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Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Finchingfield

Description: Parish Church of St John the Baptist

Grade: I
Date Listed: 21 December 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 115168

OS Grid Reference: TL6862432806
OS Grid Coordinates: 568624, 232806
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9682, 0.4532

Location: Church Hill, Finchingfield, Essex CM7 4NN

Locality: Finchingfield
Local Authority: Braintree District Council
County: Essex
Country: England
Postcode: CM7 4NN

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Listing Text


7/25 Parish Church of St.
21.12.67 John the Baptist


Parish church. Mostly C12 to C14, restored in C19. Flint rubble with dressings
of limestone and clunch, roofed with lead and handmade red clay tiles. W tower
c.1170, raised in C15. Chancel mid-C13, altered in late Cl4. N aisle mid-C14,
rebuilt in late C14. S aisle late C14. N chapel mid-C14, rebuilt in late C14.
S chapel late C14. S porch C14, rebuilt in C19. The Chancel has an E window
which is C19 except the late C14 internal splays, 2-centred rear-arch and
internal label. In the N wall is a window of c.1370 of 2 cinquefoiled lights
with tracery in a 2-centred head, restored externally. Further W is an arcade
of c.1250, of 2 bays with 2-centred arches of 2 chamfered orders; the octagonal
column and the responds with attached half-columns have moulded capitals; part
of one original base remains. In the S wall is a window of the same date and
design as that in the N wall, but the jambs are more richly moulded and the
moulded internal label has carved head-stops. Further W is a doorway of c.1370,
with moulded jambs, 2-centred arch and label, restored, with a plain door of
uncertain date. Further W is an arcade of c.1370, of 2 bays with moulded
2-centred arches with moulded labels; the E arch is blocked by the organ. The
moulded column has 4 attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the
responds have attached half-columns. The clerestorey has 4 N and 4 S windows,
all c.1370, restored, each of 2 cinquefoiled and sub-cusped lights with tracery
under a square head; the reveals are moulded; the 2 western windows on each
side are blocked. The C13 chancel-arch is 2-centred, of 2 chamfered orders; the
responds have each a semi-octagonal attached shaft with a moulded capital and
mutilated base; on the E side of the S shaft there is a hollow with trefoiled
head, and a squint is recessed into the side of the column. Some C14 stones
built into the N respond have remains of carved diaper of 4-leaved flowers,
probably part of the reredos of an altar. The chancel roof is low-pitched and
in 4 bays, with wallpieces and arched braces to cambered tiebeams, all moulded
and with moulded pendants, boarded at tiebeam level in the C19. The braces of
the easternmost truss are inscribed 'This roof was builded anno domini 1635 at
the charge of Robert Kempe Esquiir'; one brace of the second truss is inscribed
'Builded by John Glasscock'. The late C14 stone corbels are carved with heads
of saints, a king, queen, etc. The N chapel is almost entirely of c.1370. The
E window is of 3 trefoiled ogee lights under a 2-centred head, with moulded
internal splays, rear-arch and label, restored externally. In the N wall are 2
windows; the eastern, blocked internally, is of 2 cinquefoiled lights with a
quatrefoil in a 2-centred head with moulded label; the western window is of 3
trefoiled ogee lights with tracery under segmental-pointed head, restored; the
rear-arch and internal splays are roll-moulded, and the splays have small
moulded bases (one restored). In the W wall is a moulded 2-centred arch of
c.1350, re-set, with moulded labels on each face; the shafted responds and their
capitals are moulded, and the S respond has a mutilated moulded base. The roof
is in 2 bays, with wall-pieces, arched braces to the 2 tiebeams, crownpost and
4 rising braces, and collar-purlin, every part moulded, c.1370. The N stone
corbels are carved with heads. The S chapel has an E window of c.1370, of 3
cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed head, blocked
internally by the organ. In the S wall is a window of c.1370, of 3 trefoiled
sub-cusped lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed head with moulded
label. Further W is an early C16 brick doorway with moulded jambs, 4-centred
arch and label. Above it, externally, is a moulded brick panel with 4 shields
of arms, defaced. In the W wall is a 2-centred arch of c.1370, of 2 moulded
orders with moulded label; the shafted responds and their bases are moulded; the
capitals are carved and moulded. The pitched roof is plastered to the soffits
of the rafters and collars. The Nave has crenellated parapets of brick,
probably of 1561. The N arcade is of 5 bays; the 3 eastern bays are of c.1340,
with 2-centred arches of 2 moulded orders with moulded labels; the columns have
each 4 filleted shafts separated by filleted rolls; the capitals and bases are
moulded; the E respond has an attached half-column, partly cut away. The
western bays are of c.1370, similar to the S arcade of the Chancel except that
the labels are plain. The S arcade is of c.1250, of 5 bays, with 2-centred
arches of 2 chamfered orders; the octagonal columns have moulded capitals and
bases and square plinths with spur ornaments; the responds have attached
half-columns. The clerestorey has 5 N and 5 S windows of the C15, each of 2
cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental head with plain label; the
internal splays and rear-arches are moulded. The low-pitched roof of the nave
is in 5 bays with wall-pieces, shallow arched braces, and cambered tiebeams, all
moulded. The braces of the easternmost truss are carved with foliage and the
date and initials '1561, W.B., S.L.'; the carved head-corbels are late C14,
except 2 which are C16 and plainly moulded. The N aisle is of c.1370, and has
in the N wall 2 windows similar to the westernmost window of the N chapel.
Further W is the N doorway, with moulded jambs and 2-centred arch; the labels,
internal splays and rear-arch are moulded. The W window is mainly C19. The
roof is of low-pitched lean-to form, in 5 bays, with moulded wallplate and one
moulded tiebeam with a mutilated fillet, the others plain. The S aisle is of
c.1370, and has in the S wall 2 windows; the eastern is mainly C20, with
segmental-pointed head and moulded label with animal-head stops; the western
window is of 3 trefoiled ogee lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed
head. Further W is the S doorway with richly moulded jambs and 2-centred arch,
and a label with head-stops. The door is in 2 folds, each with 3 moulded panels
having crocketed heads, tracery, and carvings of the Crucifixion, a pelican,
dove and other figures, and 2 shields. In the W wall is a window similar to the
western window in the S wall, but with different tracery. The roof is similar
to that of the N aisle, but with all tiebeams moulded. The W tower is of 3
stages with a crenellated parapet and an C18 timber lantern; the western angles,
up to the middle of the second stage, are shafted and enriched with helical
ornament; between the first and second stages is a double dentilled
string-course of the C12, restored. The C12 tower-arch is semi-circular and of
one square order; the square responds have shafted angles with remains of
moulded bases, and scalloped capitals with chamfered abaci continued round the
responds as imposts; the N impost has chevron ornament, and the S impost has a
floral diaper pattern. The N and S walls have each a round-headed C12 window,
restored externally. In the NE and SE angles are C12 wall-arcades, extending 2
bays along the N and S walls and returning one bay on the E wall; the E arches
are partly filled with masonry as if for altars; the rough semi-circular arches
are plastered, and rest on shafts set between the bays; the shafts have
scalloped capitals and deep abaci; one capital on the S side has carved
stiff-leaf foliage. The C12 W doorway has a semi-circular head of 3 orders
enriched with chevron ornament and a diapered label; the tympanum has been
removed, and the space filled with a glazed frame; the jambs are both of 4
orders, the innermost with chevron ornament and carved head-corbels at the top,
the others with shafts and scalloped capitals; the 2 outer shafts have been
removed; the shaft of the second order is helically fluted on the N side, and
has chevron ornament on the S side. The N, S and W walls of the second stage
have each a C12 window of one round-headed light; those in the N and S walls are
blocked. In the C15 bell-chamber the E and S walls have each a window of 2
trefoiled lights under a depressed head with moulded label; flanking the E
window are 2 circular recesses or blocked openings. The N and W walls have each
a window of 3 trefoiled lights under a 4-centred head with moulded labels. The
S porch incorporates the heads of 3 C14 stone panels, all cinquefoiled and
sub-cusped, but apart from the roof is mainly C19. The roof is late C14, in 3
bays, with king-posts, and double hollow-chamfered ridge and purlins.
Fittings. There is a C15 piscina in the Chancel, with chamfered jambs and
cinquefoiled head and fluted drain. The font has an octagonal bowl, supported
on carved angels; on each side of the bowl there are quatrefoiled panels with
shields of arms. The early C15 Chancel screen is of oak, with double entrance
bay and 2 bays on each side; entrance bay with 2-centred arch and traceried
head, side bays with ogee arch and traceried heads cusped and sub-cusped, with
crockets carved as foliage or grotesques; between the bays, buttresses and
springers of vaults to former loft; traceried middle rail and close lower
panels. The screen at the W end of the S chapel is of c.1350, of 3 main bays,
middle bay of 2 lights, side bays of 3 lights, all with cinquefoiled ogee heads
and flowing tracery; between lights in the middle bay and S bay, circular shafts
with moulded bases and carved capitals; the N bay, an inserted doorway with
cusped and sub-cusped head and crenellated cornice; the main cornice moulded and
enriched with small carvings, close lower panels. In the Chancel against the
N wall there is a plastered altar tomb with black marble slab to Richard
Marriot, 1703, and others; and floor-slabs to Dorothy, first wife of Sir John
Marshall, 1685, and to Lucy, second wife, 1699, both with shields of arms, to
Thomas Marriott, 1766, and John Marriott, 1781. In the N chapel against the N
wall there is a plain altar tomb with brass inscription on slab to Robert Kempe,
1524, and Anne his wife; and on the E wall a white marble and slate tablet with
4 shields to William Kempe, 1628, and 'Philip' his wife, 1623, erected 1652. In
the middle of the S chapel there is an altar tomb to John Berners, 15- and
Elizabeth (Wysseman) his wife, 1523, with brass figures on a Purbeck marble
slab, of man in armour with a tabard of arms, the figure of a woman with
pedimental head-dress and heraldic mantle, and inscription below the figures;
the tomb of clunch with traceried panelled sides, each with a shield of arms; on
N and S sides, dividing the panels, 3 canopied niches each with a hooded and
habited bedesman, damaged. In the S aisle, on the ledge of the second window in
the S wall, there is a scratched diagram of nine men's morris.

Listing NGR: TL6862432806

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.