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Parish Church of St Michael, Thorpe-le-Soken

Description: Parish Church of St Michael

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 30 January 1987
English Heritage Building ID: 120321

OS Grid Reference: TM1792922294
OS Grid Coordinates: 617929, 222294
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8567, 1.1633

Location: 8 B1033, Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex CO16 0EA

Locality: Thorpe-le-Soken
Local Authority: Tendring District Council
County: Essex
Country: England
Postcode: CO16 0EA

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Listing Text

TM 1622-1722 (south-west side)

8/92 Parish Church of St.


Parish church. C15 and C16, partly rebuilt in 1875 by William White. W tower
and N porch of red brick in English bond (the latter faced externally with
uncoursed rubble), the remainder of stone rubble, uncoursed externally, with
dressings of limestone and red sandstone, roofed with red clay tiles and lead.
Chancel, Nave, N chapel, S chapel and S aisle 1875 retaining a tomb recess in
the Chancel and part of the roof of the Nave. N aisle C15, restored in 1875. N
porch c.1500, refaced externally in 1875. W tower c.1500. The major
restoration of 1875 has retained some original fabric and features, particularly
in the N aisle and the N porch, and the whole of the W tower except the parapet.
The Chancel has in the S wall an arch with cinquefoiled and sub-cusped ogee
head, the spandrels carved with foliage, a moulded label with a thick band of
naturalistic foliate crocketing, and on each side a diapered buttress carried up
with crocketed square finials, mainly early C14, with minor restoration. In it
is a stone effigy in mail with surcoat, remains of shield and sword, legs
originally crossed but missing below the knee, feet on lion couchant, C13. The
roof of the Nave is partly C15, restored in 1875, in 5 bays of single
hammer-beam construction. It has been boarded to form a barrel-vault, but
leaving exposed the chamfered arched braces of the original structure, with some
renewal. In the N aisle the C15 fabric seems to have been retained, refaced
externally and re-fenestrated in 1875, following the earlier pattern,
significantly different from the windows of the parts rebuilt in 1875. W of the
N door is a small doorway to a stair to the muniments room over the N porch,
c.1500, having a timber frame with chamfered jambs and mason-mitred square head,
and a plain boarded door with re-used C13 hinges with incised zigzag pattern,
octofoiled scutcheon plate and twisted ring handle. The C15 lean-to roof of the
N aisle is in 5 bays, with moulded principal rafters, moulded rafters at
half-bay intervals, and moulded butt-purlins, supported on moulded wall-pieces
and carved brackets (some replaced in 1875); the common rafters are of
horizontal section, some hollow-chamfered, some plain-chamfered with step stops.
At the E end of the N aisle is a late C15 timber screen of 3 bays and double
entrance bay. One bay is missing; it has been moved in 1826 and 1875. Each bay
has a trefoiled ogee head, with moulded mullions and head-beam and carved
cresting. The coving below the cresting is carved in relief with 5 half-angels
(the faces destroyed) holding 3 shields, respectively with chalice and host,
crossed keys and crossed swords, and a scroll with the inscription in black
letter "This cost is the bachelers made by ales Jhesu be ther med'. The
2-storey N porch and the newel stair to the upper room are of -brick, c.1500,
refaced externally with uncoursed rubble, painted internally; the floor has a
moulded axial beam and chamfered joists of horizontal section with plain stops;
the low-pitched roof is of cranked plain joists of square section. The W tower,
c.1500, is of 3 stages, with a moulded plinth, and a splayed stair-turret in the
S wall. The E and W walls and the diagonal buttresses have an overall diaper
pattern in blue flared headers; the N wall has a pattern mainly of chevrons and
some diaper work, and the S wall has a single large saltire cross. The
2-centred tower-arch is of 5 chamfered orders on the E side, 4 chamfered orders
on the W side, with plain plastered responds. The W window has a 2-centred arch
of brick; the remainder of it was being rebuilt at the time of survey, July
1985. In the second stage are N and W brick windows of one 4-centred light with
a moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a partly restored brick
window of 2 round-headed lights with a quatrefoil in a 4-centred head with a
moulded label. The W doorway has splayed brick jambs and a 2-centred arch of 3
moulded orders with a moulded label. The stair-turret is lit by one stone
quatrefoil, another restored, and a cruciform brick loop. The floor of the
second stage is original, of chamfered beams framed round a bellway, with plain
joists of horizontal section. The font has an octagonal bowl, each face with a
plain shield in a star-shaped panel, and a panelled and cusped octagonal stem,
C15, on a moulded base with spur ornaments, C12. On the N wall of the Chancel
are tablets (1) to Stephen Martin Leake and Fletcher Powell, 1773, (2) to
Stephen Martin Leake the son, 1797, and (3) to Mary (Calvert) 'Leake, 1821, and
John Martin Leake, 1836. In the N aisle are floor-slabs (1) to Elizabeth
(Leake) Wyatt, 1731, and (2) to Sarah Rofe, 1755, and William Rofe, 1791. On
the S wall of the tower is a slate tablet to Thomas Wharton, 1669, and Elizabeth
his wife, and an alabaster achievement of arms. There are 5 bells, the third by
Warner and Bentfield, 1819, the fourth by Thomas Mears, 1843, and the fifth by
Charles Newman, 1688. The alterations to the church are considered in detail,
with a photograph from the SE taken before 1875, in E.A. Wood, A History of
Thorpe-le-Soken to the year 1890, 1975). RCHM 1.

Listing NGR: TM1792922294

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.