St Mary’s stands at the Sern end of a strip of woodland that was once much larger. It is not served by any road, and must be reached by a walk of a good half-mile, skirting arable land and passing through the wood. The nearest building is Depden Hall (now a bed and breakfast), which is some 400 yards away and includes fabric reputed to date from the 14thc. The village itself has fragmented into settlements at Depden Green to the N and along the A143 to the E of church and hall. St Mary’s is a light and airy flint-faced church of nave, chancel and W tower. The aisleless nave has a 12thc. S doorway protected by a modern flint and brick porch that has been fitted with a skylight and a tiled floor, and converted for use as a kitchen and storeroom. The N doorway is later, and has a modern concrete and timber porch. The nave walls have Y-tracery windows ofc.1300, mostly restoration but with some original tracery. The S wall appears to have been refaced recently. The chancel has a late-13thc. piscina, and windows of a similar stylistic date (although they are largely 19thc. work). At the E end, diagonal buttresses with flushwork and capped by little stumpy pinnacles have been added. The tower and its arch can be dated to the mid-15thc. by a bequest of 1451. The tower has diagonal buttresses, flushwork on the plinth, a stair turret at the SE angle, and an embattled parapet. The chancel and nave were described as 'already restored' in 1837 (Church Plans Online). A fire in the 1980s gutted the nave, and the roof was replaced with the present arch-braced construction. The architects were Whitworth and Hall of Bury St Edmunds.
|h. of opening (to modern floor)||2.18 m|
|w. of opening||1.20 m|
H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 251.
D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 1 W Suffolk. Cambridge 1988, 60-61.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 190-91.
H. J. Woollard, Depden: Church and Village. Needham Market 1981.