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Parish Church of St Margaret of Antioch

A Grade I Listed Building in Toppesfield, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0082 / 52°0'29"N

Longitude: 0.5332 / 0°31'59"E

OS Eastings: 573963

OS Northings: 237447

OS Grid: TL739374

Mapcode National: GBR PGB.3LZ

Mapcode Global: VHJHR.6S7D

Plus Code: 9F422G5M+77

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Margaret of Antioch

Listing Date: 21 June 1962

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1165328

English Heritage Legacy ID: 114497

Location: Toppesfield, Braintree, Essex, CO9

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Toppesfield

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Toppesfield St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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6/11 Parish Church of St.
21.6.62 Margaret of Antioch
Parish church, mainly C14 with later alterations. Walls of flint rubble,
plastered, with dressings of limestone and clunch. W tower of red and blue
bricks in Flemish bond, N porch timber framed. Roofs of handmade red clay
tiles. Nave of uncertain date, lengthened towards the W, and S aisle added
c.1300, N wall partly rebuilt in C15 except a short length each side of the
N doorway. Chancel late C14. N and S porches C15. W tower and W gallery 1699.
S vestry and general restoration C19. The Chancel has the axis deflected
towards the S. The E window is C19 except the internal splays and hollow-
chamfered rear-arch, late C14. There are 2 windows in the N wall, mainly C19.
In the S wall there are 3 windows; the easternmost is C15, restored, of 2
cinquefoiled lights under a square head with moulded label; the middle window
is C19. The westernmost is late C14, of 2 cinquefoiled lights with tracery
in a 2-centred head with moulded label; the lower part formed a low-side window,
rebated for a shutter. The late C14 Chancel-arch is 2-centred and of 2
chamfered orders; the responds have each a semi-octagonal attached shaft with
moulded capital and base. The nave has in the N wall 3 windows; the 2 eastern
windows are late C15, restored, each of 3 cinquefoiled lights under a square
head with moulded label; the westernmost is C19. Between this and the middle
window is the N doorway, c.1300, with moulded jambs and 2-centred arch.
S arcade of c.1330 is of 4 bays with 2-centred arches of 2 chamfered orders;
The octagonal columns have moulded capitals and bases; the E respond has an
attached half-column, restored, and the W respond is chamfered, with a moulded
corbel on a carved head. E of the arcade is the plain doorway to the former
rood-loft, blocked on the N side. The roof of the nave has 4 tiebeams, of which
one is moulded and carved with running foliage, c.1500. In the S aisle the
E window is C20. In the S wall there are 3 windows, C19 except the C15 internal
splays and rear-arches. Between the 2 westernmost windows is the S doorway,
c.1330, with moulded jambs and 2-centred arch; the moulded label has defaced
head-stops. In the W wall is a C15 window, restored, of 2 cinquefoiled lights
under a square head with moulded label. The roof of the aisle is late C15,
built in 4 bays with cambered tiebeams at half-bay intervals. All the tiebeams
are moulded, with moulded braces to the main ties, and foliate carving in the
spandrels. 3 of the 8 bridging beams and about half of the rafters are moulded,
the remainder plain-chamfered with lamb's tongue stops, C17. The W tower is
built of brick in Flemish bond, the main walls of contrasting red stretchers
and blue headers, the clasping buttresses of red brick. It is of 3 stages
separated by dentilled bands, with a parapet of 2 concave curves on each side
and 8 pinnacles with plain pyramidal caps. The tower-arch is of one chamfered
semi-circular order continued down the responds; the 2 outer orders of the
responds are continued upwards to form a square head with plain spandrels.
The W window is now of one square-headed light with diamond leading and some
early glass, but formerly had a mullion. The second stage has in the E wall
a doorway from the gallery; above the roof of the nave is a square sunk panel.
The N and S walls have each an elliptical window with a square sunk panel above
it. In the W wall is a round-headed window, and below it a panel containing
a stone slab inscribed 'To the memory of Mr. Robert Wilde late Rector of this
Parish who gave 100 1. towards ye building ye steple Anno 1699', with the names
of the rector, churchwarden and bricklayer. There is a plain timber gallery
in 4 bays in the W end of the nave, with stairs rising to it from inside the
tower, and more stairs rising from it to the entrance in the second stage, all
with flat balusters, contemporary with the tower. The front of the gallery
has been re-faced with re-used panelling and fluted pilasters, C18/19. The
N porch is timber framed, with moulded posts at each angle. The entrance
archway has moulded posts and a 4-centred head with foliate carved spandrels.
Above is a moulded and crenellated tiebeam, and a gable formed of hollow-moulded
studs slotted for vertical planks. The roof is of king-post construction with a
moulded ridge-piece, wallplates and rafters, partly restored. The lower parts
of the side walls are built-up with cement-rendered brickwork. The S porch
is of masonry, C15, with a crenellated parapet and a grotesque gargoyle on the W
side. The outer archway and E and W windows are mainly C19. In the S wall
of the chancel there is a piscina with hollow-chamfered jambs and broach stops,
cinquefoiled head, stone shelf and octofoiled drain, and in range with it 2
sedilia in similar style, all late C14. Further W there is an altar-tomb with
cusped cross in relief, recessed canopy with cinquefoiled and sub-cusped arch
of segmental-pointed form, late C14. There is a piscina in the S wall of the
S aisle, with chamfered jambs, cinquefoiled head, cinquefoiled drain, and basin
broken off, C14. On the N sides of the arcade columns there are inscribed
consecration crosses formy in circles, c.1330. In the E window of the S aisle
there is C15 glass of a kneeling angel with censer, fragments of a female saint
and censing angel, probably part of the Coronation of the Virgin. The font
has an octagonal bowl cut down, and an octagonal stem with square top of re-used
stone, possibly C13. In the chancel there is a brass to William Cracherod,
1585, and Elizabeth his wife, 1587, inscription only, partly covered by the
organ. On the E wall there is a monument to Richard King, S.T.P., vicar of
the parish and chaplain to James I, black and white marble tablet, undated;
and on the N wall a monument to Dorcas, wife of William Smyth and widow of
William Bigg, 1633, brown marble tablet with pilasters, cornice and broken
pediment enclosing a beehive. Also in the chancel there are floor slabs to
(1) Elizabeth, wife of Christopher Erle, 1655, (2) Mordaunt Cracherod, 1666,
below the choir stalls, (3) Robert Wilde, rector, 1690, with shield of arms,
and (4) Thomas Willet, rector, 1730, and his son John, 1731. Another floor
slab is covered by the altar steps, only the date 1793 visible. On the N wall
of the tower there are the arms of Queen Anne on canvas, incorrectly repainted
in the C19, framed. There are 5 bells, the first by Henry Pleasant, 1702, the
second, third and fourth by Anthony Bartlet, 1675.

Listing NGR: TL7396337447

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