42. GREAT WIGBOROUGH. (C.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxvi. S.E. (b)xlvi. N.E.)
Great Wigborough is a parish 7 m. S. of Colchester.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Stephen stands
towards the N. end of the parish. The walls are
of mixed rubble and septaria with dressings of
limestone; the roofs are tiled. The Nave and
chancel were built late in the 14th century. Late
in the 15th century a W. tower and a S. porch
were added. The church was seriously damaged
by the earthquake of 1884, and was subsequently
restored; the Chancel and West Tower being
rebuilt and the South Vestry added. The South
Porch was rebuilt in 1903.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description — The Chancel is
modern except for some reused material of the
14th century in the N.E. and S.E. windows.
The Nave (37½ ft. by 21 ft.) has in the N. wall
two windows; the eastern is modern except for
the reset 14th-century splays and rear-arch; the
western window is modern; between them is the
late 14th-century N. doorway, with moulded two-centred arch and label and defaced head-stops;
it has been partly reset and is now blocked; at
the E. end of the wall is the late 14th-century
rood-loft staircase; the lower doorway has hollowchamfered jambs and two-centred head; the
upper doorway has a round head and has been
reset and partly restored. In the S. wall are two
windows, both modern except for the W. splay
of the eastern window; between them is the
mid 15th-century S. doorway with a moulded two-centred arch and label with defaced head-stops;
the moulded jambs have each an attached shaft,
with moulded capital and base; above the doorway externally is a rough arch of doubtful purpose.
The West Tower has been almost entirely rebuilt
but incorporates much of the late 15th-century
material. The two-centred tower-arch is of two
hollow-chamfered orders, the outer continuous and
the inner dying on to the side walls. The W.
window incorporates some old work in the jambs
The South Porch was rebuilt in 1903 but incorporates late 15th-century material. The two-centred outer archway is of two moulded orders,
the outer continuous and the inner resting on
attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases.
The side walls have each a window, mostly modern
but incorporating in one the head of two trefoiled
lights with a moulded label and in the other some
stones in the jambs.
The Roof of the nave is modern but incorporates
some 15th or early 16th-century timbers, including
a moulded principal and moulded and carved wallplates.
Fittings—Bells: two; 1st by John Danyell,
inscribed "Nomen Magdalene Campana Geret
Melodie," late 15th-century; 2nd by Miles Graye,
1622. Brass: In nave—on N. wall, to Henry
Bullocke, 1609, inscription only; indent of this
brass now forms threshold of S. doorway. Door:
In tower—in doorway to turret, of overlapping
battens with strap-hinges, 15th-century. Font:
octagonal bowl with moulded upper and lower
edges, panelled sides, four with quatrefoils enclosing
blank shields, two with roses, the others with a
pair of feathers and a heart respectively, each with
a scroll, buttressed stem, 15th-century, lower part
of stem and the base modern. Floor-slabs: In
chancel—(1) to Henry Bullocke, 1628. In nave—
(2) to Ann, widow of Edward Marke, 1621; (3) to
Richard Wiseman, 1616. Niche: In nave—in
N. wall, W. of N.E. window, with shafted jambs
and ribbed vault, moulded pedestal, late 15th-century, much defaced. Plate: includes cup
probably of late 16th-century date and remodelled,
with knop and cone-shaped stem; late 16th-century
cover-paten with incised ornament. Stoups: In
nave—adjoining N. doorway, with chamfered
jambs and two-centred head, probably 15th-century
and reset; adjoining S. doorway, similar to above
but in situ. Miscellanea: In splay of S. doorway—
stone with 12th-century ornament. In churchyard—S. of tower, various worked stones, 14th or
Condition—Poor, serious cracks in walls.
b(2). Hyde Farm, house, 220 yards W. of the
church, is of two storeys, partly timber-framed and
partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built
in the 15th century with a central hall and crosswings at the E. and W. ends. Built into the
E. chimney-stack is a gargoyle from Little Wigborough church. Inside the building the hall has
been divided into two storeys in the 16th century,
but retains an original king-post roof-truss. The
fireplace in the main chimney-stack has a four-centred head of the 16th century and in the E. wall
of the hall is a doorway with chamfered jambs and
four-centred head. There are remains of the
original roof construction in the E. wing.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(3). Abbot's Hall, ¾ m. S.S.W. of the church,
has been practically rebuilt, but the kitchen has
17th-century ceiling-beams and joists, apparently
part of the original building.
a(4). Moulsham's Farm, house, 300 yards N.E.
of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and
plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early
in the 17th century and has a late 17th-century
addition on the W. side and modern additions both
on the E. and W. Inside the building one room
is lined with original panelling and there are some
b(5). Red Hills, several near Abbot's Hall saltings, about 1 m. S. of the church.