An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.
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30. GRAYS THURROCK. (B.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. lxxxiii. S.E.)
Grays Thurrock or Grays is a town on the N. bank of the Thames, 2 m. N.W. of Tilbury.
(1). Parish Church of SS. Peter and Paul stands in the town. The walls are of ragstone and flint-rubble, with dressings of limestone; the roofs are tiled. The church, consisting of the Chancel and Nave, perhaps with provision for a central tower, was built probably in the first years of the 13th century or earlier; the cross-arches of the chancel although apparently modern may be copies or restorations of the original arches of that date. The Tower N. of the crossing was built c. 1230 and the South Chapel opposite was added c. 1280–90. The whole structure was largely re-built in 1846 when the nave was considerably lengthened westward, the North Aisle, South Porch and Vestry added, the upper part of the tower re-built, and most of the dressings, especially of the chancel, were renewed.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (23 ft. by 15¾ ft.) has been largely re-built and retains no ancient architectural features.
The Crossing (15½ ft. by 19 ft.) has E. and W. arches of late 12th or early 13th-century design but apparently entirely of modern stonework. The N. and S. arches are described below.
The North Tower (15¼ ft. square) is of three stages; the top stage is modern. The early 13th-century archway from the crossing is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the restored responds are chamfered and have moulded imposts. The E. and N. walls of the ground-stage have wall-arches of similar design and date. In the E. wall are three original graduated lancets and in the N. wall a similar lancet, all restored externally. In the W. wall is a modern archway. The second stage has both in the E. and N. walls an original lancet-window, modern externally, and in the W. wall is a similar window, now blocked. In the S.W. angle are two doorways, both probably original and now blocked; one has a later oak lintel and the other has the head cut away.
The South Chapel or Transept (18¼; ft. by 9¼ ft.) has in the N. wall a late 13th-century archway from the crossing; it is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the responds, partly restored, have original moulded capitals, of which the abaci have been cut away, and moulded bases. In the S. wall is a modern window, and in the W. wall a partly restored 13th-century lancet.
The Nave is modern except the E. half of the S. wall, in which is the S. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch, probably of the 13th century.
Fittings—Brasses: In chancel — on S. wall, figures of two women in pedimental head-dresses and group of six children, early 16th-century. Chairs: In chancel—two (Plate, p. xlii) with pierced and carved backs, shaped and carved arms and turned legs with carved and turned rails, possibly late 17th-century. Floor-slab: In tower— to Jeremiah Watts, 1711. Font (Plate, pp. xlii–iii): octagonal, with moulded top and under-side, each face with square panel carved with blank shields, roses, a flower, irradiated Agnus Dei, and a shield—a cheveron between three cinqfoils, two of the blank shields have later scratchings; stem with pointed panels and moulded base, 15th or early 16th-century. Funeral-helm, etc.: In chancel—on N. wall, combed helm with vizor, late 16th-century; on S. wall, gauntlet and short sword. Lockers: In N. wall of chancel, twin lockers with rebated jambs and round heads, date uncertain, probably early 13th-century. Niche: In S. transept—in W. wall, square and plastered, date uncertain. Panelling: Used in door in second stage of tower, 17th-century. Piscina: In S. transept—in S. wall, with moulded jambs and trefoiled head, round drain, 13th-century. Plate: includes cup dated 1663, paten dated 1628 and larger paten dated 1685. Screen: Under S. arch to N. tower—with entrance having multifoiled and traceried head, half modern, four bays on each side each with cinque-foiled ogee heads and tracery, moulded mullions and moulded and embattled cornice, early 16th-century. Tiles: In vestry— black and yellow glazed tiles laid in patterned bands, found on site of cottage N. of the church and relaid here.
Condition—Good, mostly re-built.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
High Street, W. Side
(2). Bull Inn, and range of tenements, 80 yards S. of the church, are of two storeys with attics and form a long rectangular building of late 17th-century date which is of plastered brickwork; at the back is a modern addition. Above an open carriage-way running through the middle of the inn is an original three-light window divided by pilasters having moulded capitals and bases; the centre light has a semi-circular head. On the E. and W. sides of the building is a modillioned eaves-cornice. The attics are lighted by five gabled dormer-windows on the W. front and four on the E.
(3). House, now two tenements, 100 yards S. of (2), is of two storeys with attics. It is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. The S. wall is of brick and there are modern additions at the back. Inside the building, against the chimney-stack, is an original circular staircase leading up to the attics.
(4). House, now two tenements, opposite (3), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. It has modern additions at the back.
(5). House, 40 yards N. of (4), is built of brick and faced with plaster. The front block, facing the street, is of early 17th-century date but has later modern additions at the back.
(6). Shop, on S. side of Argent Street, 60 yards S.W. of (3), is of two storeys with attics. It is a fragment of a larger building.