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Church of St Mary the Virgin

A Grade II* Listed Building in Shenfield, Essex

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Latitude: 51.632 / 51°37'55"N

Longitude: 0.3185 / 0°19'6"E

OS Eastings: 560557

OS Northings: 195127

OS Grid: TQ605951

Mapcode National: GBR YG.T42

Mapcode Global: VHHN3.G7QQ

Entry Name: Church of St Mary the Virgin

Listing Date: 21 October 1958

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1197213

English Heritage Legacy ID: 373445

Location: Brentwood, Essex, CM15

County: Essex

District: Brentwood

Town: Brentwood

Electoral Ward/Division: Shenfield

Built-Up Area: Brentwood

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Shenfield St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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Listing Text


TQ69NW HALL LANE, Shenfield
723-1/6/273 (West side)
21/10/58 Church of St Mary the Virgin


Parish church. C15 and early C16, restored in late C19,
extended in late C19 and C20. Walls cement-rendered, probably
of flint rubble, with limestone dressings, and some red brick
in English bond, roofed with machine-made red clay tiles;
belfry weatherboarded, spire shingled. Chancel, nave, W tower
extension and S porch C15, N aisle late C15/early C16, N
chapel late C19, N vestry and N hall C20.
EXTERIOR: the chancel is structurally undivided from the nave.
The E window is C19, except the C15 splays, chamfered
2-centred rear-arch, and external moulded label. In the N wall
is a C19 arch to the N chapel, and in the S wall are 2 C19
windows and a C19 doorway. The nave has a late C15/early C16
timber N arcade of 6 bays with moulded columns, each with 4
attached shafts, capitals and bases, all cut in the solid, and
timber sub-bases; the E respond and eastern columns have been
partly restored and the timber arches are C19. In the S wall
are 3 windows, all C19 except the C15 chamfered
segmental-pointed rear-arches. Further W is the C15 S doorway
with moulded jambs and 4-centred arch, and label with voluted
INTERIOR: aligned with the first column of the N arcade is a
moulded and crenellated rood-beam. Above it the barrel-vault
roof is divided by 2 spiral-carved arch braces which together
form a semicircular arch. Aligned with the fifth column of the
N arcade is a chamfered tie-beam, probably C19, supporting a
C15 cross-quadrate crownpost with 4-way arched rising braces;
the remainder of the visible roof is C19. The N aisle has in
the N wall 6 C19 windows. Between the 2 western-most windows
is a section of early C16 red brick wall and contemporary
buttress, which last has been extended in the C19; in this
wall is the early C16 N doorway of red brick, set in a slight
projection crenellated at the top; the doorway has moulded
jambs and 4- centred arch under a square moulded label; the
door is of V-edged and grooved vertical boards nailed to
battens, blocked and concealed on the inside. In the W wall is
a C19 doorway to the former vestry, now extended to form a
hall. The visible roof is C19. The W tower extension is
square, of the same span as the nave, the walls carried up
approx one metre above those of the nave. In the W wall is a
C15 window of 3 cinquefoiled lights in a segmental head, with
a moulded label; each light has an early wrought-iron grill.
The extension encloses the timber-frame of the belfry. The
frame has 4 posts on each side, from which spring
hollow-chamfered arched braces forming 4-centred arches
supporting 4 chamfered tie-beams; all the posts have
hollow-chamfered attached shafts aligning with the braces, cut
in the solid; the corner posts are additionally
hollow-chamfered, and expand to various degrees at the feet;
the expanded foot of the SE post is mutilated. The sills have
been replaced by concrete plinths. Between the second and
third posts on each side is a girt on heavy arched braces;
above the girt are saltire braces halved at the crossings.
Between the other pairs of posts at each side are short
horizontal ties which have been mutilated to various degrees
by the insertion of steel stanchions. Above each of the 8
arched braces from the main posts is an original
spandrel-post. Ogee-curved braces of square section rise from
the E and W spandrel-posts, pass through the spandrels of the
inner arches and the C19 floor of the second stage. The C15 S
porch is in 2 bays. The walls may have been timber-framed
originally but are now of cement-rendered masonry to half-
height, with C19 mullions and cinquefoiled lights above. The
wallplates and richly moulded tenoned cornices are original,
apart from minor repairs at the N ends, chamfered and stopped
below for 3 posts and 6 mullions on each side. The 3
hollow-moulded tie-beams are original, with a C19 planted
moulding on the outer tie-beam. The 2 inner tie-beams have
original chamfered arched braces, short cross- quadrate
crownposts, with 4 rising braces on the middle post, 3 on the
inner post; one original brace on the renewed outer crownpost.
The collar-purlin, rafters and sprockets are substantially
original. All the rafters have gauging holes facing S.
FITTINGS AND MONUMENTS: on the E wall of the chancel is a C15
stone bracket, semi-octagonal, moulded and carved with foliage
and 2 defaced shields, moved from the N wall since the RCHM
inspection. The font has an octagonal bowl, moulded and carved
with a quatrefoil in each face, with 3 heads and 5 flowers in
the centres, and a C20 base and stem. The C19 octagonal pulpit
has an earlier stone base with 3 stone steps and moulded
coping. In the S porch is an indent for a brass, defaced. In
the W tower extension is (1), against the W wall, a monument
to Elizabeth [Merrell], wife of Timothy Robinson, 1652;
panelled and moulded limestone altar-tomb with skull at end,
inscription on front obstructed by a pew, black marble top,
alabaster effigy of woman in shroud reclining on tasselled
cushion, holding a skull in her right hand, cradling an infant
in christening gown in her left arm; 2 shields of arms on wall
above; and (2), against the S wall, a limestone tablet or
floor-slab of John Ashurst, 1676, and Eleanor his fourth wife,
1677, with shield of arms. On the N wall of the N aisle is a
limestone tablet to Elizabeth, wife of Charles White, 1735,
their daughter Elizabeth Ann and Elizabeth, and Charles White,
1753, with black marble Ionic columns and scrolled pediment,
with shield of arms. On the S wall of the nave is a white
marble tablet to Mary, widow of John Gurdon, 1771, and their
daughter Mary, 1792, with oval raised border. In the NW lobby
are limestone tablets to (1) Maria, wife of RM Robinson, 1821,
and (2) the Reverend Philip Salter, 1829, and his wife Jane,
1830. On the N wall of the N aisle are the arms of Charles I,
painted on canvas in a moulded wooden frame, and on the N and
W walls are 3 hatchments. In the W extension are 12 early C17
pews with panelled backs and ends and moulded rails.

Listing NGR: TQ6055795127

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

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