Standing at the junction of the Freston foreshore road and the track up
to the Suffolk Food Hall (and dominated by the nearby Orwell Bridge) is
this attractive red brick house with the octangonal panel:
Standing alone just above the Suffolk Food Hall is a second Wherstead
in white brick which bears the large medallion:
We've not seen this form of 'Anno Domini'
("The year of Our Lord') before. The Lodge is some distance from the
19th century Hall which has played home to electricity companies and
the East of England Co-op. Push on up the
concrete farm track with the roar and hiss of the A14 traffic over to
the right and one comes across the lychgate of St Mary's Wherstead.
location, high on a hill overlooking a stunning river vista,
huge out-of-proportion gargoyles... Whertead Church has a lot to offer.
It has an Arts & Crafts feel to the carving with the date on the
front panel: '1894'.
Inside, among the cobwebs and putative birds' nests, the carved letters
are on bothe sides of the gate.
IN MEMORY OF FOSTER BARHAM ZINCKE ... VICAR & HISTORIAN OF WHERSTEAD
WITH HIS VOICE & WITH HIS PEN HE
CONSTANTLY ... LABOURED IN THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY'
Rev. Foster Barham Zincke is buried in the churchyard and on his
tombstone is written: ‘An earnest friend of social and moral
progress.’ He certainly was a remarkable man and with his royal
connections, he could have held high office. However, his instincts led
him to improve the lot and education of the working classes. His
ministry at Wherstead covered 52 years, 1841-93, six years as curate,
46 as vicar. He was also chaplain to Queen Victoria. Among other
books he wrote, The Days of My Years
and Wherstead Territorial and Manorial. Although the latter has
over 400 pages he modestly sub-titled it ‘Some materials for its
history.’ Few villages as small as Wherstead have
been so well chronicled. A fascinating East Anglian Magazine article on
the man can be found at Wherstead.com (see Links)
The church itself is well cared-for and superficially the most striking
things are the three huge lion-headed gargoyles with their haunting
eyes. The church was almost entirely rebuilt in the 19th century, and
no medieval feature survives except for a single glass pane depicting
St Edmund, East Anglia's patron Saint. Simon's Suffolk Churches (see Links) says of this place: "The architect was Richard Phipson, who
restored the 15th Century tower and rebuilt the nave and chancel,
retaining the Norman south doorway. Big lions along the roofline recall
his gargoyles at the town centre St Mary le Tower. Stepping inside, the
interior is almost entirely 19th century, but of high quality, a
testament to the commitment and money of the Dashwood family of
The graveyard is screened by trees with a wonderful panoramic view
across the fields of the Orwell valley, the Piper's Vale end of the
Orwell Bridge to the left and Butterman's Bay to the right.
Formerly headquarters for Eastern Electricity and something called
'e.on', by 2013 this is the HQ of East of England Co-op. No lettering
found on this original part of the mansion.
The stable block
with roman numeralled clock face and lettered weather vane above.
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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