History of Alphamstone

St Barnabas Church - exterior
St Barnabas Church, Alphamstone
© Copyright Peter Stack contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

History of Alphamstone >> Description of Alphamstone in 1933

Description of Alphamstone in 1933

Alphamstone is a parish near the navigable river Stoar and on the borders of Suffolk, 2½ miles north-west from Bures Station on the Sudbury branch of the London and North Eastern railway, 5 south from Sudbury, 5 north-east from Halstead, and 51 from London, in the Saffron Walden division of the county, Hinckford hundred, South Hinckford petty sessional division (Halstead bench), Belchamp rural district, Sudbury county court district, Halstead and Hedingham rural deanery, Colchester archdeaconry and Chelmsford diocese.

The church (name uncertain) occupies the site of a barrow or tumulus of the Bronze Age, and some of the stones of the circle which surrounded it still linger in the churchyard: the church, which anciently belonged to Waltham Abbey, to which it was appropriated 1 June, 1218, is an edifice of flint and stone covered with plaster, of the Early English and later periods, consisting of chancel, nave of three bays, south aisle, north and south porches, and a square wooden tower with pyramidal roof over the western gable containing 3 bells, one of which was cast at Ipswich in 1420, and the other two in 1500; the tenor bell was re-cast at Croydon in 1910. There are two piscina, fine carved sedilia and on the south side a low side window, all of which have been restored. The font is of very early date; the west window retains some fragments of ancient stained glass, but most of the old glass was sold in Sudbury market, about 1800. The south chapel is Late Decorated, and has good reticulated tracery in the windows. In 1910 and 1911 the church was restored and the bells rehung at a cost of £450; at the same time a new oak pulpit was presented in memory of the late Rev. Henry Kennedy Anketell, rector 1905-9. There are sittings for 100 persons. The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 1705; marriages, 1707, and is in good condition. There is also a "Town Book, dating from 1616. The living is a rectory united with that of Lamarsh, joint net yearly value £530, with 14 acres of glebe, and residence, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, Charles F. Sperling esq. M.A., J.P, and Christopher Teesdale esq. alternately, and held since 1927 by the Rev. John William Wallace Smyth M.A. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, who resides at Lamarsh.

The charities amount to £11 18s. yearly.

Brig. Gen. George William Dowell C.M.G., C.B.E. is the principal landowner.

Three more or less perfect specimens of cinerary urns found close to the church in May, 1905, are now in the Colchester Museum, and near the spot is an ancient well.

The soil is clay, loam and gravelly; subsoil, various. The chief crops are wheat, barley and turnips. The area of the civil parish is 1,709 acres; the population in 1931 was 153.

By Local Government Board Order 16,461, dated March 25, 1885, Moss Farm was added to this parish.

Source: Kellys Directory 1933

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Alphamstone - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

Alphamstone - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805

This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0

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