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Church of St Mary the Virgin, Little Dunmow

Description: Church of St Mary the Virgin

Grade: I
Date Listed: 20 February 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 122726

OS Grid Reference: TL6561221231
OS Grid Coordinates: 565612, 221231
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8651, 0.4039

Locality: Little Dunmow
Local Authority: Uttlesford District Council
County: Essex
Country: England
Postcode: CM6 3HY

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Listing Text


4/288 Church of St. Mary the
20.2.67 Virgin

Parish Church. Formerly the Lady Chapel C14, of the Augustinian Priory of St.
Mary the Virgin, founded 1106 by Geoffrey Baynard. It is all that now remains
above ground, the rest being demolished after the Dissolution 1536. During
C19 renovations, a turret was built to the N.W. on the base of a former Tower
pier. A vestry added to the N. wall and re-roofing with scissor bracing and
ashlar pieces and 7 plain tie beams. Clad with grey slate tiles. Externally
The walls are of flint rubble and brick with dressings of limestone and Clunch.
There are 3 stage butresses to E, N.E. and S.E. and a diagonal buttress to S.W.
C19 doorway to west wall in a moulded stone surround and C19 windows. North
wall has 4 C19 lancet windows and E of the vestry is a blocked, shafted, C13
window with shaft rings, below which is an area of blank intersecting arcading.
East window, C19 of 5 lights. South wall has 4 fine C14 windows, Eastern and
third, of 4 cinquefoiled sub-cusped lights with flowing tracery in four centred
heads, second and fourth of 3 cinquefoiled sub-cusped lights with leaf/vertical
tracery in a two centred head; there is also to the West C16 light with 3 centre
head in a square headed panel. Internally West wall has moulded string course
and 3 panels with trefoiled ogee heads, crocketed and finial labels and carved
stops. East end of North wall has a splayed recess with foiled head. East
window has original splays which are continued to the floor with attached
shafts, moulded capitals and bases there are 4 niches in splay hollows, with
gabled crocketed and pinnacled canopies c.1370. Reredos c.1370 of 5 niches
with 3 sided ornamented canopies, has 2 pairs of panels to right and left with
trefoiled ogee head and carved spandrels. Above is a rectangular panel and
the embattled window cill. Adjoining N. splay is a carved head. Either side
of the upper part of the window are 2 cinquefoil headed panels. Level with
the cills of the 4 S. windows 2 of the springs of the window heads are moulded
string courses enriched with small carvings of animals, foliage and people.
Between the windows at the E. end are panels in 2 tiers with cinquefoil or
trefoil heads, some with crocketed and finial labels. Between the first and
second window in the second tier is a shallow niche with moulded pedestal.
There are other panels above the string course, singly or in pairs. At the
west end of the wall is a blocked two-centred arch. The shafted jambs have
moulded capitals and bases of Purbeck marble. South Arcade c.1190 of 5 bays,
two centre arches of 3 moulded orders, with remains of moulded labels. N. side.
Piers of 4 headed shafts divided by plain circular shafts, all with moulded
and foliated capitals under a common circular abacus. Moulded beams have spur
ornaments and rest on common octagonal and chamfered plinth with a square
chamfered sub plinth. Fittings N. Wall at floor level a panel of approx 31
medieval tiles. Dunmow Flitch Chair, made of C13 stall and later work with
moulded panels. Tomb of Walter Fitzwalter and his wife 1432-1464, 2 fine
alabaster effigies, man in plate armour with mail standard and skirt, collar
of s.s. with 'truth' pendant, hip belt, head on helm, headless lion at missing
feet. Woman in sideless dress hip belt, corded cloak, horned headress, angels
at head and dogs at feet. Tomb Alabaster, effigy of woman in sideless gown and
corded cloak, collar of s.s. angels at head and dogs at feet. Sir James Halley
1753 by Thos. Adye - Obelisk with seated female figure holding a portrait
medallion. Floor slab to John Wylde, infant son of Sir William Wilde 1665.
Piscina C14 wall, moulded trefoiled head and label, finial and dog tooth
ornament, shafted jambs with moulded bases and foliated capitals, spirally
fluted basin with carved front resting on semi-octagonal shaft with moulded
base and capital, with 2 pointed and foiled arches. Pulpit C19/E C20
incorporating 7 C15 Flemish traceried panels.

Listing NGR: TL6561221231

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.