This is a beautiful little church, hidden away in the grounds of the 16th century Hengrave Hall. The medieval dedication is not known for sure, but St John the Baptist seems to be a contender. It is the only medieval church in Suffolk still used by the Roman Catholic Church.
The reasons for this are closely linked with the family that until the 1940's inhabited Hengrave Hall, which was built by Sir Thomas Kytson in the 1530s, enclosing the church in the grounds. The grand-daughter of Sir Thomas married into the Gage family (famous for the greengage plum, named after them). Both families remained loyal to the Catholic Faith all through the Reformation and subsequent persecutions. Their wealth enabled them to survive, however Hengrave church was closed and the parish merged with its neighbour Flempton. The building remained the private burial place of the owners.
The tower is Saxon in origin, with 15th century additions. The stairs to the former rood loft are within the brick column at the east end of the nave.
In the 1940s the Hall was sold to the Sisters of the Assumption, and the church became a chapel to their retreat.
Visitors to this album since June 2003
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