Navestock is a village in the Borough of Brentwood in SE Essex. It is a dispersed rural parish with no traditional centre, and the church and hall are rather isolated, N of the settlements of Navestock Heath and Navestock Side.
The church has a chancel rebuilt in the 14thc with a reticulated E window, and an 11thc-12thc nave with a later 5-bay S aisle. The 2 E bays of the arcade are oak arches with trusses, perhaps dating from the 16thc. The arcade piers and capitals are mid-13thc. There is an early Romanesque N doorway, but the entrance to the church is through a 15thc porch in the S aisle (rebuilt in 1955). The most spectacular feature of the church, however, is a great semi-octagonal tower with a timber turret and a broach spirelet, situated at the W end of the aisle.
In 1086 2 manors of 5 hides less 20 acres in total was held here by the canons of St Paul’s Cathedral, and it was held by two free men called Howard and Wulfsige in 1066. The canons claimed to have had it by gift of King William, and they also appropriated a manor of 1 hide and 40 acres that was held by Thorsten the Red before the Conquest. Another manor of 2 hides that was held by 7 men in 1066 was held by the same canons in 1086, and a priest held half a hide and 20 acres in 1086, but inevitably this was witnessed by the Hundred to belong to the canons of St Paul’s. A small manor of 80 acres was held by Gotild in 1066 and by Hamo the Steward in 1086. Whatever the truth about the appropriations of the canons of St Paul’s, they held the manor or Navestock until the 16thc, and had acquired the church by 1181.
The plain jambs bow outwards slightly at the top, perhaps owing to the stress exerted by the segmental lintel, with is unusually decorated with a row of fat roll billet on its soffit. The archivolt is continuous with the jambs, and encloses a recessed, rendered tympanum.
|Height from lintel soffit to outer arch apex||0.83m|
|Height of lintel||0.21m|
|Height of opening||2.09m|
|Height (radius) of tympanum||0.44m|
|Width of opening||0.99m|
J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 608.
J. Fitch (ed), Essex Churches and Chapels: A Select Guide, Donington 1997, 138.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 276-77.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2: Central and South West (1921), 190-93.
Victoria County History: Essex IV (1956), 139-50.