Remains of All Saints Church, 60m north west of Stanway Hall Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1019879
Date first listed: 09-May-2001
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 21:35:52.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Colchester (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TL 95305 22087
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Reasons for Designation
A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and
containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for
Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on
Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated
into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in
its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and
are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides
accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the
priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes
provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional
altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west
end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon
and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish
churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south
or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation
were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were
rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of
the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little
fabric of the first church being still easily visible.
Parish churches are found throughout England. Their distribution reflects the
density of population at the time they were founded. In regions of dispersed
settlement parishes were often large and churches less numerous. The densest
clusters of parish churches were found in thriving medieval towns. A survey of
1625 reported the existence of nearly 9000 parish churches in England. New
churches built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries increased numbers to
around 18,000 of which 17,000 remain in ecclesiastical use. Parish churches
have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for
their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later
population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour
and technical achievement. A significant number of surviving examples are
identified to be nationally important.
The surviving fabric of All Saints Church graphically illustrates its history: its development from a 13th century simple two-celled structure into a fairly large 15th century parish church, and then its conversion into a smaller private chapel in the 17th century. The sequence of events evident in the surviving fabric can be tied into the documented history. Further elements of the 12th to 15th century church no longer visible above ground will survive below ground, in particular the foundations of the 13th century nave and the 15th century north aisle demolished in the 17th century. Underneath the present church there may lie the remains of an earlier foundation. The manor of Stanway is listed in the Domesday Book. The name Stanway is formed from two Anglo-Saxon words - stan, meaning stone and weg or waeg, meaning way, the name originating from the proximity of two Roman roads to the parish. The church also may have originated during this period under the auspices of the adjacent hall. If so, the archaeological remains of this earlier church can be expected to survive as buried features. The ground beneath the church and immediately alongside is also likely to contain burials related to both the parochial and later private use of the building.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes the buried and standing remains of All Saints Church,
which lies in an isolated position within a predominantly rural landscape some
2.5km south of the village of Stanway. Originally the parish church of Great
Stanway, it was converted into a private chapel of the Stanway Hall estate in
the early 17th century.
The early church, dating to the 13th century, was a simple two celled-church
comprising a nave and a chancel. The 13th century walling is of coursed
sub-rectangular Kentish ragstone blocks, flint rubble and significant amounts
of reused Roman tile and brick. The remains of these walls survive in the
nave, to a height of 3m to 3.6m externally and 2.3m to 3.3m internally, and
the buttresses of the south nave wall are contemporary with this period.
Documentary references from the 13th century include a church valuation of
1254 and a reference to the parish church at Great Stanway dated 1291.
During the latter part of the 14th century the nave collapsed and was rebuilt.
This new work can be seen in the south, east and west walls of the nave - the
upper courses of medieval peg-tile being particularly characteristic of this
period. In the 15th century the church was enlarged with the construction of
the west tower, the addition of the north aisle and the insertion of a
three-bay arcade. The mainly brick built tower survives largely intact.
In the early 17th century the church was converted into a private chapel. This
conversion is evidenced by the blocked arcade (with the north nave door
constructed through) and chancel arch, and the brick built north porch. The
chancel and north aisle were demolished at this time. No further structural
activity of note appears to have taken place, other than blocking and repair,
after the church became disused in the late 17th or early 18th century. By the
early 18th century, the building was said to be utterly decayed and all the
material of the roofs has subsequently been lost. The church is Listed Grade
Sometime during the 20th century a large sectional cast-iron water tank was
inserted into the bell chamber of the tower.
The water tank, all modern fencelines and paths around the church, telegraph
poles and lines and a modern shed on the south side of the nave are excluded
from the scheduling; however, the ground beneath these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 32437
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Buckler, G, Twenty-Two of the Churches of Essex Architecturally Described, (1856)
Morant, P, History and Antiquities of the County of Essex: Volume II, (1768)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Essex, (1954), p336
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, (1922)
Rodwell, WJ, 'CBA Research Report No.19' in Historic Churches a wasting asset, (1977), p118-9
Building Recording, Garwood, A, All Saints Church, Gt. Stanway, Colchester, Essex, (1998)
Colour prints, Tyler, S, MPP Films 19 and 20, (2000)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing