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Parish Church of St Augustine, Birdbrook

Description: Parish Church of St Augustine

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 21 June 1962
English Heritage Building ID: 114091

OS Grid Reference: TL7067041150
OS Grid Coordinates: 570670, 241150
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0425, 0.4871

Location: The Street, Birdbrook, Essex CO9 4BJ

Locality: Birdbrook
Local Authority: Braintree District Council
County: Essex
Country: England
Postcode: CO9 4BJ

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Listing Text

Parish Church of
21/6/62 St. Augustine

Parish church. Chancel and Nave late Cll/early C12, altered in C13. S porch, N
vestry and general restoration, C19. Walls of stone, flint and pebble rubble
containing Roman brick and opus signum, dressings of limestone and clunch, roof
of handmade red clay tiles, bellcote weatherboarded, spire shingled. In the
E wall of the Chancel there are 3 tall lancet windows of the C13, with double-
chamfered and rebated jambs and moulded labels, restored; the rear-arches are
moulded and spring from detached circular shafts with moulded bases, bands and
bell-capitals. Outside, between the heads of the windows are 2 sunk
quatrefoiled panels, each carved with a human head, decayed. Another head is
mounted high in the gable, decayed. The N wall has many herringbone courses
of Roman brick. There are 3 windows; the 2 eastern are C13 lancets, restored,
with double-chamfered and rebated jambs. The western window is of the late
C14 and has the name 'Thomas Cersey' on the outside of the tracery in Lombardic
capitals; it is of 2 cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a 2-centred head,
the cusps of the quatrefoil having foliated grotesque points, with an external'
moulded label and head-stop. Outside, between the 2 lancets, alterations in
the rubble indicate the former presence of a low door with round head; the
infill includes much Roman brick and opus signum. Below the W window there
is another blocked aperture with C17/C18 brick quoins. Inside, below the
eastern window there is a disused fireplace with 3-centred arch. In the S wall
are 2 windows. The eastern is a lancet similar to those opposite, much restored
externally; the western window is similar to the C14 window opposite, much
restored. Between the windows is a C19 doorway. The Chancel arch is C19.
The Nave has been extended to the W by approx. 6 metres in the early C13. The
earlier part contains several herringbone courses of Roman brick. There are
3 windows. The easternmost is C19, except the internal splays and rear-arch,
C15; in the E splay part of the sill is carried down to a ledge with a small
embattled cornice. The second window is C19. The western window is a C13
lancet with chamfered and rebated jambs, blocked internally. W of the eastern
window, high in the wall, are the splays and round rear-arch of an Cll/early
C12 window, blocked and not visible externally. Between the 2 western windows
is the N doorway with jambs and 2-centred head of 2 chamfered orders, leading
into the C19 vestry. In the S wall there are 4 windows. The easternmost is
C19, except the internal splays and rear-arch, C15; the sill is carried down
to a stepped sill with a sexfoiled drain. The second window is C14, of 2
cinquefoiled ogee lights and a quatrefoil in a 2-centred head, restored. The
third is C19, except the splays and rear-arch, C14. The fourth is a lancet
similar to that opposite, also blocked internally. Between the first and second
windows, set high in the wall, is an Cll/early C12 window similar to that
opposite, also blocked externally. Between the second and third windows is
the late C13 S doorway, with a hollow-moulded 2-centred arch, label, and one
headstop, the other C20. Set in the wall above it externally is a boss with
deep foliate carving, C13, and to the E of it is a stoup with 4-centred head,
the jambs restored. In the W wall are 3 early C13 lancet windows, the middle
one higher than the others; below the northernmost is a small window of one
light with a V-head, date uncertain. Approx. 2.5 metres E of the W end is a
wall with a C15 arch, inserted to support the timber bellcote; the arch is 2-
centred, of 2 moulded orders, and the responds have semi-circular attached
shafts with moulded capitals and bases; there are C18 and C19 graffiti on the
W side. The roof of the Nave is early C15, in 5 bays, with high moulded
butt-purlins and moulded and crenellated collars, each truss stiffened with
moulded eaves-blades which terminate at the collar; the wallplates are moulded
and crenellated. This roof construction is described as 'unique' in Essex
(Hewett 1982, 29-30). In the S wall near the W end there is an early C13
piscina with chamfered jambs, 2-centred head and fluted drain. There are 3
bells, by Richard Bowler 1591, Peter Hawkes 1612, the third dated 1570. In the
SE corner of the Chancel there is the indent of a missing brass of a woman's
figure standing on canopied brackets, with marginal inscription and 4 shields,
late C14. In the Nave there are floor-slabs to James Walford, 1713 or 1743
(much worn), to Thomas Walford, 1756, and to Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Walford,
1789, all of Whitley in the parish. In the W wall there is an inscription to
Martha Blewit, 1681, who was married 9 times, and to Robert Hogan, who was
married 7 times, the last in 1739. Outside immediately S of the Chancel, there
is a large stone slab with hollow-moulded edge, probably an altar. In the Nave,
a carved bench-end and moulded book-board, late C15, are incorporated in C19

Listing NGR: TL7067041150

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.