Holy Trinity Long Melford

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View from the North -  East

Holy Trinity Church is one of the great Suffolk wool churches and was built almost entirely in the 15th century at a time of growing prosperity among the local cloth merchants. It was completed in 1484. The only modern part is the tower, dating from 1903.  Much of the stained glass is medieval, and the Rabbit (Hare) window above the north door symbolizes the Trinity It is an Anglican Christian church in  the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich within the Church of England and has served the ancient and beautiful village of Long Melford, near Sudbury, for over five hundred years.  The church stands on a hill at the north end of the village and looks down Hall Street, which runs through the village from north to south.

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The original tower of Holy Trinity was destroyed by lightning around 1710.  A Georgian brick and plaster replacement was built around 1772, considered rather unappealing and not in keeping with the rest of the building.   The present tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond Jubilee.  Construction of the new tower begun on 10th April 1899 and completed in 1903.   The present tower stands 118 feet in height and is constructed of flint and flush work, consisting of dressed stone and flints from Brandon and nearby Acton. The four pinnacles commemorate Queen Victoria, Edward VII, Alexandra and the well respected and much loved once time Rector, the Revd. C J Martyn.

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HISTORY OF THE GLASS

The medieval glass in this church, probably some of the finest in England, can be attributed to the Norwich School and dates from the mid to the late 15th century.

By the time that the Church was completed in 1484, all 72 windows were resplendent with stained glass, but much of it was destroyed during the reformation in the 16th century. Further damage was suffered at the hands of the Puritans, following the outbreak of the English Civil War in August 1642.

The survival of the glass seen today can be ascribed to its original position in the clerestory lights, beyond the reach of the religious reformers.

Some of the glass was removed in 1828 and used in the re-glazing of the east window, whilst the remainder was used in the two west windows in 1862/3.

More changes ensued in the late 1940s, when the medieval glass was moved to its present site in the first eight windows of the north aisle.

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Two of our most famous windows the Three Rabbits (Hares) and the Lily Crucifix. For a detailed description of the Medieval Glass see Medieval Stained Glass
 
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