Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
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)
Steeple Bumpstead
National Grid Reference:
TL 67902 41055


TL 64 SE STEEPLE BUMPSTEAD CHURCH STREET 2/49 Parish Church of St Mary 21/6/62 the Virgin (formerly listed as Church of GV St Mary) I Parish Church, C11 and later. Walls of flint rubble and red brick with dressings of limestone and clunch; the roof is of lead and handmade red clay tiles. W tower, late C11, altered in early C16. Chancel of C11 origin but much altered, S arcade of Nave c.1400, S aisle and S porch C14, N arcade and N aisle C15. Clerestorey early C16, S aisle and S porch raised in red brick early C16. General restoration, N vestry and organ chamber c.1880. The Chancel has a C19 E window with old internal splays. In the N wall, opening into the C19 vestry, is an early C16 doorway with 4-centred arch, recessed spandrels and restored jambs. Further W is a C19 arch to the organ chamber. In the S wall are 2 windows; the eastern is C19 except the splays and chamfered 2-centred rear-arch, C14; the western is a transomed low-side window, C19 except the splays and part of the external jambs. Between the windows is a doorway, C19 except the splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch. The chancel-arch, c.1400, is 2-centred, of 2 chamfered orders; the responds have attached semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the capitals have square moulded corbels on the inner face, formerly to support a rood screen, and the base of the arch has been cut away for the same purpose. The Nave has N and S arcades each of 4 bays; the S arcade was built c.1400 and the N arcade was rebuilt later in the C15; the 2-centred arches are of 2 chamfered orders, the outer continuous and springing from semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the responds have similar attached shafts. In the NE corner is a small C15 doorway with chamfered jambs and 4-centred head, opening into the rood-loft staircase; the upper part is blocked. The early C16 clerestorey has a crenellated parapet, and is of red brick; the 4 windows on each side are all of 2 plain 4-centred lights under a square head. The roof is in 4 bays, of shallow pitch, with short king-posts on straight hollow-chamfered tiebeams with moulded knees supported on 5 grotesque corbels, one head-corbel and 2 plain ones, early C16. The N aisle is mid-cl5, and has a moulded external plinth, and a crenellated parapet, partly of red brick. In the E wall is a window of 4 lights with cinquefoiled tracery (missing from the outer lights) under a steep 2-centred arch, with original wrought iron grills and one casement. In the N wall are 3 windows; the eastern is blocked internally by a monument, the jambs and 2-centred head exposed externally; the others are of 3 cinquefoiled lights under a 2-centred head, the middle window restored. Between the 2 western windows is the N doorway, with continuous moulded jambs and 2-centred head, and moulded external label. The door is battened with strap-hinges, of uncertain date. The late C15 roof is of 4 bays with moulded main timbers, the tiebeams carved with running foliage. 2 of the principal tiebeams have added curved braces, early C16, with carved spandrels; each spandrel holds a shield, mostly plain, but one has a saltire and another a molet; the third principal tiebeam is plain. There are notable similarities with the roof of the N aisle of Stambourne parish church, 4.6 km to the SE. The S aisle is C14, but the upper part has been raised in brick in the early C16; the rake of the original roof is visible externally at the E end. The E window is C19 except the splays and pointed rear-arch. In the S wall are 3 windows, all C19 except the internal splays. Between the 2 western windows is the S doorway, late C14, with continuous moulded jambs and 2-centred head. The door is built with V-edged planks, strap-hinges, and a rear frame comprising 2 durns, 5 stiles and 10 ledges, halved behind the stiles, rivetted at the crossings, possibly C14 (Hewett 1982, p.130). In the W wall is an early C16 window of red brick with 3 plain 4-centred lights and uncusped tracery, under a 4-centred head, restored. The roof, early C16, is similar to that of the S aisle, in 4 bays with moulded rafters and moulded and richly carved principal and intermediate tiebeams and ridge; the principal tiebeams have curved braces with cable moulding and foliate carving in the spandrels; a carved rose-pendant hangs from the middle of each principal tiebeam. The W tower is of 4 stages with added western diagonal buttresses, and a crenellated parapet, with a grotesque gargoyle in the middle of each side in the string-course; the E half of the 2 upper stages has been rebuilt in red brick in the early C16 and the 2 square E buttresses are carried down into the Nave. The tower-arch, c.1500, is moulded and 2-centred, and the responds have each an attached semi-circular shaft with moulded capital and base. Further N is a blocked early C16 doorway to the stair turret, with a 4-centred head; access to the turret is now obtained by a C19 external doorway; the turret stair has 2 simple rectangular windows to the NW. The S, N and W walls of the ground stage each have an original light with a round head; the S window has been slightly widened. The second stage had originally in each of the N, S and W walls a larger C11 window with rebated jambs and round head; all the windows are now blocked, and only the jambs remain in the S wall. The third stage has traces of blocked windows of unknown date in the N, S and W walls. The bell- chamber has in each wall an early C16 window of 2 lights with plain tracery under a 2-centred head; the N and W windows are much restored. The S porch is late C14 with a crenellated parapet of brick and stone, restored. The 2- centred outer archway, c.1400, is of 2 orders, the outer moulded and the inner hollow-chamfered and springing from semi-octangonal shafts with moulded capitals, all partly restored. In the E wall is a late C14 window of 2 cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed head. In the W wall are remains of the jambs and head of a similar window; the N half of the wall has been repaired with re-used squared ashlar. The roof has a chamfered ridge and billet-moulded wallplates, C16. In the E window of the N aisle there is C15 and C16 glass, of 2 shields of arms representing Bendish, and part of a pedestal. There is a notable collection of medieval graffiti, some merely patterns, but including the collect of St. Erkenwald in Latin, C15, on the S respond of the chancel-arch, and 2 marriage entries from the feast of St. George the Martyr, 1358 and C15 on the third pier of the S arcade. There are 5 bells, the first by John Hodson, 1653. The font, in the tower, has an octagonal stem and bowl, 7 faces of the bowl with quatrefoil panels and plain shields, C15. There is a brass in the N aisle, on the E respond of the arcade, to Sir Thomas Bendishe, baronet, 1672. There are monuments in the N aisle (1) to Richard Bendish, 1486, Richard Bendish, 1523, and John Bendish, 1585, stone tablet partly painted, in 3 bays divided by Composite half-columns supporting an entablature and cresting with 3 shields of arms (2) to Sir John Bendyshe, baronet, 1707, and Martha his wife, 1705, white marble tablet erected c.1740. - There are floor-slabs in the N aisle (1) to ....... only child of Mary Beale, and Mary Dyke, 1636, with shield of arms, much worn (2) to John, sone of George Gent, 1684, and in the Chancel to Lucia (Bough) wife of George Wale, 1678. There is an C8 boss on the N door of the Chancel of bronze, gilt, with panels of interlacing and other ornament, 4 small fishes in relief and sockets for 18 jewels, probably of Irish origin. There is a poor box in the S aisle, panelled octagonal pedestal with crenellated top, 3 locks and slot in lid, iron bound, c.1500. Panels and popeys of the C16 are incorporated in C19 seating. 2 C19 pews incorporate panelling inscribed: 'onsel and Tomas Lond her som ded this stooles to make the yeare of our Lord A. 1568.'

Listing NGR: TL6790241055


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

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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: 29 Sep 2003
Reference: IOE01/11465/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Martin. Source Historic England Archive
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