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Church of St Giles

A Grade I Listed Building in Mountnessing, Essex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6439 / 51°38'37"N

Longitude: 0.3809 / 0°22'51"E

OS Eastings: 564831

OS Northings: 196581

OS Grid: TQ648965

Mapcode National: GBR NK2.T9N

Mapcode Global: VHJKD.KY65

Entry Name: Church of St Giles

Listing Date: 10 April 1967

Last Amended: 9 December 1994

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1208238

English Heritage Legacy ID: 373740

Location: Mountnessing, Brentwood, Essex, CM13

County: Essex

District: Brentwood

Civil Parish: Mountnessing

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Mountnessing St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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Listing Text


MOUNTNESSING

TQ69NW OLD CHURCH ROAD
723-1/6/462 (North side)
10/04/67 Church of St Giles
(Formerly Listed as:
BRENTWOOD
OLD CHURCH LANE, Mountnessing
Church of St Giles)

GV I

Parish church. Late C11 origin, altered in C13, C17 and early
C19, restored in 1889. Mixed rubble with dressings of
limestone and Reigate stone, and red brick in English bond,
roofed with handmade red brick tiles. The nave is of late C11
origin, but the only visible evidence is the use of Roman
bricks and tiles in the NE quoin, and the re-use of indurated
conglomerate in the C13 aisle walls; W end 1653. N and S
aisles built in mid-C13, but N aisle re-faced and S aisle
rebuilt in 1889. Belfry in W end of nave, C15. Chancel early
C19. S porch and S organ-chamber 1889.
CHANCEL: the chancel is of handmade red bricks, with some blue
flared bricks, in English bond; a brick in the E wall, 1.30m
above ground, is inscribed `SB. 1818', probably the master
mason and date of construction. The E window is of 3 lights
with a 2-centred head of gauged brick, moulded wooden frame,
mullions and Gothic tracery. Clasping buttresses with tumbled
courses at the offsets. The N window is rectangular, with a
flat arch of gauged brick, 4 lights with 2-centred Gothic
heads, one wrought-iron casement on pintle hinges with one of
2 spiral latches, moulded wooden frame and mullion, horizontal
saddle bars, diamond-shaped vertical bars behind, and leaded
rectangular glazing. The roof is in 5 bays with exposed butt
purlins, collars, rafters, ridge and 2 tie-beams.
NAVE: the nave has a mid-C13 N arcade of 3 bays, partly
restored and re-set, with 2-centred arches of 2 chamfered
orders; the round columns have moulded bell-capitals, the
eastern carved with stiff-leaf foliage and a head with foliage
held in the mouth; the E respond is semi-octagonal and has a
moulded capital with stiff-leaf foliage; the W respond and all
the bases are C19. The S arcade is generally similar to the N
arcade but is slightly later in date; the capital of the
eastern column is C19, and that of the western column is
simply moulded; the E respond is semicircular and has a
semi-octagonal moulded capital with C15 detail; re-set below
it is a carved corbel, much defaced; the W respond is
semi-octagonal with a moulded capital. E of the arcade is a
cutting through the wall containing brick steps to the S,
probably of a former rood-stair of which the remainder has
been lost in the C19 alterations, the S plain doorway to it is
rebated on the W jamb for a door. The W wall is of red brick
in English bond, re-pointed with cement mortar, with 4 stepped
buttresses and some C19 repairs; in the gable is a blank
recess with moulded jambs and straight head, with a moulded
projecting sill and broken entablature with steeply-pitched
pediment; above the recess is the date 1653 in moulded brick.
The W doorway is C19. The W window is C15, re-set and
restored, of 2 cinquefoiled lights with recessed spandrels,
square head, moulded label, and chamfered 4-centred rear-arch;
each light has 5 wrought-iron horizontal bars of C17 or C15
origin, with renewed vertical bars. The roof of the nave has
been rebuilt, retaining 3 C15 crownposts and some other
components; the crownpost on the middle tie-beam is octagonal
with a moulded capital and base.
N AND S AISLES: the N aisle has an E window, all C19 except
the splays and chamfered 2-centred rear-arch. The E wall is of
C13 construction, with reused rubble from the former N wall of
the nave, including indurated conglomerate, Roman bricks and
tiles, and field stones, roughly coursed. The N wall has been
re-worked in the C19, re-using similar rubble without coursing
and with regular alteration of the various materials. There
are 2 C13 single-light windows with trefoiled heads, re-set;
the C19 limestone sills show that the chamfered jambs of
Reigate stone or clunch have weathered seriously since the
