719/33/468 WOODHILL ROAD
CHURCH OF ST ANDREW
The nave and chancel are C12. The chancel arch was rebuilt in the late C13. The N aisle was added in the mid C14, and the chancel was extended in the C15, when the nave was also reroofed. The W tower and S porch are early C16 and have been attributed to Girlano Trevise, who worked on Hampton Court for Cardinal Wolsey, although this is by no means certain. It was given some new windows in the C18. Some new fittings and restoration of the 1850s by Henry Ringham. Nave roof restored in 1878. Further restoration in 1903-4 by Chancellor and Son. A meeting room was added to the N in 1993 by K C White and Partners.
Pudding stone and flint rubble with some Roman brick. The tower and S porch are C16 brick. The dressings are limestone and brick. The roofs are tiled.
Chancel, nave with N aisle, S porch and W tower. Parish rooms complex to the N.
The chancel is C12 extended eastwards in the C15, and the Roman brick quoins of the C12 chancel are visible as straight joints in the N and S walls. There is a 3-light, C15 E window with cinquefoiled lights and Perpendicular tracery. The N wall has a late C13 or early C14 window of two pointed lights with a hood mould; the S wall has a window like that on the N and a heavily restored low-side window, with a C14 door with chamfered jambs and a hood mould between them.
The nave S wall has towards the east a C16 square window of two uncusped lights with an identical heavily restored or inserted window above it, giving the impression of a tall window with a transom. Next to this is a large Perpendicular window, and to the west of the porch is a C18 window of two plain lights with an angled head. Below it is the remains of a probably C13 lancet.
The N aisle has a 2-light C18 E window, the W window is similar and is set in a C14 opening, and there are two 2-light Perpendicular windows in the N wall. The moulded N door is C14, and provides access to the parish rooms, which are in diapered brick to co-ordinate with the tower.
The early C16 brick S porch has an elaborate crow-stepped parapet on a corbel table of trefoiled arches. The outer arch is moulded and has a hood mould. Above it is an ogee niche, flanked by a diaper cross of St Andrew on either side. Inside the porch is a brick vault with chamfered ribs on angle shafts. There are two light brick windows in the porch N and S walls.
The brick tower is of 3 stages with diagonal buttresses, and has much diaper work in blue brick, including crosses of St Andrew and tall, conventional crosses in the upper stage below the parapet. The embattled parapet stands on a trefoiled corbel table like that of the porch. The polygonal NE stair turret also has an embattled parapet, and is topped by a small dome. The 4-centred W door is blocked by a C18 window. Above it, the C16 W window has brick tracery, and there are small windows in the second stage and larger, 2-light brick windows in the bell stage.
Very plain, possibly C13, pointed chancel arch with moulded imposts. N arcade of 3 bays. C14 with two moulded orders on quatrefoil piers with moulded capitals and bases. Very tall 4-centred tower arch with 3 orders of dying mouldings. There is an organ loft under the tower.
The ceiling of the chancel is C15. It is boarded and is divided into panels by moulded ribs. The hammerbeam roof in the nave was rebuilt in the c19, but retains a C15 truss at the E end. It has moulded hammerbeams and curved braces with traceried spandrels. The wall plates are embattled.
Chancel piscina is C13. There is also a C12 pillar piscina with a spiral shaft, chevron base and interlace capital, found built into the NW buttress in 1904. Fine C15 pulpit, unusually retaining its original stem and foot. Octagonal with pinnacled buttresses on the angles. The panels have linen fold panels and Perpendicular tracery. Polygonal font with plain bowl and moulded lower edge, C15 or C16, with a late C17 or c18 cover. Choir stalls mid C19, incorporating C17 panelling. Early C20 reredos in an Arts and Crafts Gothic style.
Some good glass, including E window by Heaton, Butler and Bayne, 1920. Chancel N window by Horace Wilkinson, 1929. Tower window 1912 by A J Davies of the Bromsgrove Guild. There are also a few fragments of earlier heraldic glass.
Monuments include brass to Patrick Fearne, parson, d. 1588 and wife, and fragments of another brass of c.1510. There are also a number of wall tablets, including in the chancel Anne, wife of Brian Walton, the rector and author of the Polyglot Bible, d. 1640, and another to Deborah, d. 1647, wife of Samuel Smith, 'pastor of this congregation'. Several hatchments.
The C15 N door has been hung on the organ loft wall. Probably C16 door to tower stair, and C17 chancel door.
The double-square plan of the nave suggests that the church was built in the C12. In the early C16, the manor of Sandon was given by Henry VIII to Cardinal Wolsey, and it may have been he who was responsible for building the tower and S porch. The use of brick is typical of the area. The church was not fully restored until the early C20, by which date post-medieval features were more highly regarded than they were in the C19 Gothic Revival, and consequently the church has retained several C18 windows which might have been removed had the church been restored earlier.
Bettley, J and Pevsner, N., Buildings of England: Essex (2007), 677-78
RCHME Essex IV (1923), 132-34
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The church of St Andrews, Chelmsford, Essex is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* C12 church with a C14 N aisle and an outstanding early C16 brick W tower and S porch.
* Not too heavily restored in the early C20, and so retaining C18 windows.
* Excellent fittings, including a superb and very complete C15 pulpit and a C12 pillar piscina.