Building record BRS 003 - Church of the Most Holy Trinity

Please read our .


Holy Trinity Church: St Edmundsbury and Ipswich diocese, Suffolk archdeaconry, Beccles and South Elmham deanery.


Grid reference Centred TM 3969 8963 (33m by 19m)
Map sheet TM38NE


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

St Edmundsbury and Ipswich diocese, Suffolk archdeaconry, Beccles and South Elmham deanery. Status : rectory. Structure : chancel with sacristy, nave, N aisle, S porch, W round tower with spike. Date : tower base Sax, nave walls Norman, rest early C14.
A meeting of the SIA visited Barsham church in October 1862 and inspected "the remains of a Norman font lately brought to light beneath the foundations of the present one" (S1).
"Round tower with one Norman W window". "Norman masonry and one N window in the nave". The "great surprise is the E wall and E window. The wall is decorated with one bold trellis of stone lozenges or a diagonal stone grid against the flushwork ground, and the E window is simply made part of it, that is traceried all the way through in this diagonal grid. It is a unique conception, and one is at a loss how to date it" (precis) (S2). (See (S2) for full description)
The W tower "is obviously extremely early and probably pre-Conquest". "The present chancel screen is C17 and the pulpit is also Stuart of the square box type. There is the tomb of Sir Edward Echingham 1527 to the N of the sanctuary and in front of it "is an interesting brass, probably Sir Robert atte Tighe 1415. He wears the SS collar, the badge of adherents of the house of Lancaster" (precis) (S3). (For full description see (S3)). NW corner of graveyard traditionally reserved for plague pits - see (S5).

July 1995: From observations made during a recording of the inetrnal elevation of a section of the round tower it was possible to suggest dates for the three stages of the towers construction. The earliest phase of the tower, from ground level up to a point level with the apex of the nave west gable end, can be attributed to a Norman 11th or 12th century date although evidence for this was limited. The second stage was represented by the c.2.75m of tower wall fabric immediately above the stage 1 phase. The four blocked windows recorded in this stage suggestd a c.14th century date for what would have been, prior to the construction f the third stage, the belfry. The third and final phase was represented by the present belfry which was datable from the red brick used in its construction, to the the Tudor Period. The present bellframe is a 19th century Victorian replacement of its Tudor predecessor (S6)(S7).

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 3, 1863, (3), 421.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: (S5).
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner N & Radcliffe E. 1974. The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Pevsner N, The Buildings of England-Suffolk, London 1975 (second ed) 87.
  • <M2> (No record type): Photographs: DJR 1-37.
  • <S3> Bibliographic reference: Cautley H M. 1975. Suffolk Churches. 221.
  • <S4> (No record type): SAU, Suffolk Parishes, a guide to their archaeology and history, 1984- 1985, ms.
  • <S5> (No record type): Buchanan J, letter to SAU (RDC), February 1993, sketch maps.
  • <S6> Unpublished document: Boulter, S.. 1995. Record of Archaeological Recording: The Church of The Most Holy Trinity, Barsham. SAU, Boulter S, The Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Barsham (BRS 003): Record of Archaeological Rec.
  • <S7> (No record type): SAU, photographs, DJR 1-37, 1995.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 22 2018 3:02PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.