and its connection with Holy Trinity Priory
Holy Trinity Church and its only visible lettering (on the
church hall); both buildings are Listed Grade II. There is more on this
church and its connection to Trinity Lodge and Trinity Vicarage on our Rosehill
Map showing Holy Trinity, 1902
In 1902, we see that Holy Trinity Church and the nearby
Trinity Lodge had the Trinity
Brick Works down the hill from them and open fields to the east. Across
from the Lodge was the parkland belonging to the Byles family at Hill
House which would become Alexandra Park a year later. In contrast, we
see to the west the mass of roads and housing of the Potteries; see our
Courts & yards page for more. South of
St Helens Street we can identify Grimwade Street, Borough Road, Dove
Street, Regent Street, Milner Street, Gibson Street, East Street and
Curve Street (nowadays all known as 'Rope Walk'), Ernest Street,
Woodhouse Street, Potter Street, Hamilton Street, Pottery Street,
Alfred Street, Stanhope Street, Arthur Street, Dorkin Street, New
Street, Long Street and Baker Street.
Holy Trinity Church was built in 1835 as a Chapel of
Ease to St
Clement’s Church, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity by the
Reverend John Thomas Nottidge, M.A., [probably the origin of Nottidge
Road in Ipswich] Patron and Rector of St. Clement's
and St. Helen's churches. He erected the church at his own expense, at
of £2,400. The land was previously used as a ropewalk. The
consecration was carried out by the Bishop of Sodor [shades of Thomas
The Tank Engine?] and Man acting for the Bishop of Norwich. Holy
Trinity was the first church in Ipswich to be built since the
Reformation and this was during the reign of King William IV who was
the final Hanoverian King (and called the "sailor king"). The
Seals of Trinity Priory were set in the East Window (see below).
BY VOLUNTARY SUBSCRIPTIONS.
CHURCHWARDEN 35 YEARS.
PARISH CHURCHWARDEN 19 YEARS.'
The Seals of Trinity Priory
Holy Trinity Priory stood on the
site of the present
Christchurch Mansion and was annexed to
a Holy Trinity Church nearby (see also St
Margaret Church which was built for the growing congregation in the
late 13th century, while the priors used Holy Trinity Priory Church for
their own devotions).
This church existed in Saxon times, and was later rebuilt under Norman
rule. The names of “Christ Church” and Holy Trinity were
interchangeable at this time. The seals of Holy Trinity Priory were
adopted in the 13th century.
The first seal represents Christ seated on a throne, the right
hand raised in blessing, the left resting on the Holy Book. He is
seated in the centre of seven candlesticks, surmounted by an estoile
(or star), symbolic of the Father and Holy Ghost. In each corner are
the mystic emblems of the four evangelists: Mathew, Mark, Luke and
John. The text around the seal reads “Seal of Christ Church Ipswich”.
As far as we can make out this is: 'SIGILE . COMMUNE .
SCA . XPI . GIPEWICENSIS', although some of the characters are
The second seal – the Secretum or “private seal” – depicts the Lamb
with the standard of the Cross, and the text around it reads “The Lamb
conceals the mystery, and locks up the same”.
It reads: 'SECRETU . CELAT . AGN . IDEMO [Q?] . SERAT'
In the early part of the 16th century the Priory was dissolved, and the
church pulled down. After a gap of about three hundred years, another
church of Holy Trinity was built here in Ipswich, and these medallions
have been placed here as a reminder of its predecessor of the Middle
Ages. In 2009 these windows were repaired and cleaned.
[Information taken from:
"Hello Borin....Thought you might be interested in the attached
images. These were rebuilt at our stained glass studio a few years
back. They are fitted to the west window [behind the
font] in Trinity Church , Back
Hamlet. They were originally fitted to the Abbey , that stood prior to
Christchurch mansion being built!! Hope they are of interest re:
the Ipswich seal. Regards, Ian Davies. /
Danielle Hopkinson 11.12.2013"]
Our thanks to Ian and
Danielle for what must be one of the earliest examples of public
lettering in Ipswich. If this painted glass genuinely was rescued from
the church of The Holy Trinity Priory (
which existed from 1133 until
the Reformation of 1537) – and the sources so far found are a little
vague – this
must be some of the earliest public lettering in Ipswich. So if the
seals were adopted in the 13th century and the Priory church was
dissolved around 1537, that would suggest that it was stripped of
anything of value for sale or reuse (e.g. building materials) before
complete demolition. Catholic recussants were known to cover up or hide
items which Reformation puritans would have considered idolatrous and
want to destroy. But if the glass is really early and from that
church, it would mean that somehow the small glass circles were stored
somewhere, probably in secret, for safe-keeping until the
building of Holy Trinity in Back
Hamlet in 1835, three hundred years later.
The Trinity seals set into the west window (central ground floor window
with round top) of Holy Trinity Church on Heritage Open Weekend, 2014.
Another interesting, but far more recent, window shows a portrait of a
previous vicar of the church.
'To the glory of GOD and in
William Henry Hamilton Williamson.
Called to rest 19 May 1919, Aged 71, for 31 years vicar of this
A beloved pastor and friend.'
A late arrival on this page is a pair of cast iron plaques on the outer
western wall of Holy Trinity Church: at the foot of the tower. The
transcription, somewhat surprising (a plaque commenting on another
plaque), is below.
'TAKE HEED NOW, FOR
THE LORD HATH CHOSEN THEE TO BUILD
AN HOUSE FOR THE SANCTUARY, BE STRONG
AND DO IT.
THIS CHAPEL OF EASE TO THE MOTHER
ST. CLEMENTS IPSWICH,
DEDICATED TO THE HOLY TRINITY,
WAS ERECTED IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 1835.
'THE PLATE ABOVE WAS FOUND
EMBEDDED IN THE WALL AT THE NORTH
E.F. BISSHOPP. W.H.WILLIAMSON.
EASTERN CORNER OF THIS CHURCH WHEN, IN 1895, A CHANCEL
VESTRY AND ORGAN CHAMBER
BUILT, BELFRY CONVERTED INTO A
BAPTISTRY, GALLERIES SHORTENED, AND PEWS
REPLACED BY BENCHES
AT A COST OF OVER £2000, RAISED BY VOLUNTARY
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Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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