13. BORLEY. (F.a.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)vi. S.W. (b)vi. S.E.)
Borley is a small parish and village on the Suffolk
border, 2 m. N.W. of Sudbury. The Church has
interesting monuments of the 16th century.
a (1). Parish Church, dedication unknown,
stands in the middle of the village. The walls are
of flint rubble, with dressings of limestone and
clunch; the roofs are covered with tiles. The
thick S. wall of the Nave, with the S.W. angle, is
probably of the 12th century, but no detail of
that date remains. At the end of the 15th or
beginning of the 16th century, the West Tower
was added, and at the same time the Chancel,
and possibly the N. wall of the nave, were rebuilt.
Later in the 16th century the South Porch was
added. The church was restored in the 17th
century, and again in the 19th century.
The 16th-century monuments, with their effigies,
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft.
by 17½ ft.) has a pair of buttresses at each E. angle;
those projecting E. are of early 16th-century
date, probably rebuilt in the 17th century; they
have moulded and chamfered plinths with quatrefoiled panels enclosing blank shields. The early
16th-century E. window is of three cinquefoiled
lights with tracery under a two-centred head;
the external jambs and head are moulded; the
head is of plastered brick and probably of
the 17th century. In the N. wall is an early
16th-century window of two plain four-centred
lights under a four-centred head; externally the
head is moulded. In the S. wall is a window of
the same date and similar detail to that in the N.
wall, but with a plain external head. Further E.
is a doorway with a four-centred head, all covered
with modern cement. The early 16th-century
chancel-arch is two-centred and of two moulded
orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting
on attached semi-octagonal shafts with moulded
capitals and bases; possibly the arch itself has
The Nave (36 ft. by 23 ft.) has a S.W. angle
built of 'long and short' work. In the N. wall
are three windows; the easternmost, probably
of late 15th-century date, is of two cinquefoiled
lights under a square head; the second window
is of the 14th century, and of two trefoiled ogee
lights under a square head; the westernmost
window is modern, except perhaps the splays and
rear arch; between the two western windows is
the N. doorway; it has a two-centred head, but
is now blocked and only visible in outline. In
the S. wall is a window with an 18th-century or
modern frame of wood, set in a late 14th-century
opening with a four-centred rear arch. Further
W. is the S. doorway with a segmental-pointed
arch and a heavy oak frame, probably of the
The West Tower (10 ft. by 9 ft.) is of early 16th-century date, and of three stages undivided by
string-courses; it has an embattled parapet and
a S.E. stair-turret; the string-course of the
parapet has a grotesque gargoyle in the middle
of each side; on the plinth of each of the two W.
buttresses is a quatrefoiled panel with a blank
shield. The tower-arch is two-centred and of
three chamfered orders on the E. side and two
on the W. side; the outer orders are continuous,
and the inner order rests on semi-octagonal
attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
In the S. wall, opening into the stair-turret, is a
doorway with a four-centred head. The W.
window is of three cinquefoiled ogee lights with
tracery under a two-centred head; the label
is moulded. The second stage has, in the W. wall,
a window of one rectangular light. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two
cinquefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil under a
two-centred head; the label is moulded; some
of the jamb-stones are grooved for glass, and are
probably re-used material; in the S. wall is a
segmental-pointed arch of brick, probably a former
doorway to the stair-turret, but now blocked.
The South Porch is entirely of brick and of the
16th century. The four-centred outer archway is
plastered and of two chamfered orders. The side
walls have each a window of one four-centred
light under a square head with a moulded label,
all formerly covered with plaster.
The Roof of the chancel has an early 16th-century
truss near the W. end, with curved braces to the
collar beam; the main timbers are moulded; the
rest of the roof is of the trussed-rafter type. The
15th-century roof of the nave is of three bays,
each truss consisting of a collar-beam, wall-posts,
braced principals and a king-post above the collar-beam; against the E. wall is a tie-beam and
king-post; the wall-plates are embattled.
Fittings—Bells: two; 1st by Stephen Tonne,
1574; bell-frame, old. Brasses and Indents.
Brass: loose in church—to John Derhame, 1601,
inscription only. Indents: In nave—near E.
end, of small figures of man and woman, groups of
children, and inscription plate, mid 15th-century.
Monuments; In chancel—on N. wall, (1) of
Magdala (Waldegrave) wife of [John] Southcote,
1598, painted tablet with kneeling figure of
woman in flat head-dress and ruff, flanked by
Ionic columns, shield of arms above cornice.
In nave—in N.E. corner, (2) of Sir Edward Waldegrave, 1561, and Francis (Nevill) his wife, 1599,
altar-tomb of clunch with painted recumbent
effigies, of man in plate armour and ruff; of
woman in flat cap and large ruff; crests at the
feet of both effigies; tomb with panelled sides
and kneeling figures of three sons and three
daughters, each with an inscription and shield
of arms; canopy with coffered soffit, resting
on six Corinthian columns; cornice surmounted
by cresting and achievement of arms and a shield
of arms; at angles figures of cherubs holding
cartouches of arms. Niches: In chancel—on E.
wall, three, with trefoiled heads, all covered with
cement and probably modern. On S. porch—over
outer entrance, of brick, with cinquefoiled ogee
head, 16th-century. Piscina: In chancel—with
plain four-centred head, no drain, probably early
16th-century, but covered with plaster. Seating:
In nave—near S. door, bench with popey standards,
Condition—Good, but some cracks in E. angles
of the chancel.
b (2). Borley Hall, nearly 1 m. E.S.E. of the
church. The house is of two storeys with attics; the
walls are partly of plastered timber-framing and
partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built
probably early in the 17th century, on a modified
L-shaped plan with the wings extending S. and W.
There are modern additions at the S. end. On
the E. elevation there are three gables; the N.
end of the elevation is set back, and the upper
storey projects. The upper storey also projects
on the S. side of the W. wing. The original
chimney-stack of the W. wing has two hexagonal
shafts with moulded heads and bases. The central
chimney-stack of the S. wing has two square
attached shafts. Inside the building, on the
ground floor, the room at the end of the W. wing
has moulded ceiling-beams carried on chamfered
wall-posts. In the room at the end of the S. wing
the ceiling-joists are exposed.
a (3). Borley Place, house and barns, S.W. of
the church. The House is modern, but in the
cellar are some moulded joists of mid 16th-century
date, and some chamfered beams, all re-used.
The Barn, S.E. of the house, is timber-framed
and plastered; the roof is tiled. It was built
in the 15th century, but has been partly rebuilt,
and is of five bays with large old doors in the
middle of the W. front. Three trusses of the
roof are original, and have tie-beams with curved
braces, king-posts, and central purlins.
The Barn, S. of the house, is timber-framed and
plastered; the roof is thatched. It was built
probably in the 17th century, and is of six bays.
Condition—Of house, rebuilt; of barns, good.
(4). Cottage, ¼ m. W. of the church, is of
two storeys. The walls are partly of plastered
timber-framing and partly of brick; the roofs
are thatched. It was built in the 15th century, but
was much altered early in the 17th century.
There is a modern addition on the W. side. The
early 17th-century chimney-stack has diagonal
pilasters on each side. Inside the building the
chamfered ceiling-beams are exposed in several
rooms. On the S. side of the chimney-stack is an
original roof-truss, with a cambered tie-beam which
has curved braces, and an octagonal king-post with
moulded capital and base and four-way struts.
Another cambered tie-beam is visible on the N.
side of the chimney-stack.
Condition—Fairly good; thatch defective.