Pages 319-320

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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In this section


(O.S. 6 in. xi. N.W.)

Tilbury-juxta-Clare is a small parish, with no village, about 7½ m. W. of Sudbury.


(1). Parish Church of St. Margaret stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of flint rubble, heavily plastered, with stone dressings; the W. tower is of red brick; the roofs are tiled. The Chancel, Nave and South Porch were built in the middle or second half of the 15th century. Early in the 16th century the West Tower was added. The church was generally restored in the 19th century.

The 15th and 16th century wall-paintings in the nave are of interest.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (30 ft. by 19½ ft.) is entirely of the 15th century; the E. gable has cusped and gabled kneelers and apex stone. The E. window is of five cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs, head and label are moulded. In the N. wall are two windows, each of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a segmental head. In the S. wall are two windows uniform with those in the N. wall. Between them is a doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders, and a moulded label. The chancel-arch is two-centred and of one chamfered and one moulded order on the W. side, and two chamfered orders on the E. side; the responds have each a semi-octagonal attached shaft with a moulded capital and base.

The Nave (39 ft. by 26½ ft.) is entirely of the 15th century, and the E. gable has cusped and gabled kneelers and apex stone. In the N. wall are two windows; the eastern is of three cinquefoiled and sub-cusped lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the external reveals, label and rear arch are moulded; the western window is of two cinquefoiled lights with transomed tracery in a segmental-pointed head; the mouldings are similar to those of the eastern window. Between the windows is the N. doorway, with a two-centred head, now blocked; the rear arch is segmental-pointed. In the S. wall are two windows, uniform with the corresponding windows in the N. wall; between them is the S. doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of three moulded orders, and a moulded label.

The West Tower (9½ ft. by 9 ft.) is of early 16th-century date, and is built of brick with diapering in blue bricks; it is of three stages, without external division, and has an embattled parapet and S.E. stair-turret. The tower-arch is four-centred and of three orders, chamfered on the E. face and square on the W. face; the responds are plain and chamfered. In the S. wall is a doorway to the stair-turret with a moulded segmental arch. The W. window is modern. The second stage has a loop in the N. and S. walls. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two pointed lights under a four-centred head; in the E. and W. walls, above the window, is a weathered panel of stone, and there are two similar panels in the S. wall of the stair-turret.

The South Porch is of the 15th century, and has a four-centred entrance archway, with responds which have semi-octagonal attached shafts. The E. and W. walls have each a window entirely modern, except the splays and rear arch.

The Roof of the chancel is of the 15th century, and of the trussed-rafter type with moulded wallplates. The 15th-century roof of the nave is of two bays; the wall-plates are moulded and the three tie-beams have curved braces which spring from carved grotesque corbels. The 15th-century roof of the S. porch is of the trussed-rafter type with moulded and embattled wall-plates.

Fittings—Bells: two, 1st by Miles Graye, 1607. Chair: In chancel—now forming back of modern chair, one bench-end, with carved popey and traceried side, late 15th-century. Chest: In tower— 'dug-out' heavily bound with iron, two locks and hasps, date uncertain. Doors: In S. doorway— of oak, probably 17th-century, much restored. In doorway of stair-turret—plain, with straphinges, probably 16th-century. Font: octagonal, with plain bowl, apparently defaced, stem with shafts at angles having moulded bases, 15th-century. Glass: In E. window—in heads of lights and tracery, remains of tabernacle work, etc.; in nave—in N.E. window, foliated fragments; in S.E. window, coloured filling in small compartments, all mid or late 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monument: In churchyard—S. of chancel, tombstone, to John Clerke, senior, 1681–2, and Anne, his wife, 1692, with shield of arms. Paintings: In nave—on N. wall, remains of representation of timber-framed house with figure and horse in foreground., late 15th-century, further W. and also palimpsest on the other painting, remains of conventional foliage ornament, probably late 16th-century; on S. wall, traces of large figure with diapered background, late 15th-century, also conventional foliage similar to that on N. wall, and traces of texts in black letter, late 16th-century. Panelling: In chancel—incorporated in back of communion table, carved panels, early 17th-century. In tower—as dado, early 17th-century. Piscince: In chancel—with cinquefoiled sub-cusped head, grooved for glass, foiled drain and wooden shelf, 15th-century. In nave—in S. wall, with cinquefoiled head and foiled drain, 15th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten, late 16th or early 17th-century, marks defaced. Pulpit: octagonal, panels with arcades and guilloche ornament, early 17th-century, much restored or possibly re-constructed. Sedile: In chancel—sill of S.E. window carried down low to form seat. Stoup: In porch—in E. wall, with round head and remains of rectangular bowl, 15th-century. Miscellanea: In tower— on N. wall, crude representation in plaster or mortar of winged beast.

Condition—Fairly good.


(2). Tilbury Hall, now a farmhouse, 250 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.W. end. The S.E. part of the cross-wing was built early in the 16th century, but the rest of the house was added or rebuilt c. 1600. There are modern additions between the wings on the N. side and at the N.W. end. At the N.E. end of the main wing the upper storey projects, and below it are two early 17th-century windows with moulded mullions. In the cross-wing are two early 17th-century chimney-stacks, one with two diagonal shafts, and the other with grouped diagonal shafts and pilasters.

Interior—On the ground floor the S.E. room in the cross-wing has moulded ceiling-beams. On the first floor in the S.E. wall is an original doorway with a four-centred head and foliated spandrels; it is now blocked and indicates that the house formerly extended further in that direction. On the first floor of the main wing, at the head of the staircase, are three 17th-century doorways with moulded frames, framed together; the middle room of the cross-wing is lined with panelling of c. 1600, which has a fluted frieze; the N.W. room has some 16th-century panelling, re-set, and the room in the main wing is lined with panelling of c. 1600, re-set. In the S.E. attic of the cross wing are traces of an open timber roof with a cambered tie-beam and moulded wall-plate.

Condition—Good, much altered.

(3). Little Meadow End, house, ¾ m. W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century and has modern additions at the N. end and on the E. side. The roof is hipped at the S. end, and the original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts and pilasters. Inside the building, the rooms on the ground floor have chamfered ceiling-beams and exposed joists. On the first floor are two original doors, one of them is ledged and boarded and the other has a diamond-shaped panel enclosing a carved rosette in the middle.