At the sign of the Barking lion...

St Peter, Brampton

At the sign of the Barking lion...

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Brampton brampton (2)

Way back in the 1990s I came across St Peter almost by accident, rearing its head up on its mound at a fairly vicious bend in the Beccles to Blythburgh road. Thereafter, I often passed its stately landmark tower, and was rarely able to resist popping in, for the church is always open. And yet, you'll need to take care, especially when leaving, for the busy road wraps itself tightly around the churchyard.

As 19th Century rural restorations go, this is one of the more atmospheric. Everything inside is pleasant, neat and trim, and well cared-for. One thing that is of more than mild interest is the piscina in the sanctuary, set low-down in the wall after the Victorian restoration raised the floor level. It has a credence shelf at the back, and another little alcove that Mortlock thought might be for towels, an unusual survival. The George III royal arms enjoin us to Fear God and Honour the King, and the authority of the words is emphasised by reference to their origin in the Book of Samuel. This is also an interesting church for the student of Victorian stained glass. William Warrington's son JP Warrington did most of the windows, his only work in East Anglia, and he neatly graffitoed his monogram into them.

west window by William Warrington, 1863 Annunciation by William Warrington, 1863 angel appears to shepherds by William Warrington, 1863 Adoration of the Shepherds by William Warrington, 1863 Presentation in the Temple by William Warrington, 1863
Annunciation (detail) by William Warrington, 1863 Presentation in the Temple by William Warrington, 1863 Nativity by William Warrington, 1863
JP Warrington monogram 1875 Greek scroll and JP Warrington monogram 1875 JP Warrington monogram 1875

But mostly, here is an ancient building being used in a lively manner by its local people, and I liked it for that. Brampton parish has its own railway station on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line, but the station is a good two miles from this church, and actually on the edge of the village of Redisham. When I wondered about this to a railway historian acquaintance of mine, he explained that the Victorians named their stations after the nearest post office rather than the nearest village, although of course it must be many years now since Brampton post office was lost to us.


Simon Knott, December 2018

chancel font brampton (3)
Resurrection and St James preaching by JP Warrington, 1875 stencilled window brampton (11) Girls Brigade, Mothers Union, Boys Brigade Leman family
died at Sierra Leone As the Hours pass away So doth the Life of Man decay It is requested that this space beside Mrs Leman's Tomb may rest ever undisturbed

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