Anticipation builds as you approach St Andrew’s up a private drive and see the colossal ruin of the once-soaring tower. Step inside this beautiful, light-filled church and your spirits will lift.
- Massive ruined tower now clad with ivy adds drama and fascination to this ancient church
- The15th century north porch, battered but still beautiful
- Vast interior flooded with light
- On display until 18 November 2016 is Somme 100 – to mark the 100th anniversary of the Somme and also the Battle of Jutland. The exhibition includes artwork by Bawdsey schoolchildren. It is free of charge but donations are welcome for the Royal British Legion.
The tower, once a seamark, collapsed under its own weight during the 16th century and fell further in 1821. The line drawing in the church, pictured above, shows this period in an absorbing story that also saw the collapse of the chancel, the building of an upper storey to the porch with a little wooden bell turret on top, and a much later Victorian transformation of the building by the renowned architect Arthur Blomfield. The bell now hangs from a turret to the west of the tower.
How old is it?
The medieval nave and possibly the original chancel were built in 1330. The Victorian restoration was so thorough – including the complete rebuilding of the chancel – that little can be identified from the earlier church except the ruined tower and the porch. Amazing what you could do for just over £2,000 in the 1860s.
Alderton St Andrew is part of a group of churches around the River Deben known as the Wilford Peninsula that includes Iken, Hollesley, Orford, Ramsholt, Shottisham and a dozen others. Alderton and all those mentioned are open and welcoming daily year round.
The pulpit and font were carved by retired lieutenant-colonel John Luard in the 1860s. He had served under Wellington at Waterloo and is known for his ‘History of the Dress of the British Soldier’ published in 1852.
Not as widely known is former Rector Robert Biggs who died in 1769. On his memorial is the inscription: He was not distinguished by his Activity or literary Abilities, But he was what is more truly valuable, An honest Man.
- A circular cycle ride will take you to Shottisham, Ramsholt and Hollesley – all with open churches for you to visit. An Angels and Pinnacles walking trail will be available this summer, helping you to experience the beautiful countryside in this corner of Suffolk. Watch this space.
- Bawdsey Boathouse Café
- Take a foot ferry from Bawdsey Quay across the river to Felixstowe Ferry where you can enjoy the day’s catch from the Spring Tide fish stall at the water’s edge. The ferry operates from Easter until the end of October on a varying timetable. Check before you go.
Food and Drink Available Locally