A Brief History of Dullingham
|you are in "The Church of St Mary the Virgin"|
|photo-diary of the re-roofing a 17th Century, Grade 2 listed cottage, Cables Farm, in Station Road|
|Joe Moore's Photographic Archive of Dullingham|
|The Old Bakery|
|Church Lane Maltings|
|The Wesleyan Chapel, Dullingham|
|Dullingham Village School|
|The King's Head|
|Dullingham Railway Station|
|Dullingham History Group|
|The Mission Hall, Dullingham Ley|
The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dullingham
St Mary's Church, Dullingham
(click on the picture above to enlarge)
St Mary the Virgin is a simple but attractive country church standing on high ground, next to the village pond and is well worth a visit. The rector is Rev Pauline Reid ()
In the early 12th Century, Robert de Scales gave the Dullingham Church to the Cluniac priory at Thetford. It is on record that the Church was worth 20 Marks in 1217 and a Vicarage was established in 1278. There is a list of Vicars from1337 to date to be found hanging on the wall in the north west corner of the Church.
The oldest section of the Church is the Chancel. Much of the remainder of the building dates from 1300-1550 and since then it has been subjected to alteration and repair.
The stone tracery of the windows dates from c1550 but none of the medieval stained glass remains due to the iconoclasm of civil war which also defaced the faces at the springing of the arches.
The chancel arch of perpendicular style shows deep cuts where the rood beam and screen were fixed before removal during the reformation period. The spiral stair, partially blocked, leading to the rood beam can be discovered in the column behind where the organist sits. Also notable is the single piscina adjacent to the north doorway and the double piscina to the south of the altar which are both 14th century.
There are many memorials to the Jeaffreson family and their descendants who held the Manor of Dullingham from 1660 to 1939. It is thought that the third Present of the United States of America was closely related to this family, although his name was spelt differently. The font dates from the first quarter of the 17th century. A fine organ was installed in 1877. The Church clock, driven by two heavy weights is wound up each week by hand. It was installed in 1829 by Thwaites and Reed of Clerkenwell, London.
There are five bells. Tenor 1660, 4th 1626, 3rd 1627, 2nd 1828 and treble 1784 weighing between 11 and 5.5 cwts each. The bells were last peeled on the return of the surviving Japanese Prisoners of War to the village. In 1971 a method was devised whereby the bells could be chimed by pulling ropes located in a cabinet on the tower wall. There is a framework in place for the sixth bell – the peace bell – which was intended to commemorate the close of the South African war and coronation of Edward VII, but was never cast.
Of note is the contribution made to the Church by the Taylor family who, in three generations, provided 100 years of continuous Churchwardenship.
There is a website devoted to the Churches of Cambridgeshire and St Mary's has it's own page - see here
The Bells of St Mary's Church
The walls of the 14c Belfry tower are constructed from gault, rubblestone and flint.
The tower contains five bells, each inscribed as follows:
Tenor - Miles Graye made me 1660 - 11 cwts
4th - John Draper made me 1626 - 8 cwts
3rd - John Draper made me 1627 - 6.1/2 cwts
2nd - T. Meaves of London, February 11th, 1828 - 6 cwts
Treble - J.Briant, Hatfield, 1784 - 5.1/2 cwts.
In the bottom of the tower are commemoration boards relating to the peals that were rung in past years and the ringers who participated. Also when the bells were re-hung in 1902. A framework for a sixth bell, intended to be called the Peace Bell, in memory of the close of the Boer War and Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra was provided. Sadly a sixth bell was never hung.
In 1971 a fault became became apparent in the structure of the tower and it was considered unsafe for the bells to be rung and so the bells were restored for chiming only.
The Clock of St Mary's Church
(photo courtesy Joe Moore Archive)
The clock was built in 1829 by Thwaites & Reed of Clerkenwell, London. It was installed in the church tower in 1831. T. Meaves of London supplied the clock bell in 1830. The clock was restored in 1967.
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