St. Mary-the-Virgin Review
One of the most remarkable churches in the region, St. Mary-the-Virgin was started just before the Reformation. The doors underneath the ruined archways outside (remnants of a much older church) contain a series of mysterious symbols—actually a coded message left by Catholic sympathizers of the time. The striking interior contains a mini-museum of treasures, including an ancient wall painting of the Virgin Mary in one of the rear chapels, a 14th-century chest, and an extraordinary series of florid memorial stones on the nave wall opposite the main entrance. A unique feature of the church is that its bells are rung from a cage in the graveyard; this was erected as a temporary measure, pending the construction of a tower in 1531 that was never completed.
- Address: Flatford Rd., East Bergholt, CO7 6SR
- Phone: 01206/392646
- Cost: Free
- Hours: Daily; hrs vary but usually 10–5
- Location: Dedham