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.

Epping Forest (District Authority)
Magdalen Laver
National Grid Reference:
TL 51304 08283


TL 513 083 MAGDALEN LAVER 5/22 Parish Church of St. 20.2.67 Mary Magdalen


Parish church, nave late C11, chancel C13, both altered in C14 and C19, W belfry C15, S porch C19. Walls of flint rubble including re-used material from a Roman building, dressings of tufa, limestone, clunch and Roman brick, roofed with handmade red clay tiles, belfry timber-framed and weatherboarded. The E window of the chancel is C19, except the chamfered splays, 2-centred rear-arch, and label with 2 male headstops, C14. The N window is C19 except the splays and rear-arch, C14. In the S wall are 2 windows, the eastern C19 externally with widely splayed jambs and segmental-pointed rear-arch; the western window is similar to that in the N wall. Between the windows is a doorway, mainly C19, with splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch, early C14. Diagonal buttresses, C15. The lower parts of the nave walls are set in herringbone courses. There are identifiable fragments of tegulae, opus signum and one imbrex, suggesting that the church occupies the site of a Roman villa and is partly composed of its materials. In the N wall there are 2 windows, the eastern of 2 lights, mainly C19, with square head and internal label, C14, the western window mainly C19 with splays and chamfered rear-arch, C15. Below this window there are traces of a former doorway, and between the windows there is a small round- headed window, late C11, blocked. In the S wall there are 2 windows, the eastern uniform with the eastern window in the N wall, the western mainly C19, with splays and hollow-chamfered rear-arch, C14. Between them are traces of a former window of tufa, typically a material of the C11. W of the window is the S doorway, with a moulding comprising two double ogees divided by a shallow cavetto, late C14. The door has a marginal decoration of fleurons and a rear frame of portcullis type, late C14. In the W wall there are 3 oculus windows (one partly collapsed) arranged irregularly and blocked on the inside, late C11. The W doorway has jambs of Roman brick, chamfered imposts and segmental head within a round arch. The door appears to be original, with 4 ledges and saltire braces butt-notched into the ledges in the same manner as in the chancel of Chipping Ongar Church (Hewett 1982, 3-4), V-edged boards weathered on the outside (although now protected by the C15 belfry) and strap hinges with incised zigzag decoration, a remarkable survival. The NE and SE quoins are of Roman brick arranged in the manner of Saxon long-and-short work, further evidence of Saxo-Norman construction. A diagonal buttress was added at the SW in the C15. The roof of the chancel is of 7 cants with double collars, formerly lathed and plastered, late C14. There are 2 tiebeams, plain-chamfered with lamb's tongue stops, and disused soffit-mortices at their ends. The western tiebeam has a sunk panel with defaced inscription IT ANNO DON 1615 HL. The roof of the nave is similar in construction, with 2 plain-chamfered tiebeams of which the western forms part of a former bell-turret with empty mortices for supporting posts, the structure almost complete up to roof level, late C14. (Hewett 1982, 67-8). The W belfry is constructed in at least 3 phases, C15 and C16, with curved saltire bracing in the second stage and a separate outer frame carrying the weatherboards. There are 2 bells, the first dated 1567, the second inscribed in Lombardic letters IN HONORE SANCTE JOHANNES, probably C14. The chancel screen reported by the RCHM has undergone extensive repair in the interim. On the S side 4 bays with cinquefoil heads and quatrefoil piercings above remain, with 3 turned shafts; on the N side only half of one head and 2 turned shafts remain; the rest is reproduction. Some C14 and C15 glass remains, in situ in the NE window of the nave, mainly reset in the SW windows of the chancel and nave. On the E wall of the chancel there is a marble tablet to George Kindleton, Rector, 1667, surmounted by cornice and segmental pediment containing a flaming vase, inscription in oval panel with laurel wreath and cherub's head; and on the S wall a marble tablet to Mrs. Ann Broughton, 1801; and slab to William Rawlius and Ann Rawlins, his sister, 1703. On the S wall of the nave there is a white marble monument to William Cole, 1729, with crest above five children, named. At the W end there are floor slabs to William Cole, 1729, Mrs. Ann Martyn, 1758, and Henry Cole, 1760, all black marble with achievements of arms. On the N wall of the chancel the Lord's prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Creed are painted in gilt letters on 4 arched panels in a rectangular wooden frame, the surrounds painted in imitation of marble, early C18. Outside against the S wall of the nave, there is a tomb-chest to William Cole, 1716, with gadrooned slab, carved cherubs and bones on the front, mounted on 3 stone steps.

Listing NGR: TL5130408283


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Hewett, C A , Church Carpentry A Study Based on Essex Examples, (1982), 3-4
Hewett, C A , Church Carpentry A Study Based on Essex Examples, (1982), 67-68


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: 08 Apr 2001
Reference: IOE01/03592/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Alan Simpson. Source Historic England Archive
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