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Parish Church of St Mary

A Grade I Listed Building in Great Canfield, Essex

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Latitude: 51.8379 / 51°50'16"N

Longitude: 0.3121 / 0°18'43"E

OS Eastings: 559392

OS Northings: 218007

OS Grid: TL593180

Mapcode National: GBR NGN.MQS

Mapcode Global: VHHM4.C2CC

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 23 February 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1120855

English Heritage Legacy ID: 352670

Location: Great Canfield, Uttlesford, Essex, CM6

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford

Civil Parish: Great Canfield

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Great Canfield St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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Listing Text




Chancel and nave, early C12. Nave extended in C13. S porch, C15. Vestry C 19.
Flint rubble with some Roman bricks, dressings of Barnack stone, roof tiled.
The chancel (7.87 x 6.36 metres) has in the E wall 2 round-headed windows
separated internally by a round-headed recess, all C12. In the N wall are
2 round-headed windows, C12, one of which is concealed by the organ. In the
S wall are 2 windows; the eastern is lancet of the C13, partly restored;
the western is C19 except for the splays and square head, C15; between the
windows is a doorway with chamfered jambs and 2-centred head, double-chamfered
label and round rear-arch, C13. The round chancel arch has a roll-moulded
edge with one carinated fillet and double billeted label, and the responds
have attached shafts with moulded bases and a cablework ring above, scalloped
capitals with cablework ring and double-chamfered abaci, mainly C12 but with
some restoration. Above the arch is a C19 bullseye piercing. The N impost
is a re-used Cll gravestone with Ringerike design on the upper face, mostly
covered, but exhibiting a conventionalised beast. The nave (18.78 x 7.27 metres)
has in the N wall 2 windows; the eastern is C14 and has 2 trefoiled and sub-
cusped ogee lights with tracery under a square head; the segmental-pointed
rear-arch has a moulded label with headstops, the W representing a man, the
other defaced. In the window-edge are cut 3 steps of a former newel stair
to the rood-loft; the N arris of the window is chamfered, and the head-stop
mutilated, in connection with the same inserted stair. The western window is
round-headed, C12. Further W is the C12 N doorway; the jambs have attached
angle-shafts covered with incised chevron fluting, and having cushion
capitals with zigzag carving on the under-slopes and moulded bases with
spur-ornaments; the semi-circular arch has the same moulding as the chancel
arch and a C19 tympanum. In the S wall are 3 windows; the easternmost is a
C13 lancet, restored; the second is of 2 cinquefoiled lights with vertical
tracery in a square head with a flat segmental rear-arch, C15J restored;
the westernmost is a C13 lancet, restored. W of the second window is the
C12 S doorway, similar to the N doorway but with more elaborate detail;
the cushion capitals are each carved with a mask, the eastern with pelleted
ribbons issuing from the mouth, the western with 2 birds pecking the beard;
in the reveal next to the W capital are 5 incised squares with swastikas; the
chamfered abaci have on their vertical faces incised zigzag ornament; the
arch has a roll-moulded edge with 2 carinated fillets between it and an
outer roll moulding, a double billeted label and a tympanum carved with
zigzag ornament in concentric semi-circles and enclosed by a cable-border.
In the W wall is a C19 window. The nave has been extended to the W by
about 4.5 metres (the RCHM found it to be 3.3 metres) to accommodate a
timber-fronted bell-turret, C15, consisting of 4 posts with arch-braced tiebeams,
clad externally with weatherboards, with pointed lights in the N, S and W
walls, with C19 shingled spire. The C15 S porch has a moulded plinth and
an embattled parapet with drip-moulded string-course arid containing in the
middle of the S side a cinquefoiled niche with a square head; the entrance
archway has a 2-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and
quatrefoiledand trefoiled spandrels each with a blank shield; the moulded
jambs each have an attached shaft with a moulded capital and base; in each
side wall is a window of 2 trefoiled lights, flanked internally by trefoiled
panels with moulded jambs and head. The roof of the chancel is of 7 cants
with double collars and inclined ashlar-pieces; there is one tiebeam, slightly
cranked; this and the wallplates are moulded in convex and concave quadrants
between steps. The date is uncertain, C14 or C15. The roof of the nave is
similar, except that there is only one collar to each rafter couple, and the
ashlar-pieces are more inclined. The cyma mouldings of the wallplates are
partly concealed by the wall plaster. There are 3 plain tiebeams. This roof
also is of C14 or C15 construction. The C15 roof of the S porch has moulded
and embattled wallplates and moulded main timbers, partly restored. There are
3 bells, one by Miles Gray, 1634, one possibly by John Dier, C16, and the third
by John Hodson, 1664. In the floor of the chancel there is (1) a brass of
John Wyseman, auditor 'of the revenue of the crown' to Henry VIII, and of
Agnes his wife, 1558; figures of man in armour, and woman, both kneeling before
prayer-desks; behind them, figures of 4 sons and 6 daughters; four shields of
arms (2) a brass of Thomas Fytche and Agnes (Wyseman) his wife, 1588;
figures of man in armour, woman, 3 sons and 3 daughters (3) a stone slab of
Elizabeth (Wiseman), wife of Robert Tyderleigh, 1654 (4) a stone slab of
Elizabeth (Capell), wife of Sir William Wiseman, Bart., 1660, with a lozenge of
arms (5) a stone slab to Anne, Lady Wyseman, 1662, with a shield of arms.
In the vestry there is a black marble slab of Francis Penwarne, 1722, and a
limestone slab of John Gower, 1782. Inside the N door there is a black
marble slab of Stephen Alger, 1829, and Sarah his wife, 1847. On the S wall
of the nave there is a monument of Sir William Wyseman, Bart., 1684, and
Anne (Prescott) his wife, 1662, formerly mounted on the E wall of the chancel;
tablet with half-length figures of man and woman flanked by Ionic columns
supporting entablature and segmental pediment with a cartouche of arms.
In an arched recess in the E wall of the chancel, formerly covered by the
monument to Sir William Wyseman, there is a painting of the Blessed Virgin
suckling the Child, who is seated on her lap; she is crowned and wears a
full red cloak over a girdled gown, and is seated on a stone throne with
fluted cornice and raised on a dais of 2 steps, the upper with rounded edge
and fluted riser; the recess has below the dais a border with running foliage
pattern; the edge of the arch has painted foliage, and below the figure are
masonry lines and a consecration cross in white on a red circle. The windows
flanking the recess have their arches outlined with a band of stiff foliage and,
on the N, with a masoned pattern, on the S with a zigzag pattern; the splayed
soffits have large red and yellow foliage designs and radiating masonry lines;
the imposts are indicated by bands of foliage; the splays and most of the E wall
have painted masonry lines, restored. The central group is little restored.
Pevsner says this painting 'is one of the best C13 representations of the
subject in the whole country, full of tenderness ... The date must be circa
1250 (cf. the Matthew Paris manuscripts)' There is a stoup in the W jamb of
the N doorway, part of a rough basin hollowed out of the front. Below the W
window there is a 5-metre length of oak panelling, circa 1600.

Listing NGR: TL5939218007

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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