This is an ancient church in a very ancient village near the Deben with early links to powerful Norman families and a wealth of interest from many periods of history.
First impression is the grand and lofty four-decker tower, apparently featured on the earliest maps as a landmark for ships entering nearby Orford Haven.
Stepping inside, you will be drawn by the wonderful collection of carved bench ends. Some Victorian examples recall the originals of the 15th century but most are the craftsmanship of a 1950s carver called Harry Brown from Barnes of Ipswich. Among the exquisitely carved figures, designed by Henry Munro Cautley, are depictions of Aesops fables and a Lion and Unicorn for the 1952 Coronation.
You could spend a happy afternoon studying them all.
The richly-coloured window at the east end of the north aisle features the Holy Family and is by Welsh artist Meg Lawrence. It is lovingly dedicated to a couple who tragically lost their lives in a road accident while travelling to Suffolk shortly before Christmas 1983.
The impressive Royal Coat of Arms for Charles II should also catch your eye.
How old is it?
Note the wide arches of the arcade that separates nave from north aisle. They are thought to date right back to the 13th century when the Bigods were Lords of Hollesley and discovered by the Victorians when they knocked the wall through to extend the church.
But there’s been a church here for at least 1,000 years and the village itself may go right back to the Bronze Age. Before the Norman Conquest, it belonged to Edric of Laxfield who fought alongside Harold at the Battle of Hastings.
You can read the full fascinating story of the powerful Norman families – including the Bigods – and their links with the church in the illustrated guidebook on sale there.
The church is open daily to welcome visitors and is set in a beautiful churchyard managed for wildlife.
A recently refurbished bell frame allows the eight bells to ring out regularly once more.
The village school uses the church for its services and celebrations.
Hollesley is near the southern tip of the Sandlings peninsula and if you love wild walks and fresh air, this is the area for you.
One of the best places for wildlife in the UK are the Boyton and Hollesley Marshes and you can see avocets feeding on the Butley River
The Suffolk Punch Trust has a farm, a heritage barn, a garden full of plants with Suffolk links and a café with home-made cake. And the famous Suffolk Punch horses of course
Find out where to stay and eat in Hollesley here.
Less than four miles away is Shingle Street which in reality is a row of tall cottages atop a shingle bank with occasional clumps of yellow horned poppies and sea kale. Walks are windy and sunny in summer and wild and desolate in winter.
A similar distance away is Bawdsey with a small sandy beach and a good café in the Boathouse.
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