St Mary’s Stoke-by-Nayland (with Thorington Street)

Dedicated to St Mary, it is one of the largest and finest churches in Suffolk, with a history stretching back to the 10th century, but refashioned in the Perpendicular style by the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk, in the late 1400s. Its tower dominates the landscape of Dedham Vale, and can be seen for miles around. Its outstanding treasure is the 15th century carved oak doors in the south porch, unique in Suffolk, but the font is very fine, and no less a person than the artist John Constable has said that “the lofty and slender proportions of the tower arch are the crowning beauty of the whole interior.” The brass of Sir William de Tendring (d.1408) is held to be one of the first portrait brasses, and there are two major 17th century memorials, to Lady Anne Windsor and Sir Francis Mannock.

Our church is fortunate in having excellent acoustics which have led to its being frequently used for concerts and recordings.It is noted for being acoustically kind to both voices and to instruments, and to soloists as well as large choirs and orchestras. Additional benefits are the lack of traffic noise and clock chimes, and, of course, the many facilities to be found in both church and village. If you are interested in making musical use of the church, details of availability, hiring costs, parking etc., please contact one of the church wardens in the first instance.

The Parish actively supports its Community Pantry & Hardship Fund for those in need.

St Mary’s is part of the Benefice of Stoke-by-Nayland with Leavenheath and Polstead, and Nayland with Wissington; part of the Hadleigh Deanery.



St Mary’s Stoke-by-Nayland
Church Street

NB: although the church has got a CO postcode, it is neither located in Colchester nor in Essex, the city council is Babergh and the county is Suffolk.


Mrs June Smith
Phone: 01206 263225

what3words address: ///consoles.chip.spoiled