Ilketshall St Margaret

What you need to know about this church

Ilketshall St Margaret Church

Where to find this church

Church Information

St Margarets church is located in Ilketshall St Margaret, a village in Suffolk about 4 miles south of Bungay.

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Ilketshall St Margaret church
Tower from the south
Ilketshall St Margaret church
Font and tower arch

Visiting Ilketshall St Margaret

There are a collection of four Ilketshall Villages round here, named after their churches, and two of them have round towers. St Margaret’s is the second one. The tower here is newly rendered, which covers the flint work. However the date of the 11th century can be derived by two circular openings – which were only revealed in 1993 – framed with flint, at about ten feet from the ground. There are three stone-framed slit windows in the first floor stage, and higher up there is evidence of the 11th century belfry, though only the west opening is now visible and that has been altered in size. The present belfry was added in the 14th century, and then the parapet was probably added in the 15th century. The church is more or less the same width for nave and chancel, but the chancel roof is fractionally higher than the nave’s. The north nave has a 12th century blocked doorway, with a 19th century circular window, with a trefoil, inserted within its stone arch. The chancel retains its 13th century window tracery, with the east one having intersecting Y pattern. On the south chancel wall is an 18th century Gothic doorway, with foiled shallow carvings below its square-headed hoodmould, and a cinquefoiled arch. The south porch has the remains of flushwork panels on its face and buttresses.

The tower arch is pointed, but it has been altered a bit. The font is 15th century, with four hanging shields alternating between two flowers and two square leaves. There are angel heads with wings overlapping in the corona, with a band of fleurons below. Possibly the stem once had lions around it? It has a 17th century flat font cover. The nave has a plastered barrel vaulted ceiling, with parts of the arch-braces to the rafters above visible. The chancel has a boarded ceiling, painted dark blue with gold stars, and a piscina with a credence shelf. The carvings above its cinquefoiled niche are similar to those at the top of the outside of the priest’s doorway. The altar rails have close-set balusters, from the 17th century.

Conclusion: pretty village church in a rural setting which is older than one might think

Ilketshall St Margaret church
Chancel roof
Ilketshall St Margaret church
Altar with east window