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Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Braintree (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 68624 32806



7/25 Parish Church of St. 21.12.67 John the Baptist


Parish church. Mostly C12 to C14, restored in C19. Flint rubble with dressings of limestone and clunch, roofed with lead and handmade red clay tiles. W tower c.1170, raised in C15. Chancel mid-C13, altered in late Cl4. N aisle mid-C14, rebuilt in late C14. S aisle late C14. N chapel mid-C14, rebuilt in late C14. S chapel late C14. S porch C14, rebuilt in C19. The Chancel has an E window which is C19 except the late C14 internal splays, 2-centred rear-arch and internal label. In the N wall is a window of c.1370 of 2 cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a 2-centred head, restored externally. Further W is an arcade of c.1250, of 2 bays with 2-centred arches of 2 chamfered orders; the octagonal column and the responds with attached half-columns have moulded capitals; part of one original base remains. In the S wall is a window of the same date and design as that in the N wall, but the jambs are more richly moulded and the moulded internal label has carved head-stops. Further W is a doorway of c.1370, with moulded jambs, 2-centred arch and label, restored, with a plain door of uncertain date. Further W is an arcade of c.1370, of 2 bays with moulded 2-centred arches with moulded labels; the E arch is blocked by the organ. The moulded column has 4 attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the responds have attached half-columns. The clerestorey has 4 N and 4 S windows, all c.1370, restored, each of 2 cinquefoiled and sub-cusped lights with tracery under a square head; the reveals are moulded; the 2 western windows on each side are blocked. The C13 chancel-arch is 2-centred, of 2 chamfered orders; the responds have each a semi-octagonal attached shaft with a moulded capital and mutilated base; on the E side of the S shaft there is a hollow with trefoiled head, and a squint is recessed into the side of the column. Some C14 stones built into the N respond have remains of carved diaper of 4-leaved flowers, probably part of the reredos of an altar. The chancel roof is low-pitched and in 4 bays, with wallpieces and arched braces to cambered tiebeams, all moulded and with moulded pendants, boarded at tiebeam level in the C19. The braces of the easternmost truss are inscribed 'This roof was builded anno domini 1635 at the charge of Robert Kempe Esquiir'; one brace of the second truss is inscribed 'Builded by John Glasscock'. The late C14 stone corbels are carved with heads of saints, a king, queen, etc. The N chapel is almost entirely of c.1370. The E window is of 3 trefoiled ogee lights under a 2-centred head, with moulded internal splays, rear-arch and label, restored externally. In the N wall are 2 windows; the eastern, blocked internally, is of 2 cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a 2-centred head with moulded label; the western window is of 3 trefoiled ogee lights with tracery under segmental-pointed head, restored; the rear-arch and internal splays are roll-moulded, and the splays have small moulded bases (one restored). In the W wall is a moulded 2-centred arch of c.1350, re-set, with moulded labels on each face; the shafted responds and their capitals are moulded, and the S respond has a mutilated moulded base. The roof is in 2 bays, with wall-pieces, arched braces to the 2 tiebeams, crownpost and 4 rising braces, and collar-purlin, every part moulded, c.1370. The N stone corbels are carved with heads. The S chapel has an E window of c.1370, of 3 cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed head, blocked internally by the organ. In the S wall is a window of c.1370, of 3 trefoiled sub-cusped lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed head with moulded label. Further W is an early C16 brick doorway with moulded jambs, 4-centred arch and label. Above it, externally, is a moulded brick panel with 4 shields of arms, defaced. In the W wall is a 2-centred arch of c.1370, of 2 moulded orders with moulded label; the shafted responds and their bases are moulded; the capitals are carved and moulded. The pitched roof is plastered to the soffits of the rafters and collars. The Nave has crenellated parapets of brick, probably of 1561. The N arcade is of 5 bays; the 3 eastern bays are of c.1340, with 2-centred arches of 2 moulded orders with moulded labels; the columns have each 4 filleted shafts separated by filleted rolls; the capitals and bases are moulded; the E respond has an attached half-column, partly cut away. The western bays are of c.1370, similar to the S arcade of the Chancel except that the labels are plain. The S arcade is of c.1250, of 5 bays, with 2-centred arches of 2 chamfered orders; the octagonal columns have moulded capitals and bases and square plinths with spur ornaments; the responds have attached half-columns. The clerestorey has 5 N and 5 S windows of the C15, each of 2 cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental head with plain label; the internal splays and rear-arches are moulded. The low-pitched roof of the nave is in 5 bays with wall-pieces, shallow arched braces, and cambered tiebeams, all moulded. The braces of the easternmost truss are carved with foliage and the date and initials '1561, W.B., S.L.'; the carved head-corbels are late C14, except 2 which are C16 and plainly moulded. The N aisle is of c.1370, and has in the N wall 2 windows similar to the westernmost window of the N chapel. Further W is the N doorway, with moulded jambs