NOSTALGIA: Culford Heath Church - from the Spanton Jarman collection

Culford Heath Church. From the Spanton Jarman collection
Culford Heath Church. From the Spanton Jarman collection

The Rev E R Benyon commissioned Arthur Blomfield to design this Chapel of Ease for the remote community of Culford Heath, three miles from Culford Hall.

The style was Early English, with bands of knapped flint below the eaves and across the gable and a large rose window with coloured glass. All the work was carried out by estate workers and the building was consecrated in 1865. The church became one of the first in Suffolk to be issued with a redundancy

order in 1976 and subsequently fell into disrepair. In 2009 it was restored and converted to residential use.

-- This picture is part of a remarkable collection of 4,000 photographs in the care of Bury St Edmunds Past and Present Society which offers a glimpse into the town’s history.

Taken by two families of professional photographers, the Spantons and the Jarmans, the images span a period from the 1860s through to the outbreak of World War Two. The fragile glass plate negatives were donated to the society in 1997 and in recent years many of these have been ‘digitised’ thanks to a Lottery grant and donations. They can be viewed at www.burypastandpresent.org.uk where you can also find details about membership and the group’s programme of events and lectures. The Spanton-Jarman collection is held at the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Suffolk Record Office. For more details about the Record Office, including its programme of talks and courses, visit www.suffolkarchives.co.uk.