History - Listing

St Peter and St Paul is the Bardwell Parish Church. It was Grade I listed in 1955. This is the Listing description.

The Tower

C15 west tower: rubble flint, on a checkerwork base of stone and knapped flint. 4 ashlar-faced buttresses, 2 diagonal. External stair turret on the south side. The string-courses differ on each face: 4 on north, 3 on south, 5 on west. One 2-light window with cusped traceried head over west doorway, and similar windows on all 4 faces of the top stage. Clock on the south face. Small lead-covered spire. 6 bells.

The Porch

Early C15 south porch in knapped flint on a chequerwork base. Diagonal buttresses: battlements with panels of flushwork. South face has flushwork panels, and 3 canopied niches with mid-C19 statues. In the spandrels of the arch over the doorway are the arms of Sir William de Bardewell (d.1434) and his wife. 2 2-light windows with cusped traceried heads. The open timber roof, restored as a memorial in 1852, has miniature hammer-beams with shields. Early C19 gault bricks on floor.

The Nave

Nave in random flint, with remains of external stucco. Battlemented slate roof. Range of 5 tall 2-light C14 windows with reticulated tracery. Fine single hammer-beam roof in 12 short bays: the arched braces to the hammers alternately long and short to fit over the windows. A carved pendant hangs from the apex of each truss. Extensive remains of painting: trailing floral designs, diagonal stripes, and simulated tracery in the spandrels of the arched braces. Angel figures remain on only 4 hammer-beams, one carrying an open book with the date 1421. On north and south walls, traces of wall-paintings uncovered during restoration in 1850's (see Procs. Suff. Inst. Arch. Vol.II, for detailed, illustrated account). Mid C19 poppy-head benches: low Jacobean panelling along walls. Plain octagonal C19 font: older font lying on floor nearby. War memorial in blocked north doorway: arms of George II above. On north wall, memorial to Bardwell men killed in Crimean War. Standing in north- east corner, 4 finely traceried panels from C15 rood screen. The two windows at the north-east end have medieval stained glass, including a portrait figure of Sir William de Berdewell. Mid C19 timber pulpit. Narrow chancel arch, with a squint on each side. In south east corner, a piscina, and door to rood stair, with opening above.

Chancel

Chancel extensively restored in 1850's. Faced in kidney flints: knapped flint and ashlar to buttresses. 3-light memorial east window, 1863: stained glass by O'Connor. Archbraced roof: high collars, capitals with winged angels carrying a scroll, crown, musical instrument, etc. Whitewashed stone reredos in Victorian Early English style. Various memorials: on north wall to members of the Crofts and Reade families: on south wall, to Thomas Read, 1658, and a large monument to John Read and his wife, with their kneeling figures flanked by those of their 7 children, 1651/2.

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