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Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin

A Grade I Listed Building in Sturmer, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0677 / 52°4'3"N

Longitude: 0.4645 / 0°27'52"E

OS Eastings: 569022

OS Northings: 243899

OS Grid: TL690438

Mapcode National: GBR PFG.B8G

Mapcode Global: VHJHJ.09F8

Plus Code: 9F423F97+3Q

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin

Listing Date: 21 June 1962

Last Amended: 16 May 1984

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1122274

English Heritage Legacy ID: 114222

Location: Sturmer, Braintree, Essex, CB9

County: Essex

District: Braintree

Civil Parish: Sturmer

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Sturmer St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

Tagged with: Church building

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2/10 Parish Church of
21/6/62 St. Mary the Virgin
(formerly listed as
GV Church of St Mary)
Parish church, early Cll and later. Flint and pebble rubble with dressings
of limestone and clunch, porch of red brick, roofs of handmade red clay tiles.
Nave early Cll, chancel C12, W tower C14, S porch early C16, all well restored
in C19. The E angles of the chancel have half-round shafts with helical fluting
and raised dots, and plain cushion-capitals. In the E wall are 3 lancet windows
of c.1200 with chamfered jambs and heads. In the N wall are 2 small C12 windows
with chamfered jambs and semi-circular heads. In the S wall are 2 large lancet
windows, early C13, chamfered and rebated outside, restored. The eastern window
is higher in the wall than the other, and below it there is an early C16 doorway
with square head, moulded wooden frame and plain boarded door, blocked
internally. There is no chancel arch. The walls are plastered internally
except over the rear-arch of the SW window, and the roof is also plastered. At
the W end there is a single cambered tiebeam, moulded and crenellated, C16. The
nave has 2 N windows, the eastern C15, of 2 cinquefoiled lights under a square
head with double-convex moulded splays and a segmental-pointed rear-arch; the
western window is C16, of 2 plain lights under a square outer order, of brick
externally. Between them is the Cll doorway, only 710mm wide, now blocked. It
appears to be unrebated; the jambs have wide-jointed quoins; the stone lintel is
segmental at the top, forming a square head, ornamented with incised horizontal
and vertical lines. The internal lintel is of wood with similar ornament on the
soffit. In the S wall are 2 C15 windows, each of 2 cinquefoiled lights; the
eastern window has a square head and moulded label; the western originally had
tracery in a 2-centred head, but the upper part was altered to a segmental head
when the roof was rebuilt c.1500. Between the windows is the S doorway, early
Cll, with plain jambs, semi-circular tympanum forming the lintel, and grotesque
head corbels (the W restored). The tympanum has an irregular design of low-
relief carvings - 2 square interlacing patterns of different sizes, a band of
interlacing arches and a band of half-flowers. Asymmetrically superimposed is an
outer doorway, C12, with nook-shafts and scalloped capitals; the E shaft has
chevron ornament, the W shaft is missing. The arch is semi-circular with deeply-
incised chevron ornament. Outside, immediately E of the doorway, is a plain
stoup, C16, with Tudor arch, chamfered jambs and cylindrical well, the
projecting part broken off. At the W end of the nave there are diagonal
buttresses, C14. The roof is in 5 bays, of double hammerbeam construction with
simple pierced tracery in the spandrels and carved pendants in the middle of
each truss, c.1500; the wallplates are carved with running foliage. The square
W tower, C14, is built in 3 stages with diagonal buttresses and a low-pitched
pyramidal roof with projecting eaves, probably original. On the E face there
are stone weatherings for an earlier nave roof, higher and steeper than the
present one. The E doorway has jambs and 2-centred arch of 2 orders, defaced,
wih graffito IM 1716. The W window of the ground stage is of one pointed light,
defaced. At the second stage there are S and W windows each of a single pointed
light with chamfered 4-centred rear-arch. The bell-chamber has in each wall a
window originally of 2 trefoiled lights in a square head, much altered, with C16
brick jambs. The bell-cage is ancient, possible original, with curved saltire
bracing on the E and curved tension bracing elsewhere. The S porch is of red
brick, English bond, early C16, with a plain 2-light window in each side wall
and a 4-centred archway of 2 continuously chamfered orders, restored. The gable
is crow-stepped, with a terracotta sundial. The plank benches of the porch
appear to be original. There are 3 bells, the first C15, inscribed "Sancte
Gabriel", possibly by John Sturdy, the second by Miles Graye, 1617, the third by
Miles GraYe, 1661. There are 2 reversed shield of heraldic glass in the SE
window of the nave, late C15, representing Harsicke and Doreward. In the porch
there are floor slabs to (1) Radclyffe Hall, 1675, and (2) (Martha) wife of
Radclyffe Todd and (Thomas) Ferrand, 1679, defaced. In the chancel there are
floor slabs to (1) Thomas Ferrand, 1680, and (2) Thomas Ferrand, 1712. On the S
wall of the nave there is a tablet with shield of arms to Sarah Eliza
(Massingberd) Todd, 1794, and her husband Radcliffe Pearl Todd, 1813. On the N
wall there are the arms of George II, painted on canvas. This is a good example
of a simple parish church of early date, well maintained, its character
unaffected by elaborate fittings or monuments.

Listing NGR: TL6902243899

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