719/26/436 THE STREET
CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS
(Formerly listed as:
CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL)
The church is probably C14 in origin. The bell turret was added C15 or C16, and the church was heavily restored in the C19. The N aisle, porch and vestry were added in 1854 by C R Ainslie. The chancel was restored by F Chancellor in 1872, with refurnishing in 1881 by E C Lee. The spire was rebuilt in 1891.
Flint rubble with stone dressings, tiled roofs, timber porch and bell turret, shingled spire.
Chancel with N vestry, nave with N aisle, NW porch and bell turret over W end of nave.
The entire exterior was very heavily renewed in the C19. The chancel has low diagonal buttresses and a 3-light E window with reticulated tracery. On the S side, the chancel has two 2-light windows with Decorated style tracery and a chamfered door between them. There is also a large gabled dormer with a 3-light timber window with ogee cusped lights and square leaded panes. The N vestry has a 3-light transomed E window and N door with a shouldered head. The nave has set-back buttresses at the SW corner. The W window is tall and has two transomed lights with ogee cusping and Perpendicular style tracery in the head. There are three 2-light windows with Decorated-style tracery in the S wall. The N aisle has a diagonal NE buttress and smaller buttresses along the N wall. The aisle windows are similar to those in the nave. The N porch is timber framed on low stone walls, and has cusped bargeboards and a two-leaf door with ornamental strap hinges. The bell turret stands over the W end of the nave and has horizontal weather boarding and louvered bell openings. The spire is shingled.
The walls are plastered and painted. The C14 chancel arch has two chamfered orders, the inner on polygonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. There is a shouldered niche to the N of the chancel arch. The rere-arch of the chancel SE window has been dropped to form a stone seat with shouldered ends, and the window sill above has brattished stone cresting. The C19 N arcade is of 4 bays and has hollow chamfered arches on polygonal piers with moulded capitals and bases. The base of the bell turret is late medieval and has four corner posts with arched braces rising to tie beams. The chancel roof is of cross-braced collar date and may be medieval. The nave roof is probably also partly medieval and has braced collar beams and three rough tie beams. The C19 aisle roof has king posts and moulded tie beams.
There are a number of good monuments. Brass to Thomas Young, d. 1593, his son, also Thomas d.1596 and his daughter-in-law Parnell d.1597. In the chancel, several monuments to members of the Barmston family including Sir John Barmston, d.1654, Chief Justice to the King's Bench and his son, also Sir John, d.1699, a white marble draped tablet with a cartouche of arms and martial emblems, and several floor slabs. Mary Barmston Byng, d.1744, a black marble obelisk with white marble bases and decoration, including a cherub leaning on a draped bust. Another is to Maria Herlock, 1821, by Charles Regnart. An alabaster and gilded tile wall plaque to Thomas Rogers, vicar, d.1899. Unusual painted burial board recording all burials in the churchyard since 1895.
The chancel E wall has a late Victorian stone reredos, the lower part diapered, the upper part with symbols including the Evangelists, the pelican in her piety, and the Lamb of God. Painted and gilded altarpiece has angels flanking a nativity. The riddel posts are topped by statues, and both reredos and panelling have embattled cresting with vine scrolls. Altar and communion rails of 1881. Floor has C19 encaustic tiles. C19 polygonal pulpit with tracery panels and attached shafts on the sides, designed for Great Waltham in 1862-3 by Chancellor, moved to Roxwell in 1894. C19 polygonal font carved with crocketted gables springing from head stops. Late C19 or early C20 Art Nouveau poor box with heavy, intertwined stems. At the E end of the N aisle, the former C19 chancel screen, said to have been made up in 1886 from part of the former altar case of 1684 from Durham Cathedral, with a mix of Gothic and Baroque motifs.
Some good C19 and C20 stained glass, including E window of the Crucifixion by Clayton and Bell that incorporates some medieval glass. N aisle W window by Henry Holiday, 1919-20 and N aisle N window by Lawrence Lee with Janet Christopherson, 1976.
Roxwell church was a chapel belonging to the Hospital in Writtle, which in turn belonged to the Hospital of the Holy Ghost in Rome, founded by the Pope for English pilgrims to Rome. Writtle, with Roxwell and other possessions was transferred to New College, Oxford in 1391. The Barmston family, who are commemorated by many memorials in the chancel, lived at Skreens, a medieval manor house that they rebuilt in the C18. The architects who worked on the various C19 restorations of the church were all local men; Frederic Chancellor of Chelmsford and London was the best known and worked widely in Essex, London and elsewhere.
VCH Essex II (1907), 200-1
RCHME Essex II (1921), 204-5
Buildings of England (2007), 649-50
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The church of St Michael and All Angels, Roxwell, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* It has good surviving medieval fabric, although heavily restored in the C19
* The restored medieval roofs in nave and chancel, and the base of the medieval bell cote are of a high quality.
* It has a number of good monuments
* Good C19 furnishings, including the reredos and chancel panelling, pulpit, font and some glass.