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Ruins of Old Chapel of St Thomas a Becket

A Grade II Listed Building in Brentwood, Essex

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Latitude: 51.62 / 51°37'12"N

Longitude: 0.3021 / 0°18'7"E

OS Eastings: 559465

OS Northings: 193754

OS Grid: TQ594937

Mapcode National: GBR XN.GV9

Mapcode Global: VHHN3.6J1Y

Plus Code: 9F32J8C2+2R

Entry Name: Ruins of Old Chapel of St Thomas a Becket

Listing Date: 21 October 1958

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1197221

English Heritage Legacy ID: 373468

Location: Brentwood, Essex, CM14

County: Essex

District: Brentwood

Electoral Ward/Division: Brentwood North

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Brentwood

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Brentwood St Thomas

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

Tagged with: Chapel

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723-1/12/77 (South side)
21/10/58 Ruins of old chapel of St Thomas a


Chapel. Founded c1221 by the Abbot of St Osyth for the use of
the abbey's tenants. Walls of irregular ragstone and flint
pebbles, indurated conglomerate blocks in lower courses. Much
repair with thin tile courses. Plan was rectangular nave and
smaller rectangular chancel, now outlined in C20 dwarf brick
walls. Only lower part of W end with tower base in NW angle
and a small section of N wall remain. 2 centred arched
doorways, W door and N door (adjacent to tower) had similar
mouldings - wave and double ogee divided by a cavetto. 2
centred tower arches to E and S now have restored heads with
residual plain chamfers, cavetto and reinstated outer wave
mouldings. The W elevation has diagonal outer buttresses and 2
inner ones set equally along the face. Although degraded they
have stone dressings with split flint panels. Within tower,
lower part of newel staircase in NW angle with stair light
through W wall, entry through door with 4 centred arched head.
The creasing line of the nave roof where it abutted the tower
is evident on the tower E face. The doorway mouldings show
that the building was rebuilt in the mid-later C14. The tower,
with related mouldings was contrived into the NW angle soon
after. The presence of indurated conglomerate in the lower
courses, tailing off above, suggests an origin earlier than
1221. In Essex churches it is used as a major walling material
in the Norman period (cf St Edmund and St Mary, Ingatestone
(qv)). The foundation of 1221 may have been a re-dedication of
an earlier building which either then, or in the later C14,
was rebuilt keeping the same plan for the nave but having
flint and ragstone as the principal material for the upper,
disturbed courses. The building served as a chapel until 1835,
and later as the Boys National School, until 1869 when it was
largely dismantled. In 1835 a new chapel was built on the site
of the present parish church, followed by the present church
in 1881. The chapel is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
(Central and SW Essex : Monument 1: 31; Guide to Parish Church
of St Thomas of Canterbury: 5; The Buildings of England:
Pevsner N: Essex: 1965-: 101).

Listing NGR: TQ5946593754

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