Holy Trinity Church
and its connection with Holy Trinity Priory

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Holy Trinity Church2012 images
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 case study.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hill House mapMap 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 a cost 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).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Holy Trinity Church 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Holy Trinity Church 2
'ERECTED 1891
BY VOLUNTARY SUBSCRIPTIONS.
W.H.WILLIAMSON.VICAR.
G.A.BIDDELL.VICAR'S
CHURCHWARDEN 35 YEARS.
E.PECK.DIED 1890.
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.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Trinity seal 1
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 curious.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Trinity seal 2
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: http://www.ipswichwaterfrontchurches.co.uk/holytrinitychurchipswich.html]

[UPDATE 11.12.2013: "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"]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Trinity seal 3
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.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Trinity seal 42014 imagesIpswich Historic Lettering: Holy Trinity 3
The Trinity seals set into the west window (central ground floor window with round top) of Holy Trinity Church on Heritage Open Weekend, 2014.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Trinity seal 5   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Trinity seal 6
Another interesting, but far more recent, window shows a portrait of a previous vicar of the church.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Holy Trinity 4
'To the glory of GOD and in memory of
William Henry Hamilton Williamson.
Called to rest 19 May 1919, Aged 71, for 31 years vicar of this church.
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.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Holy Trinity Church 2
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Holy Trinity Church 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Holy Trinity Church 52014 images
'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 CHURCH OF
ST. CLEMENTS IPSWICH, DEDICATED TO THE HOLY TRINITY,
WAS ERECTED IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 1835.
BY JOHN THOMAS NOTTIDGE, CLERK,
                                                R
ECTOR.
                                            FREDERICK HARVEY,
                                                            ARCHITECT.'

'THE PLATE ABOVE WAS FOUND EMBEDDED IN THE WALL AT THE NORTH
EASTERN CORNER OF THIS CHURCH WHEN, IN 1895, A CHANCEL WAS ADDED
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 CONTRIBUTIONS.

E.F. BISSHOPP.        W.H.WILLIAMSON.      VICAR.
ARCHITECT.             G.A.BIDDELL       )  
                                       JOHN RAYNER   )   
CHURCHWARDENS.'



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