restoration of 1889, probably owing to removal of the older
surface. Between the windows is a C13 doorway with chamfered
jambs and 2-centred arch, also seriously weathered; it is
blocked internally. In the W wall of C19 brick is a C19
window. The S aisle has been wholly rebuilt in the C19; it has
no ancient features other than some reused collars in the
roof.
BELFRY: the C15 timber belfry is inside the W end of the nave,
with 2 timber shores extending into each aisle, integrated
with the roof of the nave; it has been repaired in the C19,
all the sills and some other components replaced in matching
style and quality. It is built in 3 stages, of which 2 are
visible from below; no access to upper part. Of the 4 main
posts, the 2 eastern posts are hollow-chamfered with 5-sided
attached shafts, each face slightly concave, with elaborately
moulded capitals; both bases and the whole of the SE post
renewed. These posts rise to a tie-beam across the wallplates
of the nave, with 2 hollow-chamfered braces forming a
2-centred arch; S brace renewed. The W crownpost of the nave
roof is moulted on this tie-beam. The western posts also rise
to a tie-beam across the nave, but are without attached
shafts, and have a cambered tie at half-height, repaired, with
2 original posts rising to it, dividing this side into an
arcade, with plain-chamfered arch-braces in each outer bay;
above the intermediate tie 2 plain arch-braces rise to the
main tie-beam. The N and S sides of the first stage are also
divided into half-stages by hollow-chamfered cambered
tie-beams; a C19 post below the middle of each tie-beam
appears not to be an accurate reproduction of the original
construction. Hollow-chamfered arch-braces rise to each
intermediate tie, and above it a hollow chamfered post divides
the space into 2 panels each of which is saltire-braced by 4
straight or subtly-curved plain braces, halved at the
cross-wings. Gruck-like shores extend from the main posts into
the aisles; the SE shore has been wholly renewed, the others
are scarfed to renewed timber near their bases. 2 cambered E-W
tie-beams are mounted across the main tie-beams to form a
square base to the second main stage, with hollow-chamfered
arch-braces from the intermediate posts of the W frame, and
short spandrel-posts in the E frame. 8 posts about 2m high
form the second stage, the sides elaborately braced with
doubled curved saltire braces, and some C19/20 reinforcement.
Diagonal beams form the floor of the third stage, each with 2
hollow-chamfered arch-braces from the corner posts; 4 plain
joists of horizontal section complete each quarter. The third
stage is weatherboarded externally, without apertures, and
forms the base of a shingled octagonal timber spire.
FITTINGS: panelled wooden reredos, c1730, with paintings of
Moses to left, Aaron to right, and carved and gilt foliage and
cornice, restored. Communion rail, c1730, with twist-turned
balusters. Font with octagonal bowl, each face with a square
panel enclosing carvings of 3 fishes, compass, square and
mallet, a formy cross, flowers and foliage, moved from Hutton
Parish Church (qv) in 1873 (the previous font is illustrated
in Quarterly Papers on Architecture (ed. Weale), 1845.
MONUMENTS: (1) in chancel to Edmund Peert [1676], white marble
tablet with knotted drapery, tassels and achievement of arms,
(2) to John Prescott, 1750, white and grey marble tablet with
blank shield, (3) to Henry Blencowe, 1765, white marble tablet
with achievement of arms and moulded segmental pediment, (4)
to Henry Prescott Blencowe, 1787, and Elizabeth his widow
1843, black and white marble with fluted pilasters and
brackets, paterae and moulded open pediment. Floor-slabs in
Chancel (1) to Edmund Peert, 1676, black marble with shield of
arms, (2) to Alexander Prescott, 1701, limestone with shield
of arms, (3) to Alexander Prescott, 1731, white marble, (4) to
Alexander Prescott date illegible, limestone with shield of
arms, (5) to Mary daughter of Francis Woolmer, 1707,
limestone, and (7) one other, limestone, much eroded.
Benefactions boards in S chapel, C18, with moulded frames and
reversed curves at corners (1) concerning Endimion Canning,
1681, (2) concerning John English and Amey his wife, 1790.
Bell, not accessible, reported to be by Thomas Bullisdon,
inscribed `Sancte Jacobe Ora Pro Nobis', c1500. It has been
suggested that the present S porch was moved from Thoby Priory
(since demolished) (Austin, 1989).
This church is listed at Grade I because of the outstanding
quality of the timber belfry.
(Quarterly Papers on Architecture: Weale: 1845-: 37; Austin G:
Another Miller's Tale: 1989-).


Listing NGR: TQ6483196581

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