Botesdale TM 04 75
Suffolk On the A143 road from Bury to Diss
In use - Church of England

Contact: For St Mary's Church, The Rectory, Bury Road, Rickinghall, Diss, Norfolk IP22 1HA

Tel: 01379 898685

Click here to view larger - St B Botesdale.jpg

Botesdale is a large village that, with portions of the adjoining parishes of Rickinghall Inferior and Superior, forms a street nearly a mile in length directly on the A143 road from Bury to Diss. Its church of St Botolph appears to have been rebuilt during the latter part of the fifteenth century as a chapel of ease to Redgrave church. It was subsequently restored and endowed as a chantry by John Sheriff, to support a priest to pray for his (Sheriff's) and his wife's souls; but in 1576 it seems to have become a Free School, founded by Sir Nicholas Bacon, Queen Elizabeth's Keeper of the Great Seal. The master of the school probably occupied the adjoining buildings. Afterwards it became a Grammar School and in it the first Lord Ellenborough received his early education. In 1884, the chapel was restored to use as a church, still as a chapel of ease to Redgrave.  The interior is pretty well wholly Victorian, and only the inscription and Perpendicular windows tell us of more ancient, Catholic days. The whole piece is a lovely and imposing building on this surprisingly urban village high street.

The key should be at the cottage next door.

References to St Botolph churches at Redgrave or Rickinghall are misleading and should refer to this small church in the Parish of Redgrave cum Botesdale.

  Copyright Peter Buttle  

Updated 20 September 2004

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