An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3, North East. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1922.
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40. GREAT TEY. (B.c.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Barnabas (Plate, p. 130) stands in the village. The walls are of flint-rubble mixed with Roman bricks and some freestone; the dressings are of limestone and the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The Central Tower with the remains of the S. arcade of the Nave were built early in the 12th century. Early in the 14th century the Chancel was rebuilt and later in the same century the North and South Transepts were built. In the 15th century the S. arch of the tower was inserted. The greater part of the nave and both the side aisles were pulled down in 1829 and the W. wall built; the North and South Porches on the site of part of the former aisles are modern and the church was restored in the 20th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (40 ft. by 19½ ft.) has an E. gable with kneelers carved with grotesque heads and ball-flowers; in the apex is a 14th-century cusped panel with a modern inscription; the early 14th-century E. window is of five lights, one cinquefoiled and the rest trefoiled and with tracery in a two-centred head; the rear-arch and both labels are moulded and have grotesque and head-stops. In the N. wall are three early 14th-century windows each of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops. In the S. wall are three windows similar to those in the N. wall; one stop has a bishop's head; below the middle window is an early 14th-century doorway (Plate, p. 142) with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label carved with square and ball-flowers.
The Central Tower (18 ft. by 17½ ft.) is of four stages divided externally by projecting courses of Roman brick and is entirely of c. 1100 except the N. and S. arches and the embattled parapet. The circular N.W. stair-turret rises above the parapet, but the lower part is now blocked. The E. and W. arches are of c. 1100 and are each semi-circular and of two plain orders on the W. face with chamfered imposts. The late 14th-century N. arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on semi-octagonal shafts with moulded and carved capitals. The late 14th-century S. arch is of distorted, two-centred form and of three chamfered orders, the two outer continuous and the inner resting on semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals. Above the adjoining roofs in both the N. and S. walls are two small blocked openings with round heads; between them in the S. wall is a modern opening. The second stage has in the E. wall externally two round-headed recesses or panels of Roman brick. The N. and S. walls have each two groups each of three similar recesses and forming a wall-arcade. The third stage has in each wall two round-headed windows of two plain orders and built partly of stone and partly of Roman brick. The bell-chamber has in each wall three windows; the middle one is of two round-headed lights with a central column, having a voluted or cushion capital with a Roman brick abacus; the whole is enclosed in a round-headed outer order forming a tympanum; the other two windows are plain round-headed openings of two square orders.
The North Transept (19½ ft. by 10½ ft.) has in the E. wall a modern doorway. In the N. wall is a late 14th-century window of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental-pointed head and partly restored.
The South Transept (19½ ft. by 9 ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a segmental-pointed head; the splays are shafted and the rear-arch moulded. In the S. wall is a mid 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head. In the W. wall is a reset arch perhaps of the 16th century; it is three-centred and of three chamfered orders the inner resting on attached shafts with crudely moulded capitals.
The Nave has no ancient features except the early 12th-century capitals of the E. respond and first column of the S. arcade, buried in the S. wall; the capitals have voluted angles, remains of carving and square chamfered abaci; the columns were apparently cylindrical; between them is set a two-centred 15th-century arch, visible on the S. side and of two moulded orders, the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals; the arch is now blocked and contains a modern doorway.
The Roof of the chancel has 14th-century moulded wall-plates. Part of the 15th-century roof of the N. transept is visible in the modern staircase to the tower. The floor of the bell-chamber is supported on 15th-century curved transverse braces, with a carved boss at the intersection; this may at one time have been open to the church.
Fittings—Altar: In chancel—in recess of piscina, Purbeck marble slab with three incised consecration crosses, slab originally about 2 ft. long and possibly for insertion in larger slab. Bells: eight, 1st and 2nd by John Darbie, 1682; 3rd by the same founder, 1671; 7th and 8th by Miles Graye, 1626 and 1629. Chairs: In chancel —two with cane backs, one with turned and twisted legs and posts, the other with curved arms and carved legs, late 17th-century. Chests: In nave—of iron and iron-bound, painted with foliage and figures of a man and woman, mid 17th-century and probably foreign. In N. porch—iron-bound and with convex lid, probably 16th-century. Coffin-lids: Outside S. porch and nave—three, one plain, one with traces of cross, and one coped and with a cross in relief, 13th-century. Communion Table: with plain turned legs, early 17th-century. Font: octagonal bowl, with quatrefoiled and octofoiled panels, flowers and defaced heads carved on underside, traceried panels on stem, early 15th-century. Piscinae: In chancel— with moulded jambs and trefoiled ogee head with traceried spandrels, early 14th-century. In S. transept—with trefoiled head, shelf and octofoiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1561 with bands of incised ornament. Royal Arms: In S. porch—of Charles II, painted on canvas. Seating: Incorporated in reading-desk, four bench-ends with traceried panels and popeys carved with a crowned head and a man playing the bagpipes, 15th-century. Sedilia: In chancel—three bays with cinquefoiled heads, shafted jambs and two free columns, early 14th-century, almost completely restored. Miscellanea: Built into the walls of an outhouse at the Vicarage, several 12th-century carved capitals from the nave of the church; another similar capital is in the garden of the Vicarage.
b(5). Trumpingtons, house, barn and moat, nearly 1¼ m. S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered or weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Several of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
a(8). House and smithy, 100 yards N.W. of the church, was built probably in the 15th century. Inside the building are two of the original doorways in the former 'screens' and an original king-post roof-truss.
b(12). Teybrook Farm, house and barn, about ½ m. S. of the church. The House has an addition of c. 1700 at the W. end. The upper storey projects on the S. side. Attached to the chimney-stack on the N. side is a small round stair-turret of brick, from which the stairs have been removed. The front door is original and has moulded rails forming a diamond pattern; the back doorway has a four-centred head and a door of overlapping battens. Inside the building are some original doors and panelling.
a(23). Abraham's Farm, house and barn, ½ m. E. of (22). The House was built in the 15th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The Hall block was divided into two storeys probably early in the 17th century. Inside the building are two original doorways each with double chamfered jambs and a four-centred arch in a square head. There is also a panelled door of c. 1600.
a(26). Lambert's Farm, house and outbuilding, 250 yards S. of (25). The House is of late 16th or early 17th-century date. The Outbuilding, W. of the house, has lower walls of brick and of the same date; the upper part has been rebuilt.
a(29). House, 200 yards S.E. of (28), was built probably late in the 16th century. The N.W. gable has original barge-boards with much weathered carving. The original chimney-stack on the N. side has tabled offsets. Inside the building are original moulded ceiling-beams.