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The History of Saint Margaret's Church Cowlinge


Welcome to the Church of St. Margaret of Antioch, which serves a large, but very scattered parish in the far west of Suffolk.

Cowlinge parish stretches some three miles from its northern border with Lidgate to its southern border near Stradishall airfield. Its north-west border is the county boundary between Suffolk and the parish of Kirtling in Cambridgeshire. At this end of the parish is the 200 acre estate of Branches Park, which was laid out by Capability Brown. The great mansion, which was the home of the Dickins, Usborne and other families commemorated in the church, has been demolished.

The name of the village is pronounced "Coolinje". In the 11th century is was called Culinge, in 1195 Culinges, and even D.E. Davy in the early 19th century calls it "Cooling, commonly known as Coolige". The name probably means the home or settlement of Culs or Cula's people.

As in the case of most English villages, the oldest building is the mediaeval Church of St. Margaret of Antioch, which is still in regular use for Christian worship - the purpose for which it was first built over 650 years ago. As such it is the product of a great deal of love and care which people of many periods and traditions have lavished upon it. This is also true of its present-day custodians; no visitor to St. Margaret's can fail to notice the pride which this small community takes in their ancient church and how well they care for it. Keeping up a building such as this is a difficult and expensive task for a village community, who would welcome any contributions that their visitors can spare to help them keep St. Margaret's intact and beautiful for future generations to use and to enjoy.

Please feel at home in this church; enjoy the many features of interest and beauty outside and inside it, and try to feel the atmosphere of prayer and devotion which has been moulded by six centuries of worship in this building. If you have time, spend a few moments in thought and prayer here yourself - that after all is what the church is for!

May God bless and keep you always.

Last Modified Friday 21 December 2012