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Cavendish: St Mary the Virgin
Address: Peacocks Road / The Green Cavendish Sudbury CO10 8BA
Telephone Number: 01787 277515
Services and Events: View events on A Church Near You
The church is in one of the prettiest settings of any in Suffolk with half-timbered, thatched cottages clustered round it. The handsome exterior reflects the great wealth of the Middle Ages with its impressive stair turret on the 14th century tower rising above the battlements.
Light pours in through the vast east window and in the nave is a lavish 16th century gilded altarpiece of the crucifixion. The 19th and 20th century glass is high quality and there’s an elaborate tomb for Sir George Colt who died in 1570.
The priest would have had a room in the tower with a window looking on to the high altar. He had a fireplace for which a chimney can still be seen at the top of the tower.
How old is it?
A Saxon church stood on the site, then a Norman church; another church was started in the 14th century and in 1381 Sir John Cavendish built the chancel. The north aisle, nave arcade and clerestory were added in the 15th century and the Victorians had another go in 1862.
The inspirational Sue Ryder set up a charitable foundation at her mother’s house in the village that became home to people with physical and mental disabilities. She married Leonard Cheshire who founded the Cheshire Homes and the couple lived in Cavendish.
Sir John Cavendish was Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in the reign of Richard II and beheaded during the Peasants Revolt of 1381.