33. GREAT STAMBRIDGE. (F.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)lxx. S.E. (b)lxxi. S.W.)
Great Stambridge is a small parish on the estuary
of the River Roach, 4 m. N.E. of Southend-on-Sea.
The church is the principal monument.
Great Stambridge, the Parish Church of St. Mary and All Saints
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary and All
Saints stands in the S.W. corner of the parish.
The walls are of ragstone, flint and septaria-rubble
with some pudding-stone and brick and with
dressings of Reigate and other limestone; the
roofs are covered with tiles and slates. Parts of
the Nave and Chancel are of pre-Conquest date.
The South Aisle was added c. 1300, and in the
14th century or earlier the greater part of the
chancel was re-built. The West Tower is a 15th-century addition and the North Porch is probably
of the same date. The chancel-arch has been
removed and a modern Vestry and Organ-chamber
erected on the N. and S. side of the chancel
The pre-Conquest origin of the church gives it
some architectural interest.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24 ft.
by 17 ft.) has an E. window, all modern except the
splays and chamfered two-centred rear-arch which
are probably of the 14th century. In the N. wall
is a 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs
and two-centred head with a moulded label. W.
of the doorway the wall is of pre-Conquest date
with an external set-back about 9 ft. from the
ground; high up in the wall is the relieving-arch
or head of a pre-Conquest window. The existing
window is modern except for the splays. In the
S. wall is a modern arch and window.
The Nave (40¾ ft. by 20½ ft.) has in the N. wall
three windows, the easternmost a much repaired
square-headed window, probably of 13th-century
origin; the other two windows are of the 15th
century and each of two cinque-foiled lights in a
square head with a moulded label; between them
is a late 14th or early 15th-century doorway with
moulded jambs and two-centred head with a
moulded label. The N. wall is of rag and puddingstone and is of pre-Conquest date. At about 9 ft.
from the ground is a rough external offset, continued
along from the chancel. Immediately E. of the
second window of the nave and above the offset
are the remains of one external splay of a pre-Conquest window and immediately W. of the
porch is a patch of yellow septaria-filling which
suggests the previous existence of a similar window.
The S. arcade is of c. 1300 and of three bays with
two-centred arches of two hollow-chamfered orders
resting on octagonal piers and semi-octagonal
responds with moulded capitals and bases of
varying detail, the arches have on the N. side a
moulded label. The S.W. angle of the nave retains
the pre-Conquest walling of rag and pudding-stone.
The South Aisle (7¾ ft. wide) has been partly
refaced and partly cemented over externally; the
windows are modern.
The West Tower (about 9 ft. square) is of 15th-century date and of three stages with an 18th-century embattled brick parapet and two courses
of flint and stone chequer-work above the plinth.
The tower-arch is pointed and of two continuous
chamfered orders, the inner interrupted by moulded
capitals. In the W. wall is a 15th-century doorway
with chamfered jambs and two-centred head and
external label now covered with modern cement.
Above is a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred
head with a moulded label. The bell-chamber has
in the E. wall a single-light window with a two-centred head and moulded label; in the S. wall
is a similar window. There are probably other
windows in the N. and W. walls, and a second in
the E. wall, now obscured by a thick growth of
ivy. On the face of the S.W. buttress is a cross of
red and yellow bricks.
The North Porch (9½ ft. by 7¾ ft.) has a two-centred and chamfered outer archway in a square
moulded outer order, probably of 15th-century
date. The walls have been refaced externally with
modern brick and plaster. The roof is of the 15th
century and of two bays with cambered tie-beams
supported by four-centred arched braces carrying
king-posts with curved struts and a central purlin.
Fittings—Font (Plate, pp. xlii–iii): octagonal
bowl with concave sides, one blank, the others
each with a quatre-foiled circle enclosing (a) a
four-leafed flower, (b) shield with fleur-de-lis, (c) a
four-leafed rose, (d) shield with the letter W
surmounted by a crown, (e) eight-leafed flower,
(f) shield with four bars, (g) shield with
three pierced molets and a border; moulded
under-edge and hollow-chamfered base, late
15th-century. Monuments: In churchyard—on
N. side, (1) to Samuel, son of Samuel and Sarah
Sharp, 1680, head-stone; (2) to Sarah, daughter
of the above, 1680, head-stone. Niche: By W.
door of tower—with chamfered jambs and four-centred head, probably 15th-century. Piscina:
In chancel—with moulded ogee head and jambs
and corbelled-out basin resting on a man's head
and having tapering trefoiled traceried panels,
14th-century. Plate: includes an Elizabethan
cup, date-mark obliterated. Recess: In N.E.
corner of nave across the angle—with rounded
chamfered head, of 15th-century date, probably
formerly part of rood-stairway.
a(2). At Great Stambridge Hall, ¼ m. S.E. of
a(3). At Hampton Barns, nearly 1 m. E.N.E. of
a(4). Shepherd and Dog Inn, at Ballards Gore,
nearly 1½ m. N.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys,
timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled.
It was built in the 15th century and is of T-shaped
plan with the cross-wing at the E. end. In the
17th century the roof to the W. wing was raised
and an upper floor and chimney-stack inserted;
modern additions have been made on the N. and W.
The S. end of the E. wing has a projecting
upper storey and the main chimney-stack is of
17th-century date. Inside the building some of
the rooms have exposed ceiling-beams.
a(5). Cottage, 100 yards W. of (4), is of two
storeys, timber-framed and weather-boarded; the
roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century
and has modern additions on the S. The E. end
of the original building has a projecting upper
storey with a moulded bracket at the N. end.
b(6). Red Hills, two on Wallsea Island, S.W.
of Oldpool Farm. Another has been located at
the E. end of the island.