Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Braintree (District Authority)
Castle Hedingham
National Grid Reference:
TL 78469 35604


TL 78 35 CASTLE HEDINGHAM CHURCH LANE (EAST SIDE) 8/13 Church of St Nicholas 21 6 62


Parish Church. Circa 1180 Chancel, Nave, North and South aisles (with C14 eastern bays) and Clerestory. C15 north vestry. C16 red brick tower. C16 red brick porch with diapering. C19 organ chamber and restorations. Mainly of flint rubbles with stone dressings. mainly red tiled roofs with some lead. Chancel with clasping buttresses to eastern corners, scratch sundial to south. TWO Pilasters to east wall and one to south wall. C19 corbels to north and south walls. In line windows of one light with two centre moulded heads and labels, jambs with attached shafts with moulded bases and foliated capitals, four to south, 3 to east and 3 to west walls with moulded string course under. Those to the east wall with abaci moulding continued as a string course. Above these eastern windows is a large C12 wheel windown of eight shafts with moulded bases and foliate capitals. String course below this window. Southwestern door blocked internally but with original C12 door of 3 boards with fine ironwork. C12 doorway with semi-circular arch of two richly carved orders with foliate and zig-zag ornament, lable with billet ornament. Jambs with two keeled and attached shafts, moulded bases, foliate capitals. Masons mark stone to north east wall. Chancel interior. the in-line windows with moulded arches and labels. The window splay shafts with moulded bases, foliated capitals and moulded abaci. Between the windows are recesses with keeled shafts with moulded bases and capitals. Moulded string course below cills. The chancel roof is of seven cants with moulded wall plates. Chancel door to vestry C15 of studded battens with strap hinges. C15 vestry doorway with moulded jambs and two centred arch in square head, moulded label over. C12 rectangular niche in north wall with rebated jambs and head. Piscina and sedilia with much C19/20 restoration. Stepped bases with four in-line semi-circular arched heads with ornate zig-zag decoration each supported by two shafts with moulded bases and foliated capitals. Circa 1539 black marble altar tomb with polished top slab, to John DeVere Fifteenth Earl of Oxford and his Wife Elizabeth (Trussell). Two panels in high relief, one of two kneeling figures of a man in fluted plate armour and a woman with pedimental head-dress and heraldic mantle. The other with coat of arms supported by heraldic beasts with hel and crest over. Mouldings and borders to each panel. Side slabs panelled with kneeling figures of four daughters and names, the four sons, against wall are not visible. Misericords, moulded and carved with many motifs, believed to be one of only two sets in Essex. The two centred Chancel Arch was possibly widened and rebuilt C14 with original and new material. Of two richly moulded orders with zig-zag ornament and matching label. Responds of three attached shafts, moulded bases with spur ornament, waterleaf and stiff leaf foliate capitals. Chancel Screen C14/C15 of 6 bays the two centre bays forming a doorway with trefoiled sub-cusped head, crocketed with finials and tracery over. Similar side bays with closed lower panels with foliate bosses and spandrels, cinquefoil heads, moulded and buttressed posts and moulded cornice with carved bosses. To north east of the Chancel, the C15 Vestry with lean-yo roof and north east buttress. East wall with a two light cinquefoil window under a square head and label (now blocked) lancet window to north wall and C19/C20 doorways to north and west walls. The C19 gabled organ chamber, with two light window to apex and four small lancets in a stone and flint panel below eaves level with string course and corbels adjoins this Vestry. The Norman Nave, north and south aisles with C15/C16 red brick crenellations with moulded string courses and crow stepped parapet verges. the clerestorey with red brick sunken panels with alternating boar and mullet motifs of the De Vere family, between six two light segmental headed windows with flat labels over to north and south walls. South Aisle with two C14 three light windows with tracery under square heads. C12 south doorway with jambs and semi-circular arch of three moulded orders. Jambs with attached shafts with moulded bases and spur ornament. Water and stiff leaf foliage to capitals, moulded abaci. C12 door with counter rebated plank edges and find original ironwork. C16 west window of two square headed lights with chamfered label. North aisle, north wall with two three light windows under square heads with lables. C12 north doorway with moulded semi-circular arch, jambs with keeled shafts with moulded bases and abaci and foliate capitals. The C12 door has fine original ironwork. Traces of a former porch can be seen in the wall around the doorway. C19/C20 west wall window of two lights under a square head with lable, above which is a small blocked lancet. Internally the nave has aisles of 6 bays with semi-circular arches of two moulded orders, with labels to south side. Piers are alternately circular and octagonal with square moulded abaci, foliate capitals and moulded bases. The two eastern bays are exceptions, being C14. The northern with moulded segmental pointed arch springing from a head corbel on the east wall, whilst the southern arch of three chamfered orders springs from a moulded corbel. The C14 upper doorway to former rood loft has a moulded two centred arch and chamfered jambs and is above the first pier of the north arcade. The clerestorey has C12 internal splays and semi-circular arches which were cut back C16 when the brick windows were inserted. C14 niche in norht wall with moulded jambs and trefoil head. C12 or earlier stoup bowl with reversed animal head and foliate carving, set into wall recess east of the south door. C17 panelling to south east corner of south aisle above which is a small carved stone figure with raised arms and circular head possibly C12 or earlier. The Nave roof is ascribed to Thomas Loveday. Died 1535. Of double hammer beams with moulded purlins and upper hammer beams, crenellated and carved cornice and lower hammer beams. Carved pendants to collar beams. Traceried spandrels to curved braces. Buttresses with crocketed pinnacles and foliate pendants to side posts. Above the wall plates each bay has carved angels with outspread wings, holding shields. the Mullet and Boar emblems of the De Vere family are also carved in this panelling. West Tower C16. Red brick probably restored circa 1616. A stone over the west window is inscribed "Robert Archer the Master Builder of this stepell 1616". Of three stages, crenellated with four pinnacles and stepped buttresses. South east stair turret. C18 cupola surmounted by a weathervane. West window of transomed lights under a square head above which the moulded label is enriched with heraldic emblems of the De Vere family. The stained glass windows depict 10 saints. North and south second stage loop lights. All walls of bell chamber with 3 four-centred lights under square heads. Small lights to stair turret. Interior of West Tower. Stair turret doorway has double chamfered jambs and moulded four centred arch. C17 door with strap hinges. Two centred tower arch of three chamfered orders. Chamfered responds with moulded bases and foliate capitals to attached shafts, part of these shafts possibly C12 re-set. The C16 diapered red brick South porch is crenellated and buttressed. There are two stone panels above and a niche below the moulded string course. The moulded archway is four centred with moulded responds. In the south east external wall is a plain rectangular stoup. The East and West windows are of two lights under square heads, the inner cills continue through and form seats. The three Norman doors and doorways, the double hammer beam roof and misericords together with the Norman sturcture and later brick tower make this church one of the most outstanding in Essex. RCHM 1.

Listing NGR: TL7846935604


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

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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: 09 Oct 2001
Reference: IOE01/05817/24
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Frank Swift. Source Historic England Archive
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