Bungay, St Mary's Church
Bungay, St Mary's Church
This attractive church in the centre of Bungay has a very striking tower which is a landmark for miles around. The tower was built in the 15th century when St Mary's was constructed to serve a small Benedictine priory.

After the priory was dissolved under Henry VIII the church survived to serve the people of Bungay. A few remnants of the medieval priory buildings still stand to the east of the church.

The church, and much of the town, was badly damaged by a fire in 1688. As a result, much of the interior dates from the late Georgian period and from a subsequent Victorian rebuilding.

The large, clear windows, devoid of coloured glass, make the interior feel light and spacious.

The roof has finely carved bosses, featuring angels and various animals. The War Memorial Chapel has a 17th century carved panel donated by author H Rider Haggard, who lived nearby.

Also from the 17th century is a dole cupboard, used for storing bread to give to the poor. The cupboard has a delightful carving of a rat upon it - perhaps to keep out the real rats?

St Mary's is no longer used for regular services and is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. The church is located just a stone's throw from Bungay Castle.