Cavendish – The church of St.
Mary the Virgin & "The Five Bells" 1989
The church is in one of the prettiest settings in Suffolk with half-timbered,
thatched cottages clustered round it. The church is mostly 14th century. In
1381 Sir John Cavendish built the chancel. The north aisle, nave arcade
and clerestory were added in the 15th century. The nave was probably the
work of Reginald Ely, designer of King's College chapel in Cambridge. It is all
very high quality. The handsome exterior reflects the great wealth of the
Middle Ages, derived from the wool trade, with its impressive stair
turret on the 14th century tower, rising above the battlements. The priest
would have had a room in the tower with a window looking on to the high altar.
He had a fireplace for which a chimney can still be seen at the top of the
The Five Bells Inn was described in 1766 as "ancient and well
accustomed". It is thatched and has a single bar with fine views across
the village green. A local brewery supplies several of the real ales on offer.
The pub has been painted different colours. Until quite recently it was a
pale yellow, today it is a traditional Suffolk pink. The colour pink was
allegedly achieved by adding bulls’ blood to the paint.