The Essex Churches Site

 

THE ESSEX CHURCHES SITE

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St Mary and St Lawrence, Great Waltham

Great Waltham

Great Waltham Great Waltham Great Waltham Great Waltham

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A pretty village and a large church, although odd of proportion, for it is wide-aisled yet without clerestories under a low roof. The core of church and tower is Norman, although the north aisle is of the 1870s by that man Frederic Chancellor again. At some point the west side of the tower has been buttressed with red brick, which is very attractive, and the top of the tower was prettified right at the end of the 19th Century.

The south porch is low and wide, as if to fit in, and contains a 13th Century Purbeck marble font which may have acted as a holy water stoup for sacramentally-minded early 20th Century parishioners. You step into a space which, as you may imagine, is square in feel, largely because of the wide aisles and low roof, but also the narrow elegance of the arcades. Beyond the north arcade is the most memorable feature of the church, the famous memorial of 1611 to Sir Anthony and Lady Anne Everard of Langleys, Great Waltham.

Sir Anthony and Lady Anne Everard, 1611 Sir Anthony and Lady Anne Everard, 1611
Richard and Anonymus Everard, 1611 Anonymus & Richard, 1611 Anonymus Everard, 1611

She had died in 1609, he would die in 1614, although not before marrying again. They lie within an extraordinary gilded arch backlit by heraldic glass, both turned awkwardly onto their right elbows, stiff as dolls.  Below them lie three dead babies, one of them named as Richard but the other two only as 'anonymus'. It is a remarkable memorial caught at a fascinating moment in time, at once looking back to the recently-passed Elizabethan era and towards the turbulent puritan times to come. The memorial sat against the north wall of the nave until Chancellor built the aisle, and was regilded in the 1950s under Stephen Dykes Bower's direction.

There are other memorials to Everards and also to the Tufnells into whose hands Langleys passed in the early 18th Century. Many of the Tufnell memorials are in glass by the O'Connors in the 1850s, as well as some rather alarming Ion Pace glass from later in the century.

Simon Knott, June 2020

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looking east chancel looking west
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (1780s) Present at the Battles of Alma, Inkerman and Sebastapol Great Waltham MU pulpit, screen, candle stock (19th Century)
Annunciation (O'Connor, 1850s) Transfiguration (Ion Pace, 1890s) Crucifixion (O'Connor, 1850s) Who - me? Christ calls the disciples (Ion Pace, 1890s)
Christ and the Woman at the Well (O'Connor, 1850s) The Raising of Lazarus (O'Connor, 1850s) Christ washes Peter's feet (O'Connor, 1850s) 'noli me tangere' - Mary Magdalene meets the Risen Christ in the garden (O'Connor, 1850s)
Annunciation (O'Connor, 1850s) Nativity (O'Connor, 1850s) Visitation (O'Connor, 1850s)
An angel stays Abraham's hand as he is about to sacrifice his son Isaac (O'Connor, 1850s) Christ's entry into Jerusalem (O'Connor, 1850s) David brings Goliath's head to Saul as Jonathan looks on (O'Connor, 1850s)

Purbeck marble font (13th Century) tomb canopy

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home - index - latest - e-mail
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