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Description: St Mary's House
Date Listed: 30 January 1987
English Heritage Building ID: 120286
OS Grid Reference: TM2120928462
OS Grid Coordinates: 621209, 228462
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9107, 1.2148
LITTLE OAKLEY CLACTON ROAD
TM 22 NW (west side)
4/52 St. Mary's House, formerly
listed as Church of St.
Wrongly shown on O.S. map as St. Mary's Church. Former parish church, now a
house. Mainly C12-C15, restored in C19 and 1902, declared redundant in 1973.
Septaria and flint rubble, repaired with red brick in various bonds, all
plastered, with dressings of limestone, roofed with handmade red clay tiles.
Nave early C12, Chancel mid-C14, W tower late C15, S porch C19/20. The Chancel
has an original E window of 3 trefoiled ogee lights with net tracery in a
2-centred head with moulded labels, restored externally; above it is a small
square-headed opening, now blocked. On the apex of the gable is a C14 cross,
repaired. In the N wall are 2 C14 windows; the eastern is of one cinquefoiled
light with moulded label; the western is of 2 cinquefoiled ogee lights with
flowing tracery in a 2-centred head with moulded label. Between them is a
blocked window of 2 square-headed lights with external splays, formerly to a N
vestry, now plastered over externally. E of this is a blocked doorway with a
segmental-pointed head. In the S wall are 2 original windows, partly restored,
each of 2 cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a 2-centred head with moulded
label. The sill of the eastern window is carried down to form a seat. Between
them is a doorway, restored except the C14 splays and rear-arch; covering this
doorway and under a buttress is a small porch having a C14 outer archway with
wave-moulded jambs and 2-centred head, with moulded label and grotesque
head-stops. The mid-C14 chancel-arch is 2-centred and of 2 chamfered orders;
the responds have attached octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
The 7-canted roof is C14, with moulded wallplates. The Nave has in the N wall a
mid-C14 window of 2 cinquefoiled lights in a 2-centred head with moulded label.
Further E is the C15 rood-loft stair; the lower doorway has hollow-chamfered
jambs and 2-centred head. Near the W end is the C14 N doorway, with double
hollow-moulded jambs, 2-centred arch and label, now blocked. In the S wall are
2 windows; the eastern is C14, of 2 trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a
2-centred head with moulded label; the western window is C19. Between them is
an early C12 window of one round-headed light, blocked. W of the windows is the
mid-C14 S doorway, with wave-moulded jambs, 2-centred arch and label with
defaced headstops. The door is original, of V-edged boards with strap-hinges,
each enlarged to a rectangle near the jamb, restored inside. The roof of the
Nave is similar to that of the Chancel, the wallplates and tiebeams restored.
There are 4 in-pitch skylights in the N pitch, and 3 in the S pitch. The W
tower is of one stage, partly late C15, partly C19; it has a moulded plinth with
cusped panels formerly of flint-inlay work, now cement-rendered. The tower-arch
has been rebuilt, incorporating original material. The W window is of 3
cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a segmental-pointed head with
moulded label. The W doorway has moulded jambs and 2-centred arch in a square
head with a moulded label and stops carved with crowned lions; the jambs and
arch-mould are carved with square flowers, and the spandrels with shields of
arms; above the label is a range of trefoiled panels with blank shields in
alternate panels, partly rendered. The double doors are of ridged boards with
moulded frame and fillets, late C15. There is one C20 casement in the W gable
of the plain pitched roof. The door to the stair-turret is late C15, of one
timber carved in the solid to form a hollow-moulded frame with 4-centred head,
and 3 hollow-moulded fillets and ridged panels between. The S porch is C19/20,
with a re-set C14 cinquefoiled window-head in each side wall. Fittings. In the
Chancel is a piscina with shafted and buttressed jambs, cinquefoiled head, with
tall crocketed gabled head enclosing blind tracery, flanking pinnacles and
sexfoiled drain, C14. Also in the Chancel are 2 niches, flanking the E window,
with shafted and buttressed jambs, canopy with ribbed soffit painted in blue and
gold, cinquefoiled, gabled and crocketed heads, and crocketed and finialed
spire, C14, partly restored. A wooden floor inserted since 1973 leaves these
features exposed above and below it. There are floor-slabs in the Chancel (1)
to Robert Blacksell, 1671 (or 1674), (2) to - Blacksell, 1672, (3) to Robert
Blacksell, 1680, (4) to Robert Blacksell, 1682, (5) to Robert Beale. At the N
side of the Nave are C13 floor-tiles, incised with geometrical or rose designs.
(M.J. Corbishley et al, Excavations at St. Mary's Church, Little Oakley, Essex,
1977, Essex County Council Occasional Paper no. 4, 1984, 15-27). The conversion
to domestic use is described by Christopher Matthew in 'Parish News', Punch, 22
August 1984, 35-6.
Listing NGR: TM2120928462
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.