The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin

The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin

For over 1000 years, Christians have worshipped on this site in East Bergholt - the church dates roughly back from 1350 to 1550.

Late perpedicular in style, of stone and brick fragments from an earlier church, it is 120 feet long, 56 feet wide and 45 feet high. 

The Tower was begun in 1525, by tradition at the expense of Cardinal Wolsey, whose death in 1530 stopped the work through lack of funds. 

On the south face, you will see beautiful East Anglian flintwork, with grades of workmanship from the earliest irregular stones to the squared flints in regular courses round the tower base.

The West Door Inscription features initial letters of Italian words: in English: For Holy Church John Fine, Francis Yual and other made (this gift) in honour of Jesus and Mary.

The Priest's room above the South porch is the subject of a famous painting by John Constable. 

The Bell Cage was built in 1531 to house the bells, one of which is dated 1540. They are unique in that the bells are run, not by a rope and wheel, but by force of hand on wooden headstocks.

The Constable family tomb, last used in 1949, is in the North East corner of the churchyard near the Boiler House. The artist's parents are there, but Constable himself is buried in Hampstead cemetery, London. 

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