St. Peter's Church, Milden

Milden was most likely known by the name of the plant “Melde” in Anglo-Saxon Times.   This plant grew profusely in the area and was edible.  It is more commonly known today as “Fat Hen” and can still be found growing in the area and is considered to be a weed.  It was  important to our ancestors as a food rich in calcium, iron and vitamin B1 and should therefore not surprise us that the vegetable melde, cultivated by people in the 5th-7th century gave rise to “Meldinga” the people who lived where melde grew.


The name of the village is shown as Mellinga in the Domesday Survey, in the hundred of Babergh.  In the 13th century  the village was known as Meandlingg; in the 14th century as Meldingge; in the 16th century as Myldyne; in the 17th-18th century Milding, Mildin, Milden, Mildon and Milden in the 19th-20th century. 


The Church of St. Peter, Mellinga and its 15 acres of glebe land is one of 500 Suffolk Churches recorded in the Domesday book, 1086.  The parish at that time was part of the diocese of Norwich in 1064, was transferred to Ely in 1830 and has been in the diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich since 1914.


The medieval church stands on a quiet country road to the east of the  village of Milden. The Church was mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) when it was well established and would have been a wooden building.


The church is approached beneath a wrought iron lantern over the gate which was installed to commemorate the millennium.  The path to the door is beneath an avenue of laburnum trees which were planted in 1920.  The church is built of flint stones and strengthened at the corners by limestone.  The present building is 13th century.  There is one lancet window and some decoration on south nave wall.  There was a tower at the west end which collapsed in the 1820's and in 1866 restoration  the stone was used for the porch and vestry, and the chancel was re-built (there is an 1800 drawing at the back of the church which shows a door into the chancel).  The west wall was rebuilt with window and bellcote above.


On the south wall of the nave is a 15th century window, the canham memorial and Hawkins plaque.


In the chancel are oak choir stalls which was brought from a redundant church at the same time as the organ was acquired. 16th century benches were cut down for children and there is the remains of piscina.  The allignton memorial is in alabaster (1627) and he presneted the chalice which we continue to use today.


On the north wall is the Stewart pulpit and organ which was recently purchased and restored.


At the west end is the Norman font which has had its carvings hacked off.  The old benches at the rear - note Wm Stud Junior Churchwarden 1685 carved into it.


The roof has a crown post and the benefactions board is dated 1834.


There are carvings over the doorway and medieval door hinges.