and 2-centred arch; the labels, internal splays and rear-arch are moulded. The W window is mainly C19. The roof is of low-pitched lean-to form, in 5 bays, with moulded wallplate and one moulded tiebeam with a mutilated fillet, the others plain. The S aisle is of c.1370, and has in the S wall 2 windows; the eastern is mainly C20, with segmental-pointed head and moulded label with animal-head stops; the western window is of 3 trefoiled ogee lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed head. Further W is the S doorway with richly moulded jambs and 2-centred arch, and a label with head-stops. The door is in 2 folds, each with 3 moulded panels having crocketed heads, tracery, and carvings of the Crucifixion, a pelican, dove and other figures, and 2 shields. In the W wall is a window similar to the western window in the S wall, but with different tracery. The roof is similar to that of the N aisle, but with all tiebeams moulded. The W tower is of 3 stages with a crenellated parapet and an C18 timber lantern; the western angles, up to the middle of the second stage, are shafted and enriched with helical ornament; between the first and second stages is a double dentilled string-course of the C12, restored. The C12 tower-arch is semi-circular and of one square order; the square responds have shafted angles with remains of moulded bases, and scalloped capitals with chamfered abaci continued round the responds as imposts; the N impost has chevron ornament, and the S impost has a floral diaper pattern. The N and S walls have each a round-headed C12 window, restored externally. In the NE and SE angles are C12 wall-arcades, extending 2 bays along the N and S walls and returning one bay on the E wall; the E arches are partly filled with masonry as if for altars; the rough semi-circular arches are plastered, and rest on shafts set between the bays; the shafts have scalloped capitals and deep abaci; one capital on the S side has carved stiff-leaf foliage. The C12 W doorway has a semi-circular head of 3 orders enriched with chevron ornament and a diapered label; the tympanum has been removed, and the space filled with a glazed frame; the jambs are both of 4 orders, the innermost with chevron ornament and carved head-corbels at the top, the others with shafts and scalloped capitals; the 2 outer shafts have been removed; the shaft of the second order is helically fluted on the N side, and has chevron ornament on the S side. The N, S and W walls of the second stage have each a C12 window of one round-headed light; those in the N and S walls are blocked. In the C15 bell-chamber the E and S walls have each a window of 2 trefoiled lights under a depressed head with moulded label; flanking the E window are 2 circular recesses or blocked openings. The N and W walls have each a window of 3 trefoiled lights under a 4-centred head with moulded labels. The S porch incorporates the heads of 3 C14 stone panels, all cinquefoiled and sub-cusped, but apart from the roof is mainly C19. The roof is late C14, in 3 bays, with king-posts, and double hollow-chamfered ridge and purlins. Fittings. There is a C15 piscina in the Chancel, with chamfered jambs and cinquefoiled head and fluted drain. The font has an octagonal bowl, supported on carved angels; on each side of the bowl there are quatrefoiled panels with shields of arms. The early C15 Chancel screen is of oak, with double entrance bay and 2 bays on each side; entrance bay with 2-centred arch and traceried head, side bays with ogee arch and traceried heads cusped and sub-cusped, with crockets carved as foliage or grotesques; between the bays, buttresses and springers of vaults to former loft; traceried middle rail and close lower panels. The screen at the W end of the S chapel is of c.1350, of 3 main bays, middle bay of 2 lights, side bays of 3 lights, all with cinquefoiled ogee heads and flowing tracery; between lights in the middle bay and S bay, circular shafts with moulded bases and carved capitals; the N bay, an inserted doorway with cusped and sub-cusped head and crenellated cornice; the main cornice moulded and enriched with small carvings, close lower panels. In the Chancel against the N wall there is a plastered altar tomb with black marble slab to Richard Marriot, 1703, and others; and floor-slabs to Dorothy, first wife of Sir John Marshall, 1685, and to Lucy, second wife, 1699, both with shields of arms, to Thomas Marriott, 1766, and John Marriott, 1781. In the N chapel against the N wall there is a plain altar tomb with brass inscription on slab to Robert Kempe, 1524, and Anne his wife; and on the E wall a white marble and slate tablet with 4 shields to William Kempe, 1628, and 'Philip' his wife, 1623, erected 1652. In the middle of the S chapel there is an altar tomb to John Berners, 15- and Elizabeth (Wysseman) his wife, 1523, with brass figures on a Purbeck marble slab, of man in armour with a tabard of arms, the figure of a woman with pedimental head-dress and heraldic mantle, and inscription below the figures; the tomb of clunch with traceried panelled sides, each with a shield of arms; on N and S sides, dividing the panels, 3 canopied niches each with a hooded and habited bedesman, damaged. In the S aisle, on the ledge of the second window in the S wall, there is a scratched diagram of nine men's morris.

Listing NGR: TL6862432806


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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 16 May 2002
Reference: IOE01/06844/26
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Frank Swift. Source Historic England Archive
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