Church Micro 1505....Little Wenham
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All Saints, Little Wenham
I have a particular enthusiasm for remote and hidden churches, and anything more than half a mile from the nearest road is particularly favoured. But All Saints is so interesting and lovely that it would be worth seeking out whatever its setting. Although remote, it is not particularly hidden; in winter, it is even possible to see it from the main road. And, it is possible to drive to this church
The track leaves the Capel St Mary to Great Wenham road by the Queens Head pub.
Past the bungalows, it doglegs by some Victorian houses, and then meanders through farm buildings and fields before entering a curious fen-like area, over which it is a causeway.You do not need much imagination to detect the remains of a former settlement here.
You then reach the extraordinary Little Wenham Hall, one of the oldest houses in England. It was built in the 13th century, and its bricks are among the earliest known English ones (that is, they are not reused Roman bricks).
The track curves around the grounds of the Hall, which are strictly private. It opens out into what is clearly an ancient farmyard, with a magnificent 16th century red brick and timber barn to the left, and All Saints on its mound to the right. All else about is gentle farmland.
The difference in level between track and churchyard is so great that a flight of steps leads up to the gate, for all the world as if transferred here from a busy medieval street in Bristol or York.
Supposedly, some churchyards are higher than the surrounding land because of the reputed medieval practice of importing more earth to allow further burials. I have no idea of whether or not this is true. But Little Wenham has always been a tiny village, and the graveyard here is flat, more of a plateau, so I think the reason for the difference here is the way the track has cut into the land over the last 800 years or so. The barn is also higher than the track.
This churchyard is one of Suffolk's secret places. Few people know of it. Fewer still will have visited it. The graveyard still contains a large number of tombchests fenced in by 19th century iron railings; the unfortunate practice of removing these for recycling during the Second World War obviously never reached this place. (Apparently, the bulk of the removed railings were eventually dumped in the sea at the end of the War).
Over the fence, there is a good view of the battlements of Little Wenham Hall.
Please note there is a barrier in operation on the access track for vehicles. Vehicle access between 8.30am and 6.30pm only. It is possible to walk down the track outside of these hours.
If anyone would like to expand this Church Micro numbered series
please do. Please contact sadexploration
via this website, so that he can keep track of the church numbers
and names to avoid duplication.
The cache is a 600ml plastic camouflaged container with a log book,pen and a couple of swaps.
You dont have to enter the church grounds to find this cache.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum