St Andrew's Church, Redlingfield, serves a small and scattered parish of farms and cottage in the heart of the north Suffolk countryside. It has always been a small place, but here in the Middle Ages was a Priory of Benedictine Nuns - one of more than 50 monasteries in mediaeval Suffolk.
The church has a pretty and isolated pastoral setting away from the road. It is very easily missed because its little tower does not rise above the level of the nave roof. Getting to it involves a walk across a footbridge and along a path across a field. Beside it stands Redlingfield Hall - the farm built on the site of the priory, and as you walk across to the church, you see the great barn with its mediaeval flint work, which was part of the Priory buildings. It may have been the dormitory, refectory or possibly the guesthouse for the Priory. The barn is now on private grounds and is not open to the public.
The church is an unprepossessing but inviting building, set in a charming and unspoilt churchyard. The building does not have the airs and graces of the larger Suffolk churches but it does have great character, a simple rustic charm and the atmosphere and beauty which make small and isolated churches well worth exploring.
The earliest visible craftsmanship dates from the 1300s but the Priory was founded in 1120 and St Andrew's also served as the Priory Church. The church is Anglo Saxon in origin and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. As is the case with most ancient churches the building has been altered and restored several times.
This information was taken from a guide compiled by Roy Tricker, who thanked Rev David Streeter, James Risk, Cynthia Brown and George Pipe for information and advice, also the staff of Suffolk Record Office for the use of their facilities. Additional information Mike Ager.