Explore the Stour Valley as part of the Open Doors Sacred Doorways project

Discover the hidden treasures of the Stour Valley

Find out more about some of the places of historic and spiritual interest around the Stour Valley, choose one which you would like to visit and then decide whether to visit it on foot, by bike or by car.

Alphamstone, St Barnabas Church

The tree lined path leading to St Barnabas Church, Alphamstone. St Barnabas Church and the Ferret In the early 1950's, St. Barnabas had no electricity; indeed there was no electricity on the side of the road where the church stands. The PCC were keen for this to change, but after discussion with the Electricity Board it was deemed to be too... Read More

Belchamp Otten, Church of St Ethelbert and All Saints

St Ethelberts and All Saints church, Belchamp Otten The Church at Belchamp Otten has been contributed to in every of its seven centuries: the original part of the building is believed to have been just the nave, built in the 12th Century, the chancel was added in the 13th century, the porch and chancel arch in the 14th... Read More

Belchamp St Paul, St Andrew's Church

St Andrew's Church at Belchamp St Paul It is not known when the church at Belchamp St Paul was first built but there are records of the dean of St Paul's visiting a church consisting of a nave with north and south doorways and a chancel at Belchamp in 1181. The church was dedicated in honour of... Read More

Belchamp Walter, Church of St Mary the Virgin

St Mary's Church, Belchamp Walter The Church of St Mary the Virgin at Belchamp Walter is located near to Belchamp Hall, well known for featuring in the popular early nineties' television series 'Lovejoy.' The churchyard at the Church of St Mary the Virgin overlooks the valley of the Belchamp Brook, it has been closed for... Read More

Borley Church

Borley Church (dedication unknown) from the road Borley Church stands overlooking Long Melford and Sudbury. Only parts of the nave of the 11th century Norman flint and rubble church remain, the chancel and north wall of the nave are 15th century as is the tower. The most dominant feature of the church interior is the 14foot high tomb-chest... Read More

Bulmer, St Andrew's Church

St Andrew's Church at Bulmer Bulmer Church, with its impressive flint tower, stands on a prominent site overlooking Bulmer Street, and can be seen from many miles' distance. There is evidence that a church existed here as early as the 12th century, and there are several 13th century features too, but the greater part of... Read More

Foxearth, Church of St Peter and St Paul

St Peter and St Paul Church, Foxearth, Suffolk There has been a parish church in the village of Foxearth for over 800 years, during which time many changes have been made to the fabric and to the decorations and embellishments both within and outside the building. Time and the elements have not always treated the building kindly and... Read More

Great Henny, St Mary's Church

The distinctive twisted spire of the church at Great Henny The tower of St Mary's Gt Henny is the oldest part of the church, built in two sections between 1066 and 1199. The tilted spire sits 233.2 feet above sea level, and due to its height it is often windy! This church features in the Gainsborough painting titled 'Cornard Wood'... Read More

Lamarsh, Holy Innocents

The Church of the Holy Innocents at Lamarsh is one of only six round towers in Essex The Church of the Holy Innocents at Lamarsh is one of only six round towers in Essex and one of only three known to have been built by the Normans in around 1140. It is also one of only five old churches in the country to be dedicated to the... Read More

Liston Church

Liston Church (dedication unknown) The earliest known reference to the church at Liston is in a charter of 1087, although the earliest recognisable parts of the existing church building date to the early 12th Century. There is some question as to the dedication of the Church at Liston, a local newspaper from 1893 refers to... Read More

Middleton, All Saints Church

All Saints Church, Middleton is tucked away down what looks like a private driveway The tiny village of Middleton is tucked away down a circular lane on the outskirts of Sudbury. The Chancel and Nave of All Saints Church at Middleton were built in around the middle of the 12th century. The door is the original Norman door and it is surrounded by a... Read More

Pentlow, Church of St Gregory and St George

Approaching the Church of St Gregory and St George at Pentlow. Pentlow church is one of six round towered churches in Essex. The main construction of the church is flint and pebble rubble with dressings of limestone and clunch (a predominantly chalk/clay based building material bedded in mortar to form walls). The nave and chancel date from the 12th century and... Read More

Twinstead Church of St John the Evangelist

Twinstead Church of St John the Evangelist Twinstead Church is distinctly different from other churches in the North Hinckford area, it is one of the more contemporary churches being built in 1858 of bright red, yellow and black bricks. It is the fourth church to be built on the site, the first church being declared a ruin... Read More

Wickham St Paul cricket pitch

Six members of Wickham St Paul's village cricket team died in combat during the First World War and in 1919 the cricket pitch, was relaid as a memorial. Wickham St Paul has a very unusual and touching war memorial at the heart of the village. Six members of Wickham St Paul's village cricket team died in combat during the First World War and in 1919, at the request of then-church warden Frank Knott, the cricket pitch, located on... Read More

Wickham St Paul, All Saints Church

Wickham St Paul, All Saints Church A church has stood on this site for over 1000 years from when an Anglo-Saxon settlement was on the land slightly to the north. ‘Wykham’ meaning ‘the hamlet with the dairy farm’ was bordered by a road running from St Paul's Cathedral to ‘Beodriesworth’ (now Bury St Edmunds), this road... Read More

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Latest News

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New bike route added

A new bike route has been added which visits all fifteen churches in the North Hinckford area, it is written to start from Bulmer but as it is circular you can start and finish at the point of your choice. The route is mostly along roads with a brief stretch...


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Strawberry Cream Teas, St Andrew's Church Bulmer

Strawberry Cream Teas and homemade cakes every Sunday throughout August.


Do you have any great photographs of any of the places featured on Open Doors, Sacred Doorways? Perhaps you think that we've missed something, or you know of a lovely footpath, cycle route or drive that we haven't included here.

Open doors, Sacred Doorways is a Stour Valley community project so if you have we would love to hear from you.

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