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Latitude: 51.7993 / 51°47'57"N
Longitude: 1.0739 / 1°4'26"E
OS Eastings: 612046
OS Northings: 215654
OS Grid: TM120156
Mapcode National: GBR TQW.2BQ
Mapcode Global: VHLD3.K1LH
Entry Name: St Osyth's Priory Stable Block adjacent to north west of barn
Listing Date: 21 February 1950
Last Amended: 20 March 2014
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1337156
English Heritage Legacy ID: 120026
Location: St. Osyth, Tendring, Essex, CO16
Civil Parish: St. Osyth
Traditional County: Essex
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex
Church of England Parish: St Osyth Saints Peter and St Paul
Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford
Late-C18 stables, remodelled in the late C19.
Former stables of the late-C18, remodelled by Sir John Johnson in the late-C19.
Constructed of red brick laid in Flemish bond with a tiled roof.
Ground floor stabling with a grooms’ room at the south end and loft over.
The Stable has two storeys and a hipped roof, adjoining the Tithe Barn at its south end. The east elevation has a brick band at the first floor and a central four-centred arch entrance and a late-C19 door with decorative strap hinges and a fanlight over; a similar door at the south end leads to the grooms’ room. There are three two-light, mullion windows with cusped heads, leaded lights and over-painted, brick hood-moulds. The north elevation has a door similar to that which leads to the grooms’ room and a mullion window. The west elevation (rear) has an inserted door at ground floor, and a taking-in door to the loft towards the north. A second door opening has been enlarged and is partially open to the elements.
The former stabling area on the ground-floor has lightly chamfered transverse bridging beams and timber clad walls, but the stalls and feed chutes have been removed. The grooms’ room to the south has timber clad walls, a pamment floor and saddle mounts on the walls. A stair leads to the loft above, where there are no historic fixtures and fittings, but the C19 king-post roof is exposed. The timber-framed partition with the Tithe Barn at the south end, has studs and a wall-plate of heavy scantling and retains some wattle and daub partitions; a plank door with strap hinges gives access to an inserted mezzanine at the west end of the Tithe Barn.
The settlement now known as St Osyth is recorded as Chicc in the Domesday Book of 1086, and is said to be the location of a C7 convent founded by Acca, Bishop of Dunwich. Its first Abbess Osyth, daughter of the Mercian king Frithwald and wife to Sighere, the first Christian king of Essex is purported to have been brutally martyred at the hands of Danish marauders in 653. Her name was later commemorated by the renaming of the village as St Osyth, although it continued to be known also as Chich into the post-medieval period. The location of the convent is unknown although Nun’s Wood to the north of the Priory may be relevant. Within Nun’s Wood a possible moated site and a series of fish ponds may relate to pre- or early Priory occupation of the estate.
Archaeological finds of the C8 to C10 indicates a settlement of that date at or near to the present village. The Church of St Peter and St Paul is thought to be the site of St Peter’s Minister mentioned in a document of c.1050. The Domesday Book records that there were three Manors at Chicc in 1066.
The Priory was founded shortly after 1120 by Richard de Belmeis, Bishop of London, as a house for Augustinian canons from Holy Trinity, London. The Priory was dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, and St Osyth and became an abbey before 1161. It is most likely that a park was associated with the abbey, possibly from 1268 when a charter was granted to the abbey allowing some hunting rights. Of the monastic buildings, the earliest remaining work is the sub-vault of the Dorter range which is of the period of the foundation; the still existing portions of the walls bounding the Cloister on the east and west are possibly also of this date. The fragmentary upstanding remains of what was probably the Kitchen are of the early-C13; to the same period belong the remains of the early gatehouse. In c.1230–40 the Frater was rebuilt with the vaulted passage to the east of it; at the end of the C13 the vaults in the former west range were built. The Great Gatehouse and the ranges flanking it and projecting south from it were built in the late-C15; the eastern of these ranges incorporates the earlier gatehouse. In about 1527 extensive additions were made by Abbot Vyntoner who built the Abbot's Lodging, aligned east west on the north side of the court, with an adjoining range running north-south (known as the South Wing in 2012). These abbey buildings survive to varying degrees of intactness, the most prominent today being the gatehouse and the Abbot’s Lodging, both reflecting the abbey’s wealth in the late medieval period.
The Abbot and Canons took the Oath of Supremacy in 1534 and received pensions after the surrender in July 1539. Post-dissolution, the Priory was bought by Thomas, 1st Lord Darcy, Lord Chamberlain of Edward VI’s household in 1553. It was Darcy and his successors who, in the mid-C16 and after, transformed the abbey into a substantial house. At this time the conventual church, which flanked the cloister to the south, was destroyed together with the major portion of the east and west ranges of the cloister quadrangle; the ends of the remaining portions of these ranges were faced with chequer-work, the Abbot's and Clock Towers were built and the upper part of the dorter range rebuilt to form a residence. In the early years of the Civil War, when it belonged to the 3rd Lord Darcy’s daughter, Countess Rivers, the Priory was sacked.
It remained in the ownership of the Countess Rivers's heirs until 1714, but during this period it was largely uninhabited and ruinous. It then passed by marriage to Frederic Nassau de Zuylestein, 3rd Earl of Rochford. In the 1720s he built a new house on the north side of the precinct and restored the gatehouse. His son added the surviving C18 range and laid out the park. The Nassau family remained in possession of the Priory until 1858, when it passed to Charles Brandreth, only to be sold to Mr (later Sir) John Johnson, a London corn merchant, in 1863. Brandreth demolished Lord Rochford’s house. Johnson began the restoration of the Abbot’s Lodging in the 1860s and went on to restore the south range and embellish the gardens and park.
The property passed through a number of owners in the C20. The house was used as a convalescent home from 1948 until the 1980s. Between 1954 and 1999 the Priory was the home of Somerset de Chair who converted the gatehouse to a residence. His extensive art collection was displayed in the C18 house.
The surviving buildings on the site range in date from the C12 to the C19, and are complimented by buried archaeological remains pertaining to the Priory and a late-C18 to C20 designed landscape. All of the buildings have a chequered history of alteration and change of use reflected in their fabric. The stables were built in the late-C18, but remodelled by Sir John Johnson in the later C19 when the two-light mullion windows and four-centred arched doorway were inserted. The stable was listed at Grade II in 1950 when it was noted as being a cowhouse. It is currently used as a workshop.
The Stable at St Osyth’s Priory is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the building retains a significant proportion of C18 fabric and has attractive features to the facade including the windows with hood-moulds over;
* Historic interest: the stable has historic interest as part of the evolved Priory complex;
* Interior: interior fixtures and fittings including the saddle mounts and pamment flooring contribute to the interest overall;
* Group value: the stable has group value with the other designated buildings and structures on the site, the Scheduled Monument and the registered Park and Garden.
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