Rushmere St Michael

What you need to know about this church

St Michaels Church Rushmere

Where to find this church

Church Information

St Michaels church is located in Rushmere, a village in Suffolk about 2 miles south-west of Carlton Colville.

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Rushmere St Michael church
Church from north-west
Rushmere St Michael church

Visiting Rushmere St Michael

St Michael’s in Rushmere is one of the few remaining churches with a fully thatched roof, giving it a very nice outer appearance. Here the lower nine feet of the tower are 12th century, then above that it was rebuilt in the late13th/early14th century, and finally in the late 14th century the present belfry was added. The nave west wall and the fillets (between the straight wall and the curved wall of the tower) appear to be the same build as the first part of the tower, as the flint work and mortar are the same, and the west nave quoins are made of Caen stone (from France). There is a tall narrow stone-framed slit window in the west lower part, (difficult to date), and the belfry openings have stone-framed Y tracery, except for the west one which has lost its tracery. There are gargoyles above the spaces between the four belfry openings, to allow rainwater to escape from the tower roof. Lower down there are traces of blocked earlier belfry openings, with round heads. The scalloped parapet is made of brick. The nave and chancel roofs are thatched in one, though it comes down lower over the chancel as it is wider than then nave. Most of the windows are Y traceried, dating back to the 13th century. The south porch is made of 16th century red brick, with traces of a niche above the entrance and perhaps a square sundial.

This Church was made redundant in 1967, but is still used for occasional Services. There was much restoration work done in the 1990s. The pointed tower arch has been filled in and has a domestic type doorway. The 15th century font is close by, with four seated lions (somewhat headless) round the stem. The corona has angel heads with overlapping wings, above a band of fleurons. The bowl has four angels holding shields alternating between two Tudor (double) roses and two square fleurons. The shields are very worn, but possibly S Instruments of the Passion, N Trinity symbol, E a cross. The thatched roof is visible inside between the rafters. The east windows of the nave have very faint traces of wall paintings in the reveals. The north one has two heads, one with a green halo. Opposite is a bit more of the standing figure with a red halo and a staff. This is perhaps St James the Great, or it could be St Michael with a dragon at his feet? The pulpit is 17th century with fairly plain panels, with feather carvings on the angles and a strap-work frieze round the top. It has a carved backboard, but no tester. In the south-west corner of the chancel a further patch of wall painting has been revealed, which appears to be part of an all-over pattern. The piscina is in the reveal of the south-east chancel window. It has blind mouchette tracery above a cinquefoiled ogee arch.

Conclusion: pretty thatched church with some wall paintings

Rushmere St Michael church
Wall painting
Rushmere St Michael church
15th century font