Dovecote, Stoke College 1485
The brick dovecote at Stoke by Clare is among the finest medieval examples in the country and survives exceptionally complete. It was originally one of a pair flanking the entrance to Stoke College, perhaps built as pavilions with wide arches open towards the park. The decorative brickwork can be dated to 1485–1493; the portcullis is a symbol of King Henry VII. At the first floor the walls are thickened to provide thirteen layers of nesting boxes for pigeons: young squabs were a roasted delicacy.
The College is opening the Dovecote up to the public and welcomes visitors on the following days in summer 2017 from 10 – 2: Wednesday, 19th July 2017; Wednesday, 26th July 2017; Wednesday, 2nd August 2017.
It is listed as one of “Suffolk’s hundred best buildings”, Tim Buxbaum, IMEM 2014.
Location: Stoke College, Stoke-by-Clare CO10 8JE
Links: Historic England listed II*
Book: Suffolk: West, The Buildings of England, Bettley & Pevsner, Yale 2015. ISBN 978 0 300 19655 9, pp495
Walks in & around Clare
Clare Town Council has a website devoted to this subject: clarewalks.co.uk. Six circular walks have been freshly written up, with maps & directions, photos and points of interest. Try them out as well as the local walking events and other routes that are included.
‘Westminster Cathedral of Suffolk’
This is Kedington‘s St Peter & St Pauls’s Church, housing more than 20 monuments to the Barnardiston family, over 27 generations, Lords of the Manor from the 13C to 1745: a real hotch-potch of history jumbled together into an exceptionally pleasing whole under a skylighted nave, with a one-handed octagonal clock.
A musician’s gallery, family box pews, one with a fireplace, plus a triple decker Jacobean pulpit with a wig stand add to the pleasures of this amazing church: ‘a delightful diversity’*.
Just an anecdote?
Sir Samuel Barnardiston – later to be the MP for Suffolk – cropped his hair, prompting King Charles I’s Queen Henrietta Maria to call out: ‘See what a handsome young round head is there’ – just one of the theories of how the Roundheads, later led by Oliver Cromwell, got their name.
Location: Mill Road, Kedington CB9 7NN
Links: Angels & Pinnacles, Historic England listed I, Suffolk Churches
Book: Suffolk: West, The Buildings of England, Bettley & Pevsner, Yale 2015. ISBN 978 0 300 19655 9, pp337-339*
These are in the Church of St Nicholas in Denston: a cornice carved with lions, hounds, hares and harts as well as a manticore, plus choir stalls, miserichords – one carved with a crane holding a stone, bench ends with animals copied from a medieval bestiary, traceried screens, suspended armour, tomb chest for two shrouded corpses, brasses…….
Take a walk!
Just stroll around the centre of Clare to see a wealth of architectural gems: late medieval, Georgian, Victorian. See the Town Council’s page on Architecture for background material. Return to our attractions for a key selection of what to visit: the Priory, the Parish Church, Maltings Lane, the Common, the Castle and the Ancient House.
Drop into the No 1 Deli in the High Street, just around the corner from Maltings Lane – on display is this medieval wooden image, just above the teapot shelf in the serving area. It may well have been a headstop from the castle or the priory – see the stone headstops in the Parish Church, decorative elements to replace a lintel or the end of a beam or support; though No 1 Deli is of 15/16C origin, the head has no architectural function in its present position.
2016 © Clare Town Council