The Chapel of St James' Leper Hospital,
Dunwich, is located at the south-eastern corner of St James Church
(see links). It was founded in the 1100s, just outside the western
edge of the now lost town of Dunwich. A chapel stood on its eastern
side, and its roofless east end is now all that survives of both
hospital and chapel. Mentioned around 1205 in a royal charter, charges
of embezzlement had to be investigated in 1252. It continued as a
charity after the Dissolution.
Southwold Wesleyan Methodist Church is on
the northern side of Cumberland Road, overlooking St James' Terrace.
An Independent congregation broke away from St Edmund's Church in
1682 to meet initially in a malt house, probably at Reydon Corner.
By 1772 they were meeting in the Dissenter's Meeting House on Lorne
Road while a Methodist chapel opened in Mill Lane in 1799. By 1835
that small chapel was being sold so that this present one could be
built and opened.
The Church of St Edmund King & Martyr,
Southwold, stands at the north end of Bartholomew Green which
connects to the north side of Victoria Street. The first church on
this site was a small construction of the 1200s. Destroyed by fire
in 1430, the decision was taken to erect a much grander building
that befitted the town's growing status. The present church is the
result, lying under one continuous roof, and being completed within
about sixty years, by the 1490s.
Following the late 1800s discovery that the
building's fabric was showing signs of decay (in particular the
roof), its interior was extensively restored, seemingly in the early
years of the twentieth century, but with a lighter touch than can be
seen in some other Suffolk churches. German bombing removed most of
the glass from the windows so that a more impressive restoration
could be provided. The rood screen of about 1480 is classed as a
delight despite Puritan damage.
The Church of St Lawrence, South Cove, is
on the eastern side of the B1127 road, about thirty metres north of
the junction with the South Cove road. Its origins were in the late
Saxon period, around AD 1000, but this was extensively rebuilt by
the Normans. The nave remains under its thatched roof and with its
original north and south doorways, giving the overall feel of a
Norman church. The chancel was added in 1240 and the tower in the
The Victorians did their best with extensive
restoration work in 1877 to change the interior, but failed to
remove the essentially Norman feel about the building. When the sun
is out it can be filled with light, reflecting off the red-tiled
floor. The pulpit dates to the 1600s but has been reduced from its
original triple-level. The battered baptismal font bowl of the 1300s
is believed to have come from All Saints Dunwich which was swept
into the sea in the early twentieth century.
Five photos on this page kindly contributed by
Douglas Law, and one by 'Maljoe', all via the 'History Files:
Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.