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Richard Phipson (1827-84). To describe Phipson as a major 19th century architect would be unfair, both to him and to other 19th century architects. But his influence in East Suffolk was huge, not least because he was diocesan architect between 1871 and 1884. Any plans at that time would have passed through his hands, and perhaps that is why there were no outrageous restorations or rebuildings during these years in East Suffolk or Norfolk (at that time, East Suffolk churches were in the Diocese of Norwich). Phipson was not burdened with a vivid imagination, but he was a meticulous stickler for detail. His crowning achievement in Suffolk was the complete rebuild of Ipswich St Mary le Tower, which, denied the flair and excitement of some other churches of this period, does not miss a beat when it comes to the fine-tuning, from the flushwork on the exterior walls, through the interior tiling (much of it now sadly removed) to the high-camp reredos. Everything, from the largest cornerstone to the tiniest anenome carved on a bench end, has Phipson's mark upon it. He was also responsible for the wedding-cake spire at Woolpit, and, rather less successfully, Thunderbird One at Great Finborough. Many other smaller-scale restorations are his; anywhere reasonably sensible, reasonably restrained (most competently Cratfield) was probably his. It is hard to find a church in the Stowmarket area or Waveney Valley that does not bear his impress.


Note, the information on this page is gratefully stolen from www.suffolkchurches.co.uk