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Description: Sawbridgeworth Congregational Church
Date Listed: 2 October 1981
English Heritage Building ID: 160811
OS Grid Reference: TL4801414644
OS Grid Coordinates: 548014, 214644
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8108, 0.1457
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TL 4801 1464:3/13
1862-3 by Poulton and Woodman, architects of Reading. Opened April 1863
as church and schoolroom. Extension to N1911. Polychrome brick church
with bath stone dressings and steep slate roof of 2 colours banded. Early
English style. 5 bay church with W apse (organ) and E gallery over
entrance lobby. Buttressed square tower with shingled spire rises over
NE corner. Lower vestry at SW next apse. Integral 4 bay schoolroom set
back on N side with 4 bay arcade opening it up to church. Original sliding
screens closing off schoolroom still in use. Linked by arch,2 storey brick
extension to N. Modern hall at rear of extension. 3 part E front to
church, centre flanked by narrow recessed parts. Yellow stock brick.
White brick plinth offsets. 5 polychrome bands in height of gable and
each of 3 courses of white brick with blue brick course above and below.
Central quatrefoil datestone below tall E window. Stone plate tracery
with 4 lancets topped by blind 6-pointed star and a pyramid of 3
quatrefoils. 3 ring header arch in white brick over stone arch, outer
ring has blue header at every 3rd brick. Steep stone copings, kneelers
and trefoil finial. Louvred trefoil opening in upper part of gable sunk
in stone infill to pointed arched top opening with segmental cill. Steep
stone copings to porch on SE projecting to plane of centre. 2 centred
pointed arch to door. Stone dressings with 3 ring brick arch. Similar
door in base of NE tower of 4 stages with paired buttresses running up 2
stages. It has brick banding linking to centre. Very narrow lancets to
1st and 2nd stage and 2 to 4th stage. Quatrefoil in circular brick
opening to 3rd stage. Diminished 4th stage and brick corbelling to base
of pyramid spire. Schoolroom set back depth of tower. E front has
corresponding plinth and brick bands. Polygonal headed door on right.
2 small lancets rising for stair to church gallery. Large central window
with stone place tracery of 3 quatrefoils recessed in equilateral curved
triangle under polychrome brick arch. Small stone triangular vent above
and a stone coping. Plank door with decorative iron hinges. Diamond
leaded glazing throughout. Flanks of church and schoolroom have plinth
and polychrome brick bands and buttresses with stone offsets. 1st buttress
on SE has '18 AW 62' cut in brick. Brick eaves corbels. Paired stone
lancet windows with diamond leaded lights and pivoted metal opening section
in each lefthand light, 2 storey stock brick extension of 1911 on N. Plum
brick dressings. Stone coping to front parapet and central gable and
kneelers. 2 storey recessed arch feature in centre. 3 light wooden
casements. Transoms to Gd floor windows. Rectangular leaded lights.
Elaborate foundation stone. 4 bay arcade in church has paired columns like a
cloister with C13 style floral joint capitals. Boarded dado with top
rail decorated with quatrefoils. Stone corbels support open timber roof
of uniform scantling. Central raised pine pulpit with dog-tooth arches
and heavy bar mouldings. Old panelled pews are used as dado in schoolroom.
Bath for adult immersion installed under dias in 1938. (Pevsner 2nd Ed
Ed Rev (1977) 335: WEA II (1967) 51-6: Church Building Centenary booklet
Listing NGR: TL4801414644
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.