Wickham St. Paul

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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'Wickham St. Paul', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916) pp. 343-344. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp343-344 [accessed 11 April 2024]

In this section

83. WICKHAM ST. PAUL. (F.b.)

(O.S. 6 in. xii. S.W.)

Wickham St. Paul is a small parish and village about 4 m. S.W. of Sudbury.


(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands ½ m. W.N.W. of the village. The walls are of flint rubble, covered with plaster, with dressings of lime-stone and clunch; the tower is entirely of red brick; the roofs are tiled. The walls of the western part of the Nave may be of the 12th century, but no detail of that date remains. The eastern part of the nave, with the Chancel, was rebuilt probably late in the 14th century. Early in the 16th century the West Tower was added. The church was restored in the 19th century, and the North Organ-chamber and Chapel were added. The South Porch is ancient, but was encased in the 19th century.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (26 ft. by 18¼ ft.) is not divided structurally from the nave. The E. window is modern. In the N. wall is a modern archway to the N. chapel. In the S. wall are two windows, each of one trefoiled light, and all modern except the internal splays and segmental rear arches, which are probably of the 14th century. Between the windows is a blocked doorway.

The Nave (44 ft. by 18¼ ft. at the E. end, and 17½ ft. at the W. end). The walls of the eastern third of the nave are a few inches thinner than the walls further W.; at the E. end of the S. wall is a semi-octagonal projection of thin bricks, suggesting a former stair-turret; against the S. face is a restored buttress. In the N. wall are four windows; the easternmost is probably of the 14th century, and is of one cinquefoiled ogee light; the second window is modern except the 15th-century splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch; the two western windows are modern. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is of 15th-century date, slightly restored, and of three cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred head; the western window is modern. Between the windows is the S. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch, probably of the 14th century.

The West Tower (10½ ft. square) is of early 16th-century date, and of red brick with some diapering in blue bricks; it is of three stages with a moulded plinth, embattled parapet with pinnacles at the angles, and a S.E. stair-turret, also embattled; the E. wall of the top stage has two shallow buttresses. The tower-arch is four-centred, and of three continuous chamfered orders. In the S. wall is a doorway to the stair-turret, with a four-centred head. The W. doorway, now blocked, has jambs and a four-centred arch of four square orders; the W. window is of three four-centred lights with intersecting tracery in a four-centred head; the label is moulded. The second stage has, in both the N. and S. walls, a pointed loop. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two four-centred lights under a four-centred head.

The Roof of the nave is of three bays, with two tie-beams, one moulded and one chamfered, with curved braces and moulded wall-posts and plates, all of the 15th century.

Fittings—Bells: five; 2nd by Stephen Tonne, 1584; 3rd by the Norwich Foundry, probably 15th-century, and inscribed—'Virginis Egregie Vocor Campana Marie'; 4th by Stephen Tonne, 1579. Chest: In vestry—of iron and iron-bound, two heavy hasps and staples in front, and between them a foliated plate of diamond shape, possibly late 13th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs, and incised carving on upper rails, early 17th-century, top modern. Door: In doorway to stair-turret—probably early 16th-century.

Glass: In nave—in second window in N. wall, three fragments, including a lion's head and foliage, 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Floor-slab: In churchyard—in front of S. porch, to Mary (Barrett), wife of Thomas Caton, 1669. Niche: Over S. doorway—outline in plaster, probably of round-headed niche. Piscina: In chancel—with chamfered jambs and cinquefoiled ogee head, quatrefoiled drain, 14th-century, retooled. Recess: In nave—in W. wall, with segmental-pointed arch, early 16th-century. Screen: Between chancel and nave—of eight bays; central doorway with septfoiled and sub-cusped ogee head, crocketed label, carved spandrels and points to the cusps, side bays with traceried heads, trefoiled, sub-cusped and crocketed, close lower panels with modern traceried heads, moulded cornice and middle rail, mid 15th-century, much restored.

Condition—Fairly good, much ivy on tower.


Monuments (2–5).

The following monuments are all of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and wide fireplaces, and all have exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, unless noted.

(2). Morlands Farm, house, at the S.W. corner of the Green, about ½ m. S. of the church, was originally of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. The additions on the W., N. and E. sides are modern, and make the plan rectangular. At the E. end of the S. front the upper storey projects and is gabled. The original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.

(3). Brickwall Farm, house, now two tenements, 300 yards E. of (2), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S. Inside the building are two original fireplaces, now blocked, which have chamfered jambs and three-centred heads of plastered brick.


(4). Cottage, two tenements, on the S. side of the road, 260 yards W. of (3), with modern additions on the S. side.


(5). Catley Cross, house, 1½ m. S.S.E. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S. Inside the building a staircase at the W. end has original solid oak treads.