14. CHADWELL. (C.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. lxxxiv. S.W.)
Chadwell is a parish 2 m. E. of Grays Thurrock.
The church is the principal monument.
(1). In Messrs. Christian and Neilson's gravel-pit,
700 yards S.E. of the parish church, an oven
(Plate, p. xxxvi) was found in July, 1922, together
with several urns. The oven had apparently been
circular and domed, with a diameter of over 5 ft.
A flue projected from it for a distance of at least
4 ft. and was 1 ft. 3 in. wide. When the structure
was discovered three complete vessels were found
within it, and others, more or less fragmentary,
together with a decorated clay lamp, were found
in the same area. The pottery, which is now in the
Colchester Museum, presents unusual features, but
most of it is probably of 3rd to 4th-century date.
Some of it retains traces of Late Celtic traditions.
There is no evidence that it was made on the
present site; the purpose for which the oven was
originally used was not apparent.
Roman coins of all dates have been found in the
parish, and a site about 100 yards E. of the oven
has yielded a large quantity of Samian sherds,
mostly of late 1st or early 2nd-century date,
including a large number of stamps. No traces of
buildings were, however, noticed.
(2). Parish Church of St. Mary stands in
the village. The walls are of flint-rubble with some
ragstone; the dressings are of Reigate stone;
the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built early in
the 12th century and the western parts of the
side walls of the Chancel are of the same date.
The Church, Plan
The chancel was lengthened in the 14th century.
At the end of the 15th century the nave was
lengthened towards the W., the rood-loft staircase
inserted and the West Tower added. The church
has been restored in modern times when the
South Vestry was added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (31 ft.
by 13 ft.) has an E. window all modern except the
14th-century splays and rear-arch and part of
the jambs. In the N. wall are two windows, the
eastern of the 14th century and of one trefoiled
light; the western window is modern. In the
S. wall are two windows, each of two cinque-foiled
lights with tracery in a two-centred head and
probably of the 14th century but covered with
paint. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (44¼ ft. by 17¼ ft.) has in the N. wall
two modern windows; between them, set within
the 12th-century one, is the early 15th-century
N. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred
head; above it is the round head of the 12th-century doorway with diapered voussoirs and a
diapered tympanum of small stones (Plate, p. 84);
both E. and W. of the doorway is a blocked
12th-century window with a round head; the
western is visible only internally. In the S. wall
are two windows both modern except the 14th-century rear-arch of the first and the splays and
rear-arch of the second; between them is the
12th-century S. doorway of one plain round
order enclosing a plastered tympanum supported
on a segmental arch; there are two blocked 12th-century windows similar to those in the N. wall;
at the E. end of the wall is the 15th-century
rood-loft staircase with upper and lower doorways
having three-centred heads.
The West Tower (12½ ft. square) is of late 15th-century date and of three stages with an embattled
parapet decorated with brick and flint chequerwork. The two-centred tower-arch is of three
chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the
two inner resting on semi-octagonal responds with
moulded capitals and chamfered bases. The
W. window is of three four-centred lights in a
segmental head with a moulded label; the W.
doorway has moulded jambs, four-centred arch
and label. The N. and S. walls of the second stage
have each a single-light window, much weathered.
The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two
four-centred lights and all in square heads except
the W. window which has a four-centred head;
all have moulded labels.
The Roof of the chancel has at the W. end some
old trussed-rafters without collar-beams. The
roof of the nave is ceiled but has some old shaped
Fittings—Bells: Three; 1st probably by John
Wood, 1694, badly broken; 3rd by Thomas
Bartlet, 1628; bell-frame, 17th-century. Brass
and Indent. Brass: In chancel—to Cicilye, wife
of Thomas Owen, 1603, with shield-of-arms.
Indent: Outside N. doorway—of figure, broken.
Chair (Plate, p. xlii): In chancel—with carved
back, shaped arms, moulded legs with carved rail
and claw-feet, late 17th-century, probably French.
Chest: In vestry—oak chest-of-drawers with
panelled fronts and brass fittings, 17th-century.
Door: In W. doorway—of moulded battens with
strap-hinges, late 15th-century. Glass: In top
and south tracery-lights of E. window, 14th-century fragments of borders, foliage and coloured
glass. Monument: In churchyard—N.E. corner,
to M.G., 1691, cut on a piece of sarsen stone.
Niche: S. of W. doorway, externally, with trefoiled ogee head and rebated jambs with holes for
fastenings, possibly stoup, 14th-century. Panelling:
In chancel—in S.E. window-recess, eight 17th-century carved panels. Pictures: In chancel—two,
"The Finding of Moses," ascribed to (?) Agostino
Caracci, and "Christ at the House of Simon Peter,"
ascribed to Paul Veronese. Piscina: In chancel—
with trefoiled head and sex-foiled drain, 14th-century. Sundials: On E. jamb of S. doorway
and on quoin of S.E. angle of nave—two scratched
dials. Table: In vestry—oval gate-leg table,
17th-century. Miscellanea: Used as quoin of
S.E. angle of nave, part of head of 12th-century
Condition—Good, but stonework of tower much
(3). Sleepers Farm, house 50 yards W.S.W. of
the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and
plastered; the roof is thatched. It was built in the
15th century and has a cross-wing at the S. end
and a modern extension at the W. The upper
storey projects at both ends of the cross-wing and
is supported on curved brackets. The central
chimney-stack is of the 17th century. Inside the
building some of the timber-construction is exposed
and some of the rooms have open-timbered ceilings.
There is an original doorway in the N. wall of the
S. cross-wing with a four-centred head and now
blocked by the inserted chimney-stack; a 17th-century battened door also remains. The original
roof over the S. wing is of two bays with a heavy
cambered tie-beam, curved braces and a king-post
with four-way struts and there is an original
cambered tie-beam with curved braces across the
middle of the main block.