on the skyline like a great ship, with a small tower for a fo’c’stle and two turrets for masts…The interior is ablaze with light.”

– Simon Jenkins ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’, p.743.

I popped into the Church of Sts Peter and Paul in the little village of Clare recently. Like the more visited Suffolk churches in Long Melford and Lavenham, Clare’s is filled with light from the clerestory.

Tobias, our assistant verger, has been researching how Great St Mary’s would have looked before the Reformation, so it was interesting to read about the destruction wrought in Clare by William Dowsing in 1643:

“We brake down 1000 Pictures superstitious; I brake down 200; 3 of God the Father, and 3 of Christ, and the Holy Lamb, and 3 of the Holy Ghost like a Dove with Wings; and the 12 Apostles were carved in Wood…

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