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Archaeology and Heritage
Visit to Kedington and Denston Churches
Date: 21st March 12
Location: Kedington, Suffolk,
Contact: Mike Sasse
Phone: 01892 531179
Group: Archaeology and Heritage
Our March outing features two interesting churches in south-west Suffolk, close to the border with Cambridgeshire. The churches at Kedington and Denston are less well known than those in the nearby tourist locations of Long Melford and Lavenham, but both are outstanding examples of fine churches whose interiors have been little affected by Victorian restoration. Kedington is just outside Haverhill and Denston a few miles further north-east.
We will meet at Kedington at 1045 - please note that a service will just be finishing at this time. This church is one of the most interesting in Suffolk. A mediaeval building with a 16th century hammerbeam roof, the interior has a wealth of interest, much of it from the 17th and 18th C, displaying fine craftsmanship across a wide range of items. There is a collection of tombs from the 16th C and later, family pews, a three-decker pulpit, musicians gallery, screens and more. This is thus a mediaeval church with a 17th/18th C atmosphere. John Betjeman reckoned this to be one of the finest of the Puritan churches.
Refreshments may be available at the church, and following our visit a stop for lunch will be arranged locally.
In the afternoon we move on to Denston, situated in a beautiful position on rising ground above the village. This edifice was rebuilt as a collegiate church around 1475; here, little has changed since the 17th C, and the atmosphere is essentially late mediaeval. The interior layout is that of a 'hall church', with a long nave barely separated from the chancel, and there is again fine woodwork including an oak roof.
It is expected that we will finish here around 1530 - for those that are interested, the attractive Suffolk villages of Cavendish and Long Melford are not far away.
NOTE: Unless a charge is levied for photography (to be advised), it is customary to make a donation to church funds.