Barking and District Historical Society

Go to content

Main menu

Suffolk Sketch

Pictures > Frank Tingey's Drawings

Suffolk Sketch

Cavendish – The church of St. Mary the Virgin & "The Five Bells" 1989

The church is in one of the prettiest settings in Suffolk with half-timbered, thatched cottages clustered round it. The church is mostly 14th century. In 1381 Sir John Cavendish built the chancel.  The north aisle, nave arcade and clerestory were added  in the 15th century. The nave was probably the work of Reginald Ely, designer of King's College chapel in Cambridge. It is all very high quality. The handsome exterior reflects the great wealth of the Middle Ages, derived from the wool trade, with its  impressive stair turret on the 14th century tower, rising above the battlements. The priest would have had a room in the tower with a window looking on to the high altar. He had a fireplace for which a chimney can still be seen at the top of the tower.

The Five Bells Inn was described in 1766 as "ancient and well accustomed". It is thatched and has a single bar with fine views across the village green. A local brewery supplies several of the real ales on offer. The pub has been painted different colours.  Until quite recently it was a pale yellow, today it is a traditional Suffolk pink. The colour pink was allegedly achieved by adding bulls’ blood to the paint.

Back to content | Back to main menu