Is it a great ocean liner afloat on the skyline? No, it’s one of Suffolk’s great churches with ‘a small tower for a fo’c’sle and two turrets for masts’ as author Simon Jenkins once put it. This beautiful building dominates the north end of the town, reflecting the prosperity of Clare in the Middle Ages when the main trade was cloth-making.
The exceptional height of nave and the huge aisle windows where the light streams in through the lavish arcades.
Look out for the gallery of 15th century roof faces and try out the handsome private pews, one bearing the emblems of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.
The 18th century ringers’ gotch – that’s a beer jug. Beer was once the payment for the ringers. Clare’s ring of eight is said to be the heaviest in Suffolk.
How old is it?
The present church dates back to at least 13th century but after a visit by the image-breaker William Dowsing in 1643, the heraldic glass in the east window is all that is left of the 15th century glass that once might have filled the church.