Metfield

Metfield (Medefeild) the "mowed clearing," was orignally a hamlet of Mendham, just over two miles to the north west where, in about 1155, William de Huntingfield founded a Cluniac priory cell. A beautiful and dignified setting for the worship of God has continued there for a thousand years. The font dates from 1428, with traces of earlier colour.

The Town Chest here once contained parish documents and records, with some deeds dating back to 1412, the churchwarden's accounts survive from 1547, and the parish registers began in 1559.

The Windows, whose tracery follows two patterns in the Perpendicular style, were part of the 15th century reconstruction of the nave and originally had coloured glass.

The Creed, the Commandments and the Lord's Prayer are displayed on the Church walls and date from at least the 16th century. William Dowsing who was appointed parliamentary visitor of churches in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire came to Metfield on 30 August, 1643 and reported: "In the Church was Peter's keys, and the Jesuits Badge in the windows, and many on the top of the roof. I for Jesus, H for Hominum; S for Salvator; and a Dove for the Holy Ghost, in wood, and the like in the Chancel." The glass was knocked out, and the east window so extensively damaged that plans had to be made to rebuild it. This was finished in 1657: the present three-mullioned wooden frame probably dates from the early 19th century.

The Communion Plate included an Elizabethan silver chalice and paten, some 18th century pewter and a modern brass alms dish.

The South Porch with its massive door with slots inside for housing the slip bar are a reminder of the days when churches were places of security and refuge. There is a good wood liems-vault ceiling with figure bosses. The inner door-arch is supported by two lions couchant, and the outer decorated with a bishop's head, lions' heads, crowns and Neurons. The front of the Porch is panelled with flushwork. The east and west walls have gargoyles.

 

See Suffolk Churches

 

 

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