Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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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 81220 38562


TL 83 NW, 2/49

GESTINGTHORPE, THE STREET (EAST SIDE), Church of St. Mary the Virgin




Parish Church. Chancel C13. Nave, north Vestry, south aisle probably C14. South aisle rebuilt C15. Nave clerestorey; south porch and west tower circa 1500. Much restoration late C19 when south organ chamber was added, south arcade of nave reconstructed and chancel arch and adjoining walls rebuilt. Flint rubble built, some walls are rendered. Dressings of limestone and clunch. West tower and south porch of red brick with some diapering to tower. Roofs of red plain tile or lead. Chancel East window early C14 of 5 trefoiled lights, with arches placed on top of the apexes to form a net pattern, in a two-centred head with a moulded label. Three windows in north wall, eastern a blocked C13 lancet, centre window c1340 of two trefoiled lights with tracery under a two- centred head with moulded label. Western C14/C15 partly blocked and altered with a wooden frame and segmental head inscribed 1678. There are two doorways with chamfered jambs and two centre arches probably late C14. South wall has two similar windows to north wall central window, much restored. Chancel arch late C19 when stairs to rood loft were discovered and bricked up. Rood Screen Rebuilt 1907 with fragments of C15 screen incorporated. Sedilia C14, restored, of three bays with moulded jambs and two centred heads. Piscina early C14, with moulded jambs, cinquefoiled head and trefoil drain. Monument to John Sparrow, 1626. Kneeling alabaster effigy. C19 communion rail. Seven-cant roof. C19 organ chamber to south wall. North Vestry, probably partly C14, is plastered, with red brick crenellations. North wall, 2-light north windows and two centre-arched west door are C19 restorations.

Nave: The double hammer-beam roof, dated 1489 by inscription, is one of the finest in Essex. Moulded beams throughout with carved tracery and bosses. Inscribed "Peter Barnard and Marget Hys Wyf" and "Thomas Loveda and Alys hys wyf" on north and south sides respectively. North wall has three windows in lower range. Eastern C19 circular, central C15 3-light with tracery in a four-centred head with face stops to moulded label. Western window of circa 1330 of two ogee lights with quatrefoil in a two-centred head. South Arcade: Early C14, reconstructed C19 of three bays with two-centre arches of two chamfered orders. The circular columns and respond C19. Clerestorey: North window C16 of two four-centred lights in a square head. Three C19 2-light south windows. South Aisle: C16 red brick crenellations with moulded band under. Lean-to roof circa 1500, of three double bays, moulded beams throughout, principals with arched braces and carved spandrels. C19 arch to east wall. Two C15 three cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in four-centred heads. South Doorway: C15 with jambs and two-centred Arch of two moulded orders. South Door with linenfold planks that lack terminals, framed on two durns, three stiles and five dovetailed ledges (C.A. Hewett. Church Carpentry). Font: C15 octagonal. Four sides carved with Evangelist symbols, man, lion, ox and eagle, one blank, the rest roses or shields, traceried stem, moulded base. Piscina: Early C15. Moulded jamb, cinquefoiled head, sexfoil drain. Glass. Western window, west wall small figures of Madonna and Child. Nave glass: two C19 stained glass windows in memory of William Oates F.R.G.S. Died Funchal Madeira 3 April 1896 and Francis Oates F.R.G.S. died 5 February 1875 Shansi River Inner South Africa. Nearby is a Brass Wall Plate "In memory of a very gallant gentleman Lawrence Edward Grace Oates who died 17 March 1912 on Scotts Antarctic Expedition. Erected by his brother officers A.D. 1913." Paintings. Probably circa 1700 on west wall, on canvas of Moses and Aaron. South Porch: Late C15/early C16 red brick built east and west walls have a window of one light, 4-centred and segmental pointed respectively. Outer entrance has a two centred arch. Contemporary roof of king-post construction with eight coupled rafters and cambered tie beams. Recess in south east corner. Stoup in East wall. West Tower circa 1500. William Carter in 1498 bequeathed forty shillings towards the cost. Of four stages, crenellated with corner spires. A corbel-table of trefoiled arches and to south east a full-height stair turret with five rectangular lights. Angled Buttresses. Bell-openings of three lights with one transom and tracery over under segmental pointed heads. Restored west window of three four-centred lights with mullions and tracery under a four-centred head. North and South walls have a loop with segmental pointed head. West doorway has jambs and four- centred arch of four chamfered orders with a moulded label. Two-centred tower arch of four orders, the outer two square and continuous, the inner chamfered and resting on a semi-octagonal attached shaft. Six bells, four by Miles Gray of Colchester 1658-59, the other two Bury St. Edmunds bells re-cast 1901. Original West door secured only by an oak bar. Three tombstones moved from the Chancel, John Ellison 1691, the others contained brasses. Two large dug-out chests with iron bars and many locks, one at foot of tower, the other in ringing chamber. RCHM 1.

Listing NGR: TL8122038562


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Hewett, C A , Church Carpentry A Study Based on Essex Examples, (1982)


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

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Date: 10 Sep 2001
Reference: IOE01/05575/08
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Frank Swift. Source Historic England Archive
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