British Listed Buildings

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The Chantry, Colchester

Description: The Chantry

Grade: II
Date Listed: 7 October 2013
Building ID: 1416068

OS Grid Reference: TL9718832456
OS Grid Coordinates: 597189, 232456
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9556, 0.8683

Locality: Colchester
Local Authority: Colchester Borough Council
County: Essex
Postcode: CO6 4BD

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Listing Text


An early-C19 former rectory, a private house in 2013.

Reason for Listing

The Chantry, an early C19 former rectory in Great Horkesley, Essex is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: the principal elevations have a confident and dignified treatment with well-proportioned exterior Neo-Classical features such as the double-height bay at the west elevation and entrance porch at the south. The Chantry is comparable in architectural quality to listed examples;

* Interior: the plan-form is said to survive well and some fixtures and fittings remain including window shutters, fireplaces and the staircase in addition to the lofty, arched entrance hall;

* Alterations: there have been some alterations to the building, but these do not affect the architectural interest of the building unduly;

* Group value: The Chantry has historical and functional group value with the Church of All Saints, listed at Grade I.


The Chantry served as the rectory of the Church of All Saints and, according to the Victoria County History, is probably located on the site of the medieval parsonage which is documented as needing repair in 1643. The Chantry was constructed in 1808 and it has been suggested that it may have been designed by Sir John Soane (1753-1837) for the Revd. Philip Yorke, grandson of Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwick, for whose family Soane carried out several important commissions. Soane was an immensely important architect in England; of his extraordinary oeuvre, the Bank of England and his own house (now the Soane Museum) in Lincoln’s Inn Fields are some of his most renowned designs. However, The Chantry is not documented as a building for which Soane was responsible; Pevsner and Bettley consider that it is more likely that a pupil of Soane designed the main house.

The building is marked as the parsonage on the Tithe map of 1839. On the 1876 Ordnance Survey (OS) map it is labelled as the rectory for the nearby church and had a terraced garden to the west and numerous outbuildings to the east. The service wing at the north-east elevation has been partially truncated. The house was sold in 1937, renamed The Chantry, and given a new lodge designed by Raymond Erith in 1938.

Close inspection of the property has not been possible, but the evidence to hand suggests that the bay windows to the south elevation may have been added in the later C19 and the first-floor windows may have been enlarged. An historic photograph of c. 1900 shows the west elevation much as it is today.


A former rectory of c. 1808, probably for Philip Yorke, possibly influenced by Sir John Soane.

Stucco rendered, probably over a brick structure, with slate covered roofs.U- shaped plan.

The Chantry is a house in the Neo-Classical style with two-storeys and three bays to the elevations under a shallow hipped roof with deep eaves. It has two ridge stacks. The west elevation (facing the garden) has a central double-height bow window covered by the main roof. There are French windows at the ground floor with glazing bars and three casement windows above. On either side of the bow are French windows, with mullioned casements, set within partially blocked and recessed arched openings. At the first floor above are four-light mullioned windows in rectangular openings. The south (front) elevation has two canted bay windows with one-over-one sash windows and pent roofs to either side of the central recessed entrance. There are Doric columns in antis to either side of the front door, which has a semi-circular fan light with finely detailed glazing bars above. On the first floor are three rectangular metal casement windows. The rear (north) elevation has a similar arrangement of French windows on the ground floor and rectangular casement windows on the first.

Not inspected but the sales particulars of 2011 describe the building as having 5 polite rooms and a staircase hall on the ground floor and six bedrooms on the first floor. The plan-form is largely intact. The interior retains a plaster vaulted hall with shallow arches and, it is said, an historic staircase and many contemporary fittings including fireplaces with rosette motifs and shutters to some of the French windows.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.