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St.Christopher, Martlesham, Suffolk ( St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich) C.15

[Photo:T.Marshall] St. Christopher, Martlesham, (64KB)
It was described as ‘a magnificent fragment’ by HC Whaite¹, who drew it in 1928, but it had lost much detail by then, and has lost more since. Most of the lower part of St. Christopher himself has gone, but at 5 feet wide it is still impressive. Christopher has a short tunic, a bluish cloak looped around and over his shoulders, and a stout staff. Whaite’s drawing shows large buttons down the front of the tunic, a belt and possibly a rosary similar to that at Layer Marney in Essex.

St. Christopher’s head is very unclear now, but his forked and rather shaggy beard is clearer. The Christ Child, on his right shoulder, extends his right hand in blessing and holds in his left an orb of the world, with a square banner showing a cross, all now reduced to a few sketchy lines. Traces of a flowing twisted rope design, visible at the top, once formed a wide border of a kind found in other St. Christopher paintings, in particular a forthcoming one at Horley in Oxfordshire, and usually indicative of a fairly late date in the 15th century, rather than the late 14th/early 15th century period suggested by Whaite.

¹HC Whaite, St. Christopher in Medieval Wall Painting, 1929, p.22 & Plate 11

Website for St Mary the Virgin, Martlesham

More paintings of St. Christopher. Follow the links below for individual picture and text pages - in page heading = Diocese
Ashby St Ledgers, Northants Belton, Suffolk Burnham Overy, Norfolk Cottered, Hertfordshire East Wellow, Hants
Edingthorpe Norfolk Fritton, Norfolk Haddiscoe, Norfolk Hemblington, Norfolk Horley, Oxfordshire
Impington, Cambridgeshire Irstead, Norfolk Layer Marney, Essex Littlebourne, Kent Martlesham, Suffolk
Molesworth, Northants Oaksey, Wilts Paston, Norfolk Pickering, N. Yorks Raunds, Northants
Shorwell, Isle of Wight Slapton, Northants Stoke Dry, Rutland Thorpe Mandeville, Northants NEW Thurlton, Norfolk
Thurton, Norfolk NEW Wickhampton, Norfolk Willingham, Cambridgeshire Woodeaton, Oxon

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Anne Marshall 2002