Pages 94-95

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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In this section

57. MUCKING. (C.e.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)lxxxiv. N.W. (b)lxxxiv. N.E.)

Mucking is a parish on the N. bank of the Thames, 4 m. N.E. of Tilbury. The church is interesting.


b(1). Parish Church of St. John the Baptist stands near the N.E. angle of the parish. The walls are of ragstone-rubble, with some flint and brick; the dressings are of limestone; the roofs are covered with tiles, slate and lead. The S. wall of the Nave may be of the 12th century, but the earliest remaining detail is the early 13th-century S. arcade. The Chancel was probably re-built in the same century with a N. chapel. The chapel was probably destroyed in the 14th century. In the 15th century the West Tower was added and the South Aisle probably re-built. The South Chapel was added c. 1500. The church has been extensively restored in modern times, the S. chapel, nave, S. aisle and W. tower being largely re-built about 1850.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (33½ ft. by 14½ ft.) has a late 15th-century E. window, partly restored, of three trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. In the N. wall is a wall-arcade of three bays with two-centred arches of one chamfered order; the E. respond is plain, but the W. respond and the intermediate pier have each a Purbeck marble shaft with a moulded capital of varying form, the eastern of the 14th century and the western of the 13th century; the abacus of the second capital appears on the outer face of the wall, and, externally, traces of two arches are visible; at the back of the first column there is a straight joint showing externally; these features seem to indicate that the two western bays opened into a N. chapel which was destroyed during the 14th century; each bay of the arcade encloses a 14th or a re-used 13th-century lancet-window. In the S. wall is a window of c. 1500 and of two trefoiled lights in a square head; further W. is a two-centred archway of the same date and of two hollow-chamfered orders; the responds have each an attached shaft with concave faces and a moulded capital and hollow-chamfered base. The chancel-arch is modern.

The South Chapel (22½ ft. by 12¾ ft.) has modern E. and S. walls. In the W. wall is a two-centred arch of c. 1500, partly restored, of one continuous chamfered order.

The Nave (36¾ ft. by 27½ ft.) has a modern N. wall incorporating some old material. The early 13th-century S. arcade is of two bays with two-centred arches of three chamfered orders on the N. side and two on the S.; the responds are plain and partly restored and the circular column has a moulded base and capital (Plate, p. 161) carved with foliage, heads and devices.

The South Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has been re-built with some re-used material. In the W. wall is a late 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label.

The West Tower (14 ft. square) is of two stages, the upper is entirely and the lower partly modern. In the S. wall the doorway incorporates part of the moulded head and jambs of a 15th-century doorway. Below the W. window is a straight joint probably indicating the position of the former window.

Fittings—Bells: three; 1st dated 1579; 2nd by William Land, 1632; 3rd by John Hodson, 1665. Brass Indents: In S. aisle—(1) of figures of man, wife, two groups of children, shield and inscription-plate, 15th-century. As threshold to doorway of vicarage garden—(2) of civilian, wife, and inscription-plate. As step to cottage, S. of churchyard—(3) of man and two shields. Font: In S. aisle—disused bowl of semi-octagonal form with chamfered under edge, 15th-century. Monument: In S. chapel—of Elizabeth, wife successively of Eugeny Gatton, Thomas Gill, Dense Hartridge and Frauncis Downes, 1607, alabaster wall-monument with kneeling figure at prayer-desk, side pilasters, cresting and three shields-of-arms. Piscina: In chancel—with two-centred head and two round drains, 13th-century. Plate: includes 17th-century cup with lower half of stem modern. Sedilia: In chancel—three bays with chamfered jambs and two-centred heads, 13th-century. Miscellanea: In churchyard and vicarage garden, various worked and moulded stones.

Condition—Good, but much ivy on building.

Monuments (2–7).

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. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good.

b(2). Crown Inn, now a farmhouse, 200 yards S.E. of the church, has been very extensively altered. It has an early 17th-century chimney-stack with three diagonal shafts, now partly covered by the roof.

b(3). House, now tenements, 250 yards S.S.E. of (2), was built probably late in the 15th or early in the 16th century with a central hall and N. and S. cross-wings. The N. cross-wing has been partly re-built and the roof of the central block has been continued over it. The upper storey of the S. wing projects on the W. front and is carried on curved brackets. Inside the building, the roof over the S. wing is of two bays with an original king-post truss.

a(4). Gobions, house, nearly 1¼ m. S. of the church, is a long rectangular building, much altered and having a small modern addition at the back. Inside the building is a door of moulded battens.

a(5). George and Dragon Inn, on N.E. side of road, about 1¼ m. S.S.W. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century, but has been added to and considerably altered. There is an original chimney-stack with two diagonal shafts. Inside the building some of the timber-construction is exposed.

a(6). Sutton's Farm, cottage, on N.W. side of road, about 1 m. S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It is of the central-chimney type and has an addition at the back.

a(7). Walton's Hall, house, 240 yards N.E. of (6), is possibly of early 18th-century date, but has been much altered.