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Church of St Mary the Virgin, Benfleet

Description: Church of St Mary the Virgin

Grade: I
Date Listed: 7 August 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 116830

OS Grid Reference: TQ7782986138
OS Grid Coordinates: 577829, 186138
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5461, 0.5632

Location: B1006, Canvey Island, Essex SS7 1NA

Locality: Benfleet
Local Authority: Castle Point Borough Council
County: Essex
Country: England
Postcode: SS7 1NA

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

TQ 78 NE
1/12 Church of St. Mary the

GV 1

Parish church. C12 west end of Nave. C13 Chancel arch. Early C14 west tower.
During C15 the Chancel, Chancel arch, south arcade and south aisle were rebuilt.
Late C15 south porch, c.1500 north aisle and clerestorey. C17 repairs and
C19/C20 restorations. Ashlar, rubble, flint and Roman brick, timber south
porch, red plain tiled roofs. Chancel, east wall, angle buttresses, C19/C20 3
light window with roundel over under 2 centre arched head , label and stops.
North wall with angle and centre buttresses, 2 repaired C15 windows of 2
cinquefoiled lights, tracery over under 2 centre arched heads, labels over, 2
similar south wall windows with a chamfered 2 centre arched doorway of the same
date between. Crenellated north aisle, angle and 2 centre buttresses, the latter
with a blocked 2 centre arched doorway between. East wall C20 window of 2
cinquefoiled lights with quatrefoil in a 4 centred head, west wall window
similar to those in Chancel north wall. Western north wall window similar to
that in east wall, eastern window of 3 cinquefoil lights under a 4 centred head.
Clerestorey 3 C15 windows of 2 cinquefoil lights under square heads. Nave
eastern gable, 3 small C16 windows with rounded heads, one blocked. West tower
of 3 stages. Each face of ground floor has a small trefoiled light with square
head, similar second stage south and west windows, belfry north, south and west
windows of 2 trefoiled lights under square heads and labels, some restored.
Clock faces to north and south walls, flint flushwork bands to upper stage,
first stage buttresses to west, north west and south west angles. Crenellated
south aisle. 4 C15 windows similar to those in Chancel. Between the 2 south
wall windows is a C15 doorway with moulded jambs and 2 centred head. Clerestorey
with 3 lights similar to those in north wall. Fine south porch, of 2 bays each
with 4 cusped side wall lights. Moulded and chamfered 2 centred arch with
traceried spandrels, ogee side lights with vertical tracery over. Moulded and
crenellated tie beam with 3 panels over, each with moulded mullions and
traceried head. Moulded bargeboards. Interior, with central moulded hammer
beam, moulded arched braces, moulded wall plates, moulded and crenellated side
purlins. Side seats. C20 wrought iron mullions to all lights and C19/C20
restorations. Segmental headed stoup east of doorway. Interior. Chancel, roof
of 4 bays, 4 armed octagonal crown posts with moulded capitals and bases,
moulded wall plates. C15 piscina, moulded jambs, cinquefoiled arch in square
head. C19 and C20 stained glass windows. C20 dado panelling to choir walls.
Painted reredos designed by Sir Charles Nicholson and painted by his mother,
Lady Nicholson. Traceried screen by Sir Charles Nicholson, the lower panels
painted by his daughter, Miss Barbara Nicholson, rood beam with Christ and the 2
Maries. Early C15 2 centred Chancel arch of 2 hollow chamfered orders, mid C13
responds with 3 attached shafts, continuous moulded capitals and bases. Nave.
C20 3 cant roof with 4 plain tie beams. 4 carved face corbel stones to north
and south walls. C20 octagonal pulpit. Font. C13 Purbeck marble stem with C19
square bowl, 3 roundels to each face, foliate carved soffit, 4 side shafts,
moulded base. West wall, C12 doorway with round head, imposts and jambs of 2
orders. High up are 2 blocked C12 round headed windows with wide splays. C20
organ to specification of Sir Sidney Nicholson by Harrison and Harrison of
Durham. North arcade of 2 centre arches of 2 chamfered orders, columns with 4
attached shafts, moulded capitals and bases. North aisle. Niche at angle to
north and east walls. Rood loft stairway. Medieval glass quarries and borders
to east and north west windows. Since 1945 many windows throughout the church
have been filled with stained glass figures. Piscina, chamfered segmental
pointed head and round drain. South arcade, 2 centred arches of 2 chamfered
orders, octagonal piers and semi-octagonal responds, moulded capitals and bases,
some capitals are re-used c.1300 work. Square headed niche in east respond.
South aisle. Niche with pointed head in south wall. Piscina. Moulded jambs,
trefoiled ogee head. C13 coffin lid, inscription in Norman French said to read
"Here lies Marcelie, Pray for her soul". West tower with south east internal
spiral staircase of timber with octagonal newel. A monumental slab is reputed
to be under the Chancel floor, directly in front of the altar. The slab was
re-discovered in 1978. Indents and 3 pairs of trefoils adjoining the bracket
stem were all that remained of the bracket brass, fragments from elsewhere have
since be relaid. The slate commemorates Thomas Blosme and his wife Olive, the
stone was laid circa 1400 when she died, Thomas died 1440. John Dobson, Guide
to the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin.

Listing NGR: TQ7782986138

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.