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Merrill family history and genealogy to the benefit of all.




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   Situated just east of the village of Wherstead, Saint Mary's Church resides in a lush green meadow surrounded on three sides by a well kept cemetery of old tombstones.  Some are hard to read but others are well preserved.  Looked for but did not find any Merrill burials after a quick walk through. It was explained to me that the salt air quickly dissoled the tombstones long before.

   Services are normally held on the first, second and fourth Sundays of every month at 11:00a.   If you wish to see inside, this might be a good time to see the church in all it's glory.

  Booklets with additional information - reproduced with permissions

Saint Mary's Church Brief History and Guide
by Roy Tricker, Acrobat format - 4.5Mb

Saint Mary's Church Monumental Inscriptions 2001
by the Suffolk Family History Society, Ipswich Group, Acrobat format - 420Kb
    Many thanks to Roy Tricker, the Suffolk Family History Society for their unselfish contributions and Ken Finch in being the liaison making this possible.

church_b.gif (53661 bytes)   "The Wherstead church is not seen from the high road, nor generally from the village.  It stands apart, near Wherstead Park and "the Mansion," where the owners of many of the broad acres of the parish have lived.  The church shows a mixture of Norman and Gothic architecture and is believed to date, in some of its parts, from about 1100.  It is built of small stone, mostly of a flinty character, with gray sandstone trimmings, and have a red tile roof.  The square tower, ivy-grown, dating from about 1400, contains three bells, one of which is about five centuries old.  The newest bears the date 1675.  The church is small, seating only 122 people." - A Merrill Memorial, Samuel Merrill, 1928 (1983 reprint), p 49-50.

Drawing scanned from A Merrill Memorial

church_northeast.gif (62094 bytes)    "The Wherstead parish church is dedicated to St. Mary. There was a church there as early as 1086 (with 3 acres of free land). The chancel was built in the 14th century. The original structure was Norman with walls four feet thick. The north and south doorways are also Norman. The main structure including the tower is 15th century. In 1800, a copper ball was placed on top of the tower as a landmark for vessels on the Orwell. It was removed in 1902. The tower has been restored with pinnacles.

    There was also a monastery at Wherstead but it's only known from documentary evidence It was established ca. 1225 and is believed to have been united with the Priory of Sts. Peter and Paul in Ipswich ca. 1528.

    Suggest you try to get a copy of Goult, "A Survey of Suffolk Parish History", Vol. 2 (East Suffolk: I to Y), SCC, 1990. It's got lots of ancillary data about the parish." - Peter Wyant, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (23 April 1999)    Photographs taken July 1987 by author.

Information Sources for St. Mary's Church, Wherstead

  Rev. Geoffrey Clement
  The Rectory
  15 Denmark Gardens
  Ipswich IP9 2BG
  (01473) 327141
Parish Administrator
  Mrs. Sandra Pereira
  The Padocks
  Manor Lane
  Ipswich IP9 2TB
  (01473) 327044   

  Mr. G.W. Paul
  IP2 9AU
  (01473) 601920

  Mr. K.N. Widdick
  504 Wherstead Road
  Ipswich IP2 8LN
  (01473) 688554

Updated July 2011 with many thanks to Kevin Widdick.

There is a second page with more details of the church.

If you have additional information on this subject and would like to share, please contact me.

© - Updated 8 July, 2011