Pages 207-210

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3, North East. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1922.

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In this section

81. STANWAY. (C.c.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxvii. N.W. (b)xxvii. S.W. (c)xxvii. S.E. (d)xxxvi. N.W. (e)xxxvi. N.E.)

Stanway is a parish adjoining that of Colchester on the W. The two churches are the principal monuments.


d(1). A house was excavated in 1842 in a field called Cheshunt, on Gosback Farm, a quarter of a mile S. of All Saints' Church, Bottle End. The remains were only about six inches below the surface, and were in very fragmentary state, and nothing now survives except bits of tile, tesserae, &c., scattered over the field. A corridor, 14 ft. wide, ran round a square, each side of which was about 288 ft. in length. The walls were 3 ft. thick. There were traces of rooms on the E. and W. In the centre of the quadrangle were foundations 4 ft. thick, strongly built of septaria and Kentish rag, connected with which had been rooms of which only vestiges remained. The earth excavated to the depth of 10 ft. was entirely composed of debris— tiles, coloured stucco and tesserae.

On the W. side, for 60 ft. parallel to the S. wall, at a distance of 12 ft., was the foundation of a wall 2 ft. wide, 'composed of the chippings of Kentish rag laid in alternate layers with concrete.'

In the same field, almost parallel to the E. wall, at a distance of 170 ft., the foundations of a wall, with a return wall at the N. end, were traced for about 450 ft. The wall was from 2 to 3 ft. thick, and at two spots along it, and in two other parts of the field, large quantities of oyster shells, boars' tusks and broken pottery were found in deep pits. The stones were mostly removed soon after the excavations.

This must once have been a large house, and, to judge from the thirty coins found there, which range from Vespasian to the Constantine family, it was occupied from the second century to the end of the fourth.

(C. R. Smith, Collectanea Antiqua, 1852, II, 41; Jenkins, in B.A.A.J., 1846, II, 45; Gent.'s Mag., 1842, II, 526.) (See also Sectional Preface, p. xxvii.)


b(2). Parish Church of St. Albright (= St. Ethelbert) stands on the S. side of Stane Street. The walls are of flint and ragstone rubble, with dressings of limestone and Roman brick. The Nave was built early in the 12th century. In the 15th century the E. part of the present nave, then forming the chancel, was rebuilt and the North Porch added. The church was restored in the 19th century when the existing Chancel, South Chapel and South Aisle were added. The S. arcade of the chancel is of late 15th or early 16th-century date and was brought here from the destroyed church of St. Runwald, Colchester.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel is modern but reset in the S. wall is a late 15th or early 16th-century arcade of two bays with four-centred arches of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases.

The South Chapel is modern but reset in the E wall is a partly restored 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head.

The Nave (45 ft. by 20½ ft.) has in the N. wall a slight difference in the masonry and a rough raking plinth showing the junction of the 12th and 15th-century work. In this wall are four windows, the easternmost is of the 15th century and of two cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; the second and westernmost windows are each a single 12th-century light with Roman brick jambs and a round head of stone; the third window is of mid 14th-century date and of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; between the two eastern windows is the late 15th or early 16th-century upper doorway to the rood-loft staircase, with a rounded head; the lower doorway is said to exist but is not now visible; below the westernmost window is the 15th-century N. doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. In the S. wall is a modern arcade of two bays; further W. is a 12th-century window similar to those in the N. wall and just E. of it is the 12th-century S. doorway with plain jambs and round arch of Roman bricks. The W. wall has quoins of Roman brick and in it is a much restored 14th-century window similar to that in the N. wall but with head-stops to the label; below the window are rough joints possibly indicating the jambs of three openings or recesses and now filled in flush with the rest of the wall; they possibly represent a 12th-century W. doorway flanked by two recesses. In the gable is a 12th-century window similar to the others but restored.

The South Aisle is modern but reset in the W. wall is a much restored 15th-century window similar to that in the N. wall of the nave.

The Roof of the nave has old trussed-rafters and collar-beams. The bell-turret rests on a 15th-century tie-beam at the W. end of the nave, with modern braces springing from carved grotesque corbels, one mostly cut away. The 15th-century roof of the N. porch has a cambered tie-beam with curved braces, king-post with four-way struts and central purlin.

Fittings—Bell: one, said to be by Miles Graye, 1610. Coffin-lid: In S. chapel—coped slab with large formy cross (two arms only remain), incised ornament at base, early 13th-century. Door: In N. doorway—modern but with strap-hinges of the 15th century. Floor-slab: In nave—to William Eldred, 1701, and Joannah (Goodwin), his wife, 1696. Font: octagonal bowl with panelled sides, panels with blank shields and irradiated chalice and host alternately, moulded lower edge and base, 15th-century. Painting: In chancel—on piers of S. arcade, traces of red colour. Piscina: In chancel —with cinquefoiled head and rectangular drain, 15th-century, reset. Plate: includes two pewter plates, probably early 18th-century.


d(3). Church of All Saints (Plate, p. 6), formerly the parish church, stands about 1½ m. S.S.E. of St. Albright's church. The walls are of pebble and ragstone rubble, with a large admixture of tiles and brick; the tower is of alternate courses of brick and flint; the N. porch is of brick; the dressings are of limestone. The Nave and West Tower with a chancel and N. aisle were built probably late in the 14th century. The bell-chamber is perhaps of slightly later date. Probably after the Reformation the church fell into disrepair and was restored by Sir John Swinerton early in the 17th century, when the chancel-arch and N. arcade were built up and the North Porch added on part of the site of the N. aisle. The church again fell into disuse probably later in the same century and is now roofless and ruinous.

