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An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.

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66. PITSEA. (D.d.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)lxix. S.W. (b)lxxvii. N.W.)

Pitsea is a small parish 9 m. W.N.W. of Southend-on-Sea.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Michael stands near the middle of the parish. The West Tower was built early in the 16th century and is ashlar-faced with dressings of Reigate stone. The rest of the church was re-built in 1871.

Architectural Description—The West Tower (8 ft. square) is of three stages, undivided externally (Plate, pp. xxxii–iii), and with an embattled parapet and carved gargoyles at the angles. In the E. wall is a doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. The W. window is of one square-headed light. The second stage has in the W. wall a similar window. The bell-chamber has in the E. wall a square-headed loop; the other three three sides have each a window of one trefoiled light with a square moulded label.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st and 2nd by John Wilnar, 1636; 3rd by Henry Jordan, 15th-century and inscribed "Sancte Petre Ora Pro Nobis." Brass: In chancel—on S. wall, to Elizabeth (Raye) wife of John Purlenant, 1588, inscription only. Font: octagonal bowl with moulded loweredge, plain stem and hollow-chamfered base, early 16th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1568, and stand-paten of 1692, with shield-of-arms of Sir Thomas Moyer. Scratchings: on E. doorway of tower, masons' marks, early 16th-century.

Condition—Of tower, good.


b(2). Pitsea Hall, 350 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and cellar. The walls are of plastered timber-framing and the roofs are tiled; the cellar, which is under the W. end of the house, is of brick. It was built late in the 16th century, and has a later N.W. addition and a modern extension on the W. The upper storey projects on the E. end of the N. front and has a moulded bressummer with a shaped bracket at the E. end. Inside the building some of the principal beams of the ground-floor rooms are exposed.


a(3). Great Chalvedon Hall, about 1 m. N.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. The walls are of plastered and weather-boarded timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the first half of the 16th century and, though there appears originally to have been another wing on the W., the existing 16th-century building is of E-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the N. There are modern extensions on the N. On the S. front are three gables. The main chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts on a rectangular base; in the W. wall at the first-floor level is a blocked doorway with a segmental-pointed head. Inside the building much of the timber-framing is exposed, and many of the rooms have open-timber ceilings. The main fireplace on the ground-floor has a moulded and cambered head. The attic storey above the staircase has a blocked two-light window with moulded mullions, and on the first floor are several 16th-century doors. The roof over the E. wing has cambered tie-beams and collars, and that over the W. wing has a cambered tie-beam with heavy curved braces.