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Parish Church of St Lawrence

A Grade I Listed Building in Ridgewell, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0393 / 52°2'21"N

Longitude: 0.5354 / 0°32'7"E

OS Eastings: 573992

OS Northings: 240908

OS Grid: TL739409

Mapcode National: GBR PFY.464

Mapcode Global: VHJHR.70DJ

Plus Code: 9F422GQP+P5

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Lawrence

Listing Date: 21 June 1962

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1165620

English Heritage Legacy ID: 114129

Location: Ridgewell, Braintree, Essex, CO9

County: Essex

District: Braintree

Town: Braintree

Civil Parish: Ridgewell

Built-Up Area: Ridgewell

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Ridgewell St Laurence

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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Stoke by Clare


6/43 Parish Church of St.
TL 74 SW Lawrence
Parish church, C14 and C15, restored in C19. Plastered flint and pebble rubble
with dressings of limestone and clunch, roofed with lead and handmade red clay
tiles. Doorway in N vestry late C12, reset. The Nave was rebuilt in the late
C14, the Chancel, N aisle and W tower rebuilt in mid-Cl5, N vestry, N chapel
and S porch added mid-C15. The Chancel is mainly C15, and has an E window of
3 cinquefoiled lights under a 4-centred head, with moulded external reveals
and label. In the N wall is a doorway with chamfered jambs and moulded 2-
centred arch and label. Further W is a late C14/early C15 arcade of 2 bays
with 2-centred arches of 2 hollow-chamfered orders; the column is octagonal
with moulded base and moulded and crenellated capital; the E respond has an
attached half-column; the capital, with that of the column, is grooved for a
screen; the W respond has a moulded and crenellated corbel. In the S wall are 3
windows; the 2 eastern are each of 3 cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a 4-
centred head; the westernmost window is similar, but of 2 lights. Between the 2
easternmost windows is a doorway with moulded jambs and 4-centred arch in a
square head; the spandrels are trefoiled. The chancel-arch is 2-centred and
of 2 moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on semi-
octagonal shafts with moulded and crenellated capitals and moulded bases; the
capitals and bases are cut back for a rood-screen; there are traces of red paint
in the arch. N of the arch is a squint with a cinquefoiled head on the W face.
The roof is scissor-braced in 7 cants, and the wallplates are crenellated.
The N Vestry has in the E wall a late C15 window of 2 cinquefoiled lights with
tracery in a 4-centred head. In the N wall is a late C12 doorway, reset and
blocked; it has a moulded 2-centred arch, partly cut away; the shafts are
missing or obscured, but water-leaf capitals remain. In the W wall is a C19
doorway. The N Chapel has in the N wall 2 windows; the eastern is C19 except
the C15 splays and rear-arch; the western window is late C14, of 2 cinquefoiled
and sub-cusped lights with elaborate tracery in an acute 2-centred head, with
moulded external reveals. In the W wall is a late C15 segmental-pointed arch
of 2 hollow-chamfered orders, the outer continuous, the inner resting on semi-
octagonal attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the N capital is
crenellated. Further S is a doorway to the rood-loft stair, with rebated jambs
and 4-centred arch; the stair is complete, blocked at the top. The Nave has
a late C15 N arcade of 4 bays; the 2-centred arches are of 2 chamfered orders,
the outer continuous, the inner resting on semi-octagonal attached shafts with
moulded capitals and bases. In the S wall are 2 late C15 windows, each of 3
cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a 4-centred head. Further W is the late
C14 S doorway with moulded jambs and 2-centred arch, and moulded label with
2 mutilated head-stops. The clerestorey has on both sides 4 late C15 windows,
each of 2 cinquefoiled lights in a 3-centred head; below the windows on both
walls is a moulded and crenellated string-course. The roof is in 4 bays with
arch-braced collars and side-purlins, the rafters and all main timbers moulded,
the collars crenellated, each with a foliate boss. The arches are mounted on
stone corbels. The wallplates have spiral vine-leaf carving. At half-bay
intervals there are intermediate rafters with stub hammerbeams ending in tenons
for angels or other carved figures, missing. Hewett dates this roof from the
first half of the C15 (Hewett 1982, p.31). The N aisle has the easternmost
bay of the N walls canted out on plan, probably to provide more altar space
against the E wall. In the E wall is a simple C15 window of one cinquefoiled
light. In the N wall are 2 mid to late C15 windows; the eastern is of 2
cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a 4-centred head; the western window is
of 3 cinquefoiled lights with quatrefoils in a 4-centred head, with moulded
external reveals and label. Further W is the C15 N doorway, blocked, with
double-chamfered jambs, 4-centred arch and moulded label. In the W wall is
a C15 window of 2 cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a 4-centred head. The
roof has 2 moulded bridging beams in the wide section, one moulded rafter, but
is otherwise plain. The W tower is mid to late C15, of 3 stages with a
crenellated parapet, SE turret stair and moulded plinth. The parapet is cement-
rendered. The plinth and the outer faces of the clasping buttresses are
decorated with flint and limestone flushwork. The 2-cented tower-arch is of
3 moulded orders on the E and 3 chamfered orders on the W side; the innermost
order rests on semi-circular attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases;
above the arch are the weatherings of an earlier nave roof. In the S wall is
a doorway to the turret stair, with chamfered jambs and 3-centred arch. The
stair is lit by 4 small quatrefoil windows with square surrounds, and one plain
square window. The W doorway has moulded jambs, 2-centred arch and label, and
the W window is of 3 cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a 2-centred head,
restored. The second stage has in the N and S walls a window of one pointed
lights, and a similar blocked window in the W wall. The bell-chamber has in
each wall a window of 2 cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a 2-centred
head. The S porch is mid to late C15, and has a 2-centred outer archway of 2
hollow-chamfered orders; the moulded responds have each a keeled attached shaft
with moulded capital and base, defaced; the S gable has a crow-stepped parapet
and trefoiled niche. The roof is cambered, in 2 bays, with moulded plates
and joists, contemporary with the structure. In the Chancel there is an indent
of a missing brass of a priest, C15. The font is octagonal with plain bowl,
stem panelled on 5 sides, the others plain, with moulded base, C15. In the
E window of the N aisle there are fragments of C15 and C16 glass. In the
Chancel there is a piscina with chamfered jambs, trefoiled head, projecting
basin and foiled drain, C14, reset. In the Vestry there is another, with
chamfered jambs, pointed head, foiled drain, C15, basin cut away. The pulpit
is octagonal with panelled sides, fluted frieze and moulded cornice, early C17.
The C15 screen under the chancel arch retains 4 close lower panels, each divided
by a twisted shaft and having an elaborate traceried head with foliated
spandrels and a band of quatrefoils at the foot; the tracery of the 2 outer
panels is enriched with red and gold; the truncated posts between the bays have
attached buttresses, with a moulded and foliated rail. In the Nave, E of the S
doorway, is a stoup with chamfered jambs and pointed head, C15, the bowl broken
off. There are 5 bells, the first and second by Richard Bowler, 1600 and 1601,
the third by Robert Ridere, the fourth by Charles Newman, 1695, the fifth
inscribed 'Sancte Johannes ora pro nobis, PW'. There are several medieval
graffiti in various parts of the church, of which the most remarkable is a C15
poem on the S respond of the N chapel arch.

Listing NGR: TL7399240908

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