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Saturday, 30 July 2016

Mildenhall, St Mary, Suffolk

Mildenhall is probably best known for its USAF airbase, although it is actually a fine Suffolk town with a fine church and some lovely old buildings. It should not be dismissed.

The church is famous for its nave roof. Back in the 1600s people were paid to destroy the roof.  The supporters of Cromwell have a lot to answer for at that time! There was later restoration of the angels. Back in the 1600s there was vandalism on a truly massive scale in many churches.  I hope we learn from history: even if not our history we should always respect work done long ago by others, even if not our faith. 
Nave roof with angels.
A medieval charnel house stands beside the south side. Corpses were buried for 30 years, then dug up and placed in a vault to make room for more corpses in the small churchyard. After the Reformation this ceased in the main.
Nave
In the largely flat countryside, the church can be seen from miles around. According to Simon Knott it is the largest church in Suffolk.

When we were there, there was an exhibition to celebrate the queen's 90th birthday.
Exhibition about the Queen
Font
See http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/mildenhallcofe.htm . This is the Simon Knott page. He writes the very best on East Anglian churches. If you are interested, I highly recommend his pages.
Museum
We also visited the small, free, museum in Mildenhall. This is worth a visit but as it is run by volunteers check opening days and times.

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