The vault of the tower is of unusual form.

Stanway, The Church of All Saints.

Architectural Description—The Chancel has entirely disappeared except for the late 14th-century two-centred chancel-arch now blocked with brick and with an early 17th-century window of brick in the blocking; the window was formerly of three lights in a four-centred head, but the mullions have been destroyed.

The Nave (39 ft. by 15¾ ft.) has a late 14th-century N. arcade of three bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the columns have each four attached shafts with moulded capitals and defaced bases; the responds are chamfered; the arcade has an early 17th-century blocking of brick with two square-headed windows and a doorway with a three-centred head and a moulded label; the head of one window has gone. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of early 17th-century date and of brick with a three-centred head; the western window is of the 14th century, with a two-centred head restored with 17th-century brick; both windows have lost their mullions; further W. is the S. doorway, with a segmental-pointed relieving arch of brick, much damaged and altered.

The West Tower (9 ft. square) is of late 14th-century date and of three stages with an embattled parapet and a moulded plinth. The ground stage has a domed vault of concentric rings of brickwork with chamfered stone ribs on the soffit springing from head corbels some with crowns. The two-centred tower-arch is of two chamfered orders; the responds have each a semi-circular attached shaft with moulded capital and defaced base. In the S. wall is the doorway to the turret staircase, with moulded jambs and two-centred arch. The W. window has a two-centred head and a moulded label, but the mullion and tracery have been destroyed. The second stage has on the N., S. and W. sides a small square-headed loop; in the E. wall is a brick opening with a three-centred head and now blocked. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window formerly of two transomed and cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label; all these windows are much weathered and partly destroyed.

The North Porch is of early 17th-century date and of brick with a crow-stepped gable; the four-centred outer archway is plastered and of two chamfered orders; it has a moulded label and shafted jambs with moulded capitals and bases; the relieving - arch has counterfeit masonry in plaster; above it is a sunk panel with a quartered shield of the Swinerton arms. The side walls have each a window without mullions, tracery or head.



d(4). Stanway Hall, 100 yards W. of (3), was built probably about the middle of the 16th century but has been almost entirely rebuilt in modern times. Inside the building one room is lined with early 17th-century panelling and contains an original stone fireplace (Plate, p. xxxiii) flanked by diminishing fluted pilasters with Ionic capitals supporting a frieze carved with scrolled foliage, small figures and a cartouche.

Condition—Good, much altered.

Monuments (5–18).

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered or weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. Many of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceilingbeams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.

b(5). Oldhouse Farm, house, 700 yards S.E. of the parish church, has been refronted with brick.

Stane Street, N. side

b(6). House, two tenements, 620 yards W. of the parish church, was built in the 16th century or earlier and has a cross-wing at the W. end.

b(7). House, 20 yards E. of (6), was built probably in the 15th century with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The late 16th-century central chimney-stack has four octagonal shafts on a square base. Inside the building two original doorways in the N. wing, probably in the former 'screens,' have four-centred heads; the roof of the S. wing has an original king-post truss.


b(8). White Hart Farm, house, formerly an Inn, 300 yards W. of the parish church, was built probably in the 16th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends.

b(9). The Cedars, house, 100 yards N.E. of the parish church, was built probably in the 16th century but has been extensively altered and refaced with brick; there are cross-wings at the E. and W. ends.

b(10). Wiseman's, house, 300 yards E. of (9), has been refaced with brick.

b(11). Cottage, about ½ m. E.N.E. of (10).

b(12). Beaconend Farm, house, 110 yards E. of (11), was built probably in the 15th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. It has been refronted with brick. Inside the building the roof has an original roof-truss with octagonal king-post having a simple capital.

S. side

b(13). Judd's Farm, house, opposite (11).

b(14). Abbot's Farm, house (Plate, p. xxxi), about ¾ m. N.N.E. of the parish church, was built probably in the 15th or early in the 16th century with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The upper storey projects at the E. ends of both cross-wings. Inside the building the main block and both wings have original king-post roof-trusses.

b(15). House, 50 yards N. of (14), has been refaced with modern brick.

a(16). "Brick Stables," house, ¾ m. N.E. of the parish church, has an 18th-century block added in front.

c(17). Olivers, house, about 2½ m. S.E. of the parish church, has a back wing with a king-post roof-truss of the 15th century. The rest of the house was added or rebuilt in the 18th century. There is a large fish-pond N.E. of the house.

c(18). House, N. of (17), has large 18th-century additions.