719/18/482 CHURCH LANE
10-APR-67 SOUTH HANNINGFIELD
Church of St Peter
Early C12 in origin. Belfry added c1450. The nave was extended to the west, and probably widened to the south, at that time. Chancel partly rebuilt in 1850. Restored in 1883-4 by Chancellor.
MATERIALS: Mostly rubble, rendered in places, with coursed herringbone work in the C12 work, and stone dressings. East and south walls of chancel partly C19 brick. Timber porch and weatherboarded bellcot. Tiled roofs.
PLAN: Chancel, nave and belfry. South porch.
EXTERIOR: A small church that has had many phases of rebuilding, which is reflected in the eclectic mix of materials in the exterior. The chancel is medieval in origin, but was extensively rebuilt with brick in the C19. It has Decorated-style east and south windows, and a C14-style south door. On the north is a low, lean-to vestry, also C19. The nave east wall was also partly rebuilt in brick in the C19, and the nave east gable is rendered. The nave north wall is late C11 or early C12 and has herringbone masonry, a C13 lancet and a C12 light. The blocked north door is C15, and slightly to the west of it, a change in masonry shows where the nave was extended westwards in the C15. The west wall has a triplet of C19 lancets and a horizontal change in the masonry, suggesting rebuilding of the upper part of the wall. The nave south wall a C13 lancet, possibly reset, and a C15 window with a square head. The C15 south doorway has double, hollow chamfered jambs and a deep draw bar socket; the door itself is contemporary. The south porch is timber framed, and retains most of its C14 or early C15 outer archway, cusped bargeboards and king post roof. The outer lights are glazed with C19 or C20 coloured glass. The small timber bell cot sits over the west end of the nave and has a small, shingled splay-foot spire.
INTERIOR: The interior is painted and plastered. There is C15 painting of foliage scrolls on the jambs of the C15 south nave window. The bell cot stands on a very substantial C15 frame at the west end of the nave; it has four posts and curved braces, partly restored. There is no chancel arch. The chancel, which is much narrower than the nave, is asymmetrically placed, with the nave wider on the south than on the north. The nave roof has C15 or C16 chamfered tie beams with cured braces
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Plain, octagonal probably C15 font. C15 south door, with feathered battens, strap hinges with cross pieces and a triangular drop handle. Some C15 painting on the south-east nave window. Stained glass: some C15 glass in situ in the south-east nave window; also some fragments of late C13 or C14 glass in the nave north-east and south-west windows. East window by G E R Smith, 1952. Nave north window by Valerie Green, 1995.
Victorian gothic-style altar rails and choir stalls. One, partial ledger slab of 1678 in the chancel.
HISTORY: The nave is late C11 or very early C12 in origin. The chancel is of uncertain medieval date, but may be late C12 or early C13. The nave was lengthened to the west and possibly widened to the south in the C15, when the bell turret was also built. The south porch is also of this date, and the nave roof may be contemporary. The chancel was party rebuilt in 1850, and the church was further restored in 1883-4 by Frederic Chancellor (1825-1918), a well known church architect who worked widely in Essex and was mayor of Chelmsford seven times from 1888.
Bettley, J and Pevsner, N, Buildings of England: Essex, (2007) 717
RCHME Essex vol. IV, (1923) 139-40
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The Church of St Peter, Church Lane, South Hanningfield, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Parish church, late C11 or early C12 in origin, with herringbone masonry and a late C11 or early C12 window in the nave north wall
* Bell turret and south porch C15. C15 painting and a small amount of in situ C15 glass on the south-east nave window: other late medieval features are the fonts and the south door with contemporary ironwork