Bansfield BeneficeDiocese of St Edmundbury & IpswichChurch of England Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes

The History Of Saint Mary's Lidgate


There are a few memorial inscriptions on the walls and in the floors, to people of the past who have been associated with this church and parish.

By far the most interesting memorial here is the brass effigy of a priest, about 20 inches in length and of mid 15th century date, which is set in the chancel floor near the Communion rail. The head of the priest had been lost for many years and was carefully renewed about 1910. This is believed to be the brass of John of Lydgate, who was born here about 1370 and became a monk at the Benedictine Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds. He is better known as a very prolific mediaeval poet, of considerable repute, who knew Geoffrey Chaucer. Visitors to Long Melford Church should find the tiny Clopton Chantry Chapel there, where the roof cornices are inscribed with many verses which are attributed to him. The figure, dressed in Eucharistic vestments, was originally part of a much larger brass.

The following ledger slabs may be seen in the floors:-

  1. In the chancel. John Isaacson (1828), Rector here for 23 years, and Ann his wife (1819).
  2. In the south chapel. Francis Ward (1720).
  3. Also in the south chapel - his wife Rebecca (daughter of Richard Godfrey of Brinkley), who died in 1716, also their infant son and daughter, Charles and Jane.
  4. West of the pulpit. Elizabeth Godfrey (sister of Rebecca), who died in 1630.

Three memorial plaques may be seen on the walls.

  1. In the south aisle. Francis Norman Bocock, J.P., who was Rector's Warden for 24 years (1932), Mary his second wife (1953) and their eldest daughter, Mary, (1956).
  2. Near the chancel arch. Captain Thomas Catchpole, who was killed in Egypt in 1917.
  3. Near the rood-loft staircase. A plaque (by W.A. Forsyth of London) recording the gift of the new altar, screen and side chapel restoration in 1934, in memory of Mary Spencer Gray, by the Revd Ernest Awdrey Gray, who was Vicar here from 1889-1930.

The tower now contains two bells, three others having been sold earlier this century. Both were made by John Draper of Thetford in 1624-5. The treble bell weighs 4.5 cwt and is 28 inches in diameter and the tenor, which has a diameter of almost 30 inches, weighs 5.25 cwt.

Last Modified Sunday 11 February 2018