Blessed Virgin Mary

This ancient village was on the pilgrimage route to Bury St Edmunds and is full of history and legend.

Woolpit, Suffolk

Opening times

Sorry, there are no regular opening times for this church.


The Street
IP30 9QP

The spire, with its delicate flying buttresses, is Victorian. Its style may not belong to Suffolk, but it is distinctive and looks especially striking when lit up at night. It was added after the original tower was partially destroyed by lightning in 1852.

The exceptional two storey porch is large and beautifully proportioned, with a fine stone entrance (unusual for Suffolk) surrounded by Perpendicular niches that once contained figures. It is topped by a lovely openwork parapet, and there is excellent chequerboard flushwork on the east wall, echoing the similar panels on the clerestory.

There are fine bosses on the vault. The porch dates from the mid 15th century.

Of the same period, inside the church, is the astonishing angel roof. Every part of its double hammerbeam structure is alive with angels and other figures. Many of them are 19th century replicas of originals that were destroyed by the Puritans. Although also restored, with bright paintwork in the lower panels, the screen has pleasing ogee arches and delicate open tracery above. High above it, over the chancel arch, is an unusual, rather gaudily painted canopy of honour.

The brass eagle lectern, a design much favoured by the Victorians, is in fact a rarity. Dating from around 1520, it is one of only about 40 to have survived the ravages of the Reformation.

Woolpit's famous benches have poppyheads and traceried ends and a tremendous variety of creatures to identify and admire. including monkeys, dogs and various birds. As well as the medieval bench ends in the nave and chancel, there are Victorian ones by Henry Ringham, the master woodcarver from Ipswich who expertly repaired the angel roof.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

All Saints

Drinkstone, Suffolk

Well preserved medieval church, with some evidence of an even earlier church, which is full of references to the village history.

St Mary the Virgin

Wetherden, Suffolk

Used by generations of villagers for worship, we are proud to open for visitors most days.