6. BASILDON. (D.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)lxviii. S.E. (b)lxxvi. N.E.)
Basildon is a parish 4 m. S.E. of Billericay.
a(1). Parish Church of Holy Cross (Plate,
p. xxxii) stands near the middle of the parish. The
walls are of ragstone-rubble and brick with dressings
of Reigate and other limestone: the roofs are tiled.
The Nave was built in the 14th century and about
the middle of the 15th century the South Porch
was added, followed by the West Tower c. 1500.
The Chancel was re-built in brick in 1597. In
1702 the church was extensively repaired, most
of the N. wall of the nave being re-built in brick.
The church has been restored in modern times.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (17½ ft.
by 18 ft.) is of red 16th-century brick and has a
modern E. window. Above it is an inscription
recording the building of the chancel by Arthur
Den [ham 1597]. The S. wall has been re-built
above the plinth and has two modern windows.
There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (41¼ ft. by 20½ ft.) has in the N. wall
a re-set 15th-century window of two trefoiled lights
in a square head with a moulded label; further
W. is the 14th-century N. doorway with moulded
jambs, two-centred arch and defaced label; it is
now blocked; W. of the doorway the wall is
probably of the 14th century but E. of it the wall,
as indicated in a painted inscription on a framed
board, is of 1702. In the S. wall are two windows,
the eastern of the 15th century and of three
cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded
label; the western window is similar but of two
lights; between them is the 14th-century S.
doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred
The West Tower (9 ft. by 9½ ft.) is of c. 1500 and
of three stages, divided externally into two by a
string-course. The two-centred tower-arch is of
two orders, the outer moulded and continuous and
the inner chamfered and dying on to the side walls.
The W. window is of two cinque-foiled lights in a
square head with a moulded label; the W. doorway
has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label.
The N., S. and W. walls of the second stage have
each a window of one trefoiled light with a square
moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall
a window of two trefoiled lights in a square head
with a moulded label.
The South Porch is of mid 15th-century date
and is timber-framed. The four-centred outer
archway has spandrels carved with defaced foliage.
The barge-boards of the S. gable have rather
elaborate trefoiled cusping. The side walls have
been much restored and have each two bays, each
bay divided into four lights by moulded mullions.
The roof has moulded wall-plates and a cambered
tie-beam with curved braces; the spandrels are
carved with a bear and ragged staff (Plate, p. 84)
and a dragon.
The Roof of the chancel is of early 16th-century
date and has moulded and embattled purlins,
moulded ridge and rafters and principals with
curved braces forming three-centred arches. The
nave has five chamfered tie-beams probably of
early 18th-century date.
Fittings—Bells: three, inaccessible but said to
be, 2nd by William Land, 1634; 3rd by Henry
Jordan, 15th-century and inscribed "Sancta
Margareta Ora Pro Nobis." Brass Indents: In
nave—partly under pulpit, (1) of figure with remains
of marginal inscription in Lombardic letters, 14th-century; (2) of half figure of priest and inscription-plate. Communion Rails: with moulded and
carved rail and turned and twisted balusters,
c. 1700. Communion Table: In tower—with turned
baluster legs, c. 1700. Door: In S. doorway—
of moulded overlapping battens, 16th-century.
Monument: In churchyard—S.E. of chancel, to
Mary, daughter of John Betts, 1662, head-stone.
Plate: includes cup of 1709 with the date 1710
and the arms of Queen Anne. Royal Arms: In
nave—on N. wall, of Queen Anne before the
union, painted on wood. Weather-vane: On tower
—with initials and date F.A. 1702.
a(2). Homestead Moat and fish-ponds at
Moat House on site of Botelers, 250 yards S.E.
of the church.
b(3). Homestead Moat at Basildon Hall,
nearly 1 m. S.S.W. of the church.
Benfleet, see North Benfleet and South