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.

Brentwood (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 59650 93722



TQ5993 ST THOMAS ROAD 723-1/12/120 (South West side) 20/02/76 Church of St Thomas of Canterbury


Parish church. 1881-1887. By EC Lee. Brick, faced with random split flint, pebbles and stone fragments with stone dressings. Roofs of handmade clay tiles. EXTERIOR: buttresses expanded at base with rounded section. Nave and rectangular choir, both with side aisles, tower containing N door abutted to NW corner. Nave of 6 bays plus tribunal, aisles 7 bays, choir and aisles 4 bays. N elevation, W-E, projecting tower with angle buttresses, gabled ground floor porch, pointed arch with keeled rolls and leaf and fruit enrichment. Door of 2 leaves, boarded with iron strap hinges, wrought-iron gates with architect's name stamped into lower rail of decorative tympanum. Above, blind arcade of 5 lancets with trefoiled heads, crenellated parapet with corner stair turrets with spirelets, principal octagonal spire with traceried lucarnes at base. Spire and spirelets shingled. Nave and aisle bays each have 2 lancet clerestory windows with linking hood mould, moulded parapet. Aisle windows have 4 grouped lancets, trefoil headed as a rectangular unit, between bays are buttresses of rounded section with decorative stone band and lower linking band along elevation. Nave-choir junction, flying buttress continued to roof apex with pierced buttress and bellcote. Choir bays narrower than nave, each with single clerestorey lancet window and linking hood mould, parapet has blind trefoils, aisle, single lancets with cinquefoil tracery, central buttress similar to those for nave but elaborated, similar buttress at E end and coping link to nave buttress. Both buttresses gabled. S elevation, W-E, similar to N elevation, E end has a transept vestry and organ chamber with gabled buttresses, tall, narrow lancet window and paired lancet roof vents. Door to E under lean-to porch, doorway segment headed and moulded with inner flattened ogee door head, 3 semi-basement, pointed arched windows in rectangular surrounds. To the W of the vestry, part of the S elevation is obscured by C20 foyer and church hall. E elevation, tall buttressed nave with high triple lancets, sills level with those of clerestory, sexfoiled roundel above with figure of Christ the King. N aisle wall has traceried window, 2 round-headed trefoiled lights with cinque-foil roundel above. S aisle wall has a trefoiled lancet window, a pair of low stone bands cross the facade. Behind on S side, organ vestry and porch seen. W elevation, most elaborate, nave has flanking stair towers with conical caps and slit vents, between, 4 grouped lancet windows under moulded pointed arch. Exterior walkway between doorways from stair tower. Trefoiled vent in gable above. Ground floor, triple arched canopy, outer blind, central S door with canopy corbelled from simple shaft, doorway has mouldings enriched with nail-head decoration, tympanum, Christ in Majesty and, below, panel of wise and foolish virgins. Flanking central doorway, figures of evangelists, 2 each side under castellated canopies and standing on drums with appropriate symbols below on splays. 2 relief panels of, N, martyrdom of St Thomas a Becket, S, scourging of King Henry II at Becket's tomb (both now defaced). Door of 2 leaves, each framed with boarded panels and iron strap hinges. S aisle wall gabled with upper lancet window and ground floor, pointed arched doorway, door of 2 leaves with iron strap hinges. N aisle wall as straight link to tower with blind decorative parapet paired upper lancet windows. 2 separate lancets, below. Ground floor, projecting porch with boarded door, foundation stone, 1881. Tower at N end, elevations similar on each face to N side but no ground floor doorway and no blind arcade above. W elevation has central lancet window with trefoiled head and mid-height shield. A low double stone band stretches across the whole elevation and buttresses are rounded at their bases. INTERIOR: nave arcade of round piers and round capitals - alternate piers have attached colonnettes, arches pointed with complex mouldings. Clerestory windows have wall shafts supporting deep arched-braced roof with laterally braced `crown-posts' and in-pitch side purlins. Common rafters of seven cants form boarded ceiling. Aisle windows have splayed sides with linking wall moulding and semicircular rear-arches. Aisle roofs asymmetric lean-to form with outer deep arched braces and collars with side purlin. Inner wall posts support collars with braces having pierced spandrels. Nave W end has blind trefoiled wall arcade and central wooden interior door porch. Tribunal set upon own arch. Adjacent alabaster font with 12 engaged lower shafts and wrought-iron canopy with crane. Nave, E end, choir screen and gates of wrought-iron on alabaster wall with nail-head decoration. Alabaster pulpit with trefoil pierced blind arcade. Choir elevated from nave, arcade piers of laterally coupled shafts. Waggon-vaulted roof with sun-burst and metal floral bosses. Tall Crucifixion reredos, wrought-iron parclose screens. S side - round arched sedilia and organ with entry through wrought-iron gates from S aisle. N side, niche with compound trefoil and 2-centred arch. There is stained glass in many windows. W window, martyrdom of St Thomas, N aisle, Old Testament figures, S aisle, saints. Brass at W end of N aisle from earlier chapel of St Thomas to Johanes Parker, 1673 with a shield of arms and St George and the Dragon. HISTORICAL NOTE: the church was built to replace a chapel of 1835 on the same site which became a parish church in 1873 when Brentwood achieved independence fron South Weald. Earlier still, the chapel of St Thomas was the now ruined building in the High Street (qv) said to have been first built c1221. The architect, EC Lee designed the nearby Church of St Paul (qv), Bentley Common of 1878. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Essex: 1965-: 101).

Listing NGR: TQ5965093722


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Essex, (1965), 101


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: 15 Oct 2006
Reference: IOE01/15888/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Richard Pepper. Source Historic England Archive
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