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Church of All Saints

A Grade II* Listed Building in Chelmsford, Essex

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Latitude: 51.7442 / 51°44'39"N

Longitude: 0.4893 / 0°29'21"E

OS Eastings: 571951

OS Northings: 207986

OS Grid: TL719079

Mapcode National: GBR PKC.QHG

Mapcode Global: VHJK2.FFJ7

Plus Code: 9F32PFVQ+MP

Entry Name: Church of All Saints

Listing Date: 20 May 1949

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1186867

English Heritage Legacy ID: 352573

Location: The Lawns, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1

County: Essex

District: Chelmsford

Electoral Ward/Division: The Lawns

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Chelmsford

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Springfield All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

Tagged with: Church building

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Church of All Saints

Nave c1100. Chancel rebuilt in the early C14 and north vestry also added. West tower is largely C14, but was rebuilt, probably after a collapse, in 1586. The church was restored by J Clarke in 1867, including rebuilding the south porch, with further work on the tower in 1883-4 by F Chancellor; he also extended the north vestry in 1887. Large north parish rooms complex of 1979 by Bryan Thomas and Partners, further extended in 1988 (of lesser interest).

MATERIALS: Flint rubble with stone dressings. Late C16 and C19 brick in the tower, C20 brick in the north extension. Timber framed south porch. Tiled and slated roofs.

PLAN: Chancel with north vestry, nave with south porch, west tower. North parish rooms complex.

EXTERIOR: The chancel is early C14, and has a three light east window with reticulated tracery and a hood mould with head stops; above it is a small, square-headed opening. The chancel south wall has three C14 windows, all of two lights, with different flowing tracery patterns; the westernmost is a low-side window with a dropped sill and transom. There is also a C14 priest's door with head stops. The chancel north wall has a C14 two-light window with an ogee head, and next to it a lean-to vestry, medieval in origin, and greatly extended in the C19. The north side is dominated by the very large, late C20 red brick parish rooms complex, but the nave north wall still retains medieval windows, more clearly visible internally, including a small light of c1100. The south nave wall has a C14-style window and two heavily restored C15 windows with square heads. The remains of a blocked window of c1100 is also visible behind the south porch. The C19 porch is timber framed, and has stained glass windows with figures on the sides. The three-stage west tower is partly flint rubble, but was substantially rebuilt in brick in the late C16 and again in the C19. It has large, C19 brick buttresses, a C19 polygonal brick stair turret and entirely restored embattled brick parapet. The west window is C19; there are narrow lights in the second stage, and C16 3-light brick windows in the upper stage. A restored inscription on the south side says, 'Prayse God for al the Good Benefectors Ano 1586'.

INTERIOR: The interior is plastered and painted. There is no chancel arch, but the division between nave and chancel is marked by a narrowing of the structure and change in roof form. The westernmost truss of the chancel roof has cusping; below it is a tie beam and a C15 screen. The door to the former rood stair, and part of the stair, survive in the chancel south wall. The C14 chancel windows have elaborate moulded and shafted rerearches and labels with head stops. The sill of the chancel south-east window is dropped and has C17 panelling around the lower part. There is a recess, probably for a locker or cupboard, in the chancel north wall, and a door to the vestry with stop chamfered mouldings and an early C16 door with its original door furniture. The C14 tower arch is of two chamfered orders; the head has become deformed. The corbels of the inner order are C19. In the east wall of the second stage of the tower, visible internally, are the remains of an opening and an arch in Roman brick; other openings or recesses are also visible in the north and east walls.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Outstanding late C12 font, one of the finest in the county, with floral scrolls around the square bowl and leaves on the base. Heavily restored early C14 piscina in chancel with a cusped inner arch on shafts and an outer label with head stops, contemporary with the rest of the chancel. C15 chancel screen, much restored, the opening with an elaborately cusped sub arch and similar tracery in the side arches. The dado has blind tracery carving, and similar patterns are used on the C19 timber lectern.

The altar table of 1624 was reduced in height in 1683; removed during the C19 restoration, it was returned in 1990. C17 panelling with an arabesque frieze on back of chancel south-east window forms a sedilia. Framed paintings of Moses and Aaron now at the back of the church date to 1643, but were formerly part of a reredos. Royal arms of 1791 in a Rococo frame.

Some interesting stained glass, including late C15 or early C16 fragments reset in the chancel north-east window, and a number of panels of Flemish C17 glass in the south-east and south-west chancel windows. There are some medieval and C16 fragments, including some armourial glass, reset in the nave south-west window. Also some good C19 and C20 glass.

Monuments: In the chancel, a brass of a man in armour, probably for Thomas Coggeshall, d.1421. There are a number of good ledger slabs, including several of the late C17, now removed from the floor and standing upright. Also some C19 wall tablets in the nave. Bequest board of 1624. A large war memorial to members of the Essex Yeomanry has a long roster of names of the dead from WWI.

HISTORY: There was a church in Springfield at the time of the Domesday book in 1086, and the present church dates to the late C11 or very early C12. The superb font is late C12. The chancel was rebuilt in the early C14 in a very smart style, and the tower and north vestry are also C14 in origin. The chancel arch was probably removed in the C15, when the present screen was installed, and the rood stair is probably also of this date. The tower apparently collapsed in the late C16 and was rebuilt in brick in 1586. The church was extensively refitted in the early C17, using money originally left to add a spire to the tower, but only some panelling and the altar table survive from this work. Further furnishing in the C17 included the paintings of Moses and Aaron that were part of a reredos. The chancel was restored, including some work on the screen, in 1840 by J A Repton, and the church was extensively restored in 1867 by Joseph Clarke (1819/20-1888), a well known church architect, who removed all of the post medieval furnishings. The paintings of Moses and Aaron were returned to the church in 1925 and the altar table in 1990. There was further work, including on the tower, in the late C19 by Frederic Chancellor (1825-1918), a well known Essex church architect who was seven times mayor of Chelmsford. The large north parish rooms complex was added in 1979 to designs by Bryan Thomas and Partners, who worked elsewhere in Essex on churches and other buildings. It was extended in 1988.

Bettley, J and Pevsner, N, Buildings of England: Essex, (2007) 728-9
Lambeth Palace Library, Incorporated Church Building Society 01984, 06566,
RCHME Essex vol. II, (1921) 218-20

The Church of All Saints, Springfield Green, Springfield, Chelmsford, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Parish church, late C11 or very early C12 in origin, preserving early fabric and windows in the nave
* Outstanding late C12 or very early C13 font
* Early C14 chancel with good windows
* C14 tower, extensively rebuilt in brick in 1586 after a collapse, with prominent buttresses
* Paintings of Moses and Aaron of 1643.
* C15 screen
* Some fragments of medieval glass, reset, and some C17 Flemish glass

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 25 October 2017.

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