840/5/36 CHURCH ROAD
23-NOV-51 SOUTH SHOEBURY
Church of St Andrew
C12 nave and chancel with C13 recesses beside the chancel arch, C14 west tower with C18 brick parapet. C15 S porch. Restored c1857 by W Slater and again in 1894-1902 by C Nicholson, who also added the south-east vestry.
MATERIALS: Ragstone rubble except for the tower, which is flint rubble. Reigate and other limestone dressings. Tiled roof. Timber porch. Vestry is rendered.
PLAN: Nave and chancel with W tower, S porch and SE vestry.
EXTERIOR: A small church, the tower without a spire. The chancel east window is c.1400 and has vertical tracery. One C12 window with a diapered monolithic head and an additional block with diapering above it survives in the chancel north wall, and there is a C13 lancet in the chancel south wall to the west of the vestry. A C13 mask corbel to the west of the chancel south window may once have supported a pent roof. The C19 vestry is very plain, and is roofed separately to the chancel it has a round-headed east door and small, east and west windows. The nave north wall has a C15 window with carved headstops; the C12 north doorway has a round head and is of one plain order with moulded imposts. The nave south wall has three windows. The easternmost is a small, C14 window of two traceried lights set low in the wall; above it is a small C13 lancet with a trefoiled head. Further west is a two-light C15 window. The restored C15 south porch is timber framed, and has a two-centred outer opening with carved spandrels with an unusual knotted net pattern and heraldry. The gable has cusped bargeboards. The south door is C12, and has two orders; the inner plain, the outer with billet and attached shafts. The C14 west tower has an embattled, C18 brick parapet. The west window is C14 and has star-shaped tracery above two trefoiled lights. The bell stage has a C14 trefoiled opening on the west, and C18 brick-headed openings to north and south.
INTERIOR: The interior is plastered and painted except for the interior of the tower, where the masonry is exposed. The interior is notable for the C13 altar recesses adjoining the chancel arch. The mid-C12 chancel arch is round-headed, and has two orders, the inner with chevron on plain responds, the outer moulded and supported on attached shafts with one scalloped and one cushion capital. The moulded imposts have diaper ornament. On either side of the chancel arch are C13 recesses, of different dates, for altar; there is an additional recess in the eastern part of the nave wall on each side, probably to provide more space for the altars. The south recess is early C13 and is contemporary with the adjacent recess in the south nave wall; it has a C14 window set within it. The south recesses were clearly constructed together and have attached, keeled shafts with moulded capitals on their outer sides, and a central corbel with moulded capital. That on the north is lower and is late C13; it has a bell corbel on the north, which also carried the arch of the (now altered) recess in the north nave wall. The C15 rood loft stair, with the upper and lower doors, survive in the north nave wall; they partly cut the north-east recess. A door of uncertain medieval date leads from the chancel to the south-east vestry. A C12 window, similar to that in the north wall is visible internally in the chancel and in the vestry. The C14 tower arch is of two chamfered orders that die into the walls. The chancel roof has C15 moulded wall plates. C15 crown post roof in the nave, moulded tie beams and moulded and embattled wall plates. The curved braces to the tie beams have carved spandrels, and the crown posts have moulded capitals and bases.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: C19 fittings, probably mostly by W Slater of 1857, including timber pulpit and lectern, simple C19 nave benches and choir stalls, and altar and altar rails with trefoiled arches. The altar has riddel post with angels. Some good C19 and C20 glass, including nave south (small window) probably by O'Connor, c.1852; larger south window by Powell and Sons, 1858; nave north by Cox, Sons, Buckley and Co., 1881; chancel south by W F Dixon, late C19, and chancel east window by Margaret Thompson, 1949.
HISTORY: The church was founded as a chapel of nearby Prittlewell priory, probably in the early C12 when the present church was built. The C13 recesses by the chancel arch provided space for additional altars without the expense of adding aisles. The tower was added, and the church given some new windows in the C14. It was apparently refurnished in the C15, when the roofs were redone, the rood loft stair built, and the east window installed. The south porch is also C15. The tower parapet was renewed in the C18, and the brick repairs around the belfry window on the north side may suggest damage requiring repair. It was restored and re-seated in 1857 to designs by W Slater, and further restored in 1894-1902 by Sir Charles Nicholson (1867-1949), a leading church architect of the very late C19 and early C20. He was consulting architect to many cathedrals and dioceses, including the Diocese of Chelmsford.
Bettley, J and Pevsner, N, Buildings of England: Essex, (2007) 710
RCHME Essex IV, (1923) 143-4
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The Church of St Andrew, Church Road, South Shoebury, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Parish church, nave and chancel C12
* C13 altar recesses next to the chancel arch are of particular note
* C14 west tower, the C15 roof in nave and C15 south porch show its later medieval development
* Sensitive restorations in mid-and late-Victorian times