Wakes Colne is a village in the Colne valley, midway between Halstead and Colchester. It is a substantial settlement now extending N and S from the intersection of the A1124 with the minor road to Great Tey and Bures. Since 1849 it has been served by the Stour Valley Railway.
The church and Wakes Hall are half a mile W of the village centre, and the church consists of a 12thc nave with a timber W bell turret with a short spire, and a 15thc N porch, and a chancel that was extended eastwards in the 19thc. There is a modern vestry on the S side of the chancel at the W end. The E chancel wall is of brick and the remainder of coursed flints. 12thc work is found in 5 nave windows – 3 in the N wall and 2 in the S, all plain round-headed lancets and not recorded here; the N and S nave doorways and the font.
A manor of 1 hide and 30 acres in Wakes Colne was held by Azur in 1066 and by Robert Malet in demesne in 1086. This manor formed part of Robert’s Honour of Eye, where it was recorded in 1210 and in 1274. The tenancy was granted c.1174 to Saher de Quency, from whom it passed toi his brother Robert (d.c.1197) and thence to Robert’s son Saher, Earl of Winchester. This Saher gave the manor to his younger son Robert, who died before 1264, the manor passing to his daughter Hawise and hence to Baldwin Wake, her husband, from whom it took its present name.
The advowson of the church followed the descent of the manor, at least from the 14thc and probably earlier.
Round headed, 2 orders under a timber and brick porch.
|Height of opening||2.44m|
|Width of opening||1.05m|
Plain and continuous.
Detached cylindrical nook-shafts in sections on very worn bases, probably attic. The capitals are in a hard, dark grey stone and are cushions with plain neckings and high abaci marked with a pair of horizontal grooves. There are no impost blocks and the arch has a fat roll on the face and a quirked chamfered label.
Round headed, single order, plain and continuous.
|Height of opening||2.15m|
|Width of opening||1.11m|
At the W end of the nave is a font apparently of the Purbeck type, but with a hexagonal bowl with angles chamfered (making it technically dodecagonal), and with three plain recessed arches on each of the six main faces. The bowl is unlined and has the remains of repairs in each spandrel of the rim. In fact it is not Purbeck marble but appears to be of clunch, and an inscription reveals that it came from Messing church, and that the Vicar of Messing, Thomas Henderson, brought it with him when he took up the rectorship of Wakes Colne in 1848. Only the bowl is original, and it stands on a base of 1930 consisting of 3 slender outer cylinders and a central fatter one on a two-step plinth. The outer cylinders are at each alternate angle of the hexagon, presenting a curiously unstable prospect from the N and S.
|Height of bowl||0.245m|
|Height of font||1.00m|
|Exterior diameter of bowl (across flats)||0.63m|
|External diameter of bowl (corner to corner)||0.70m|
|Internal diameter of basin||0.52m|
J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 802-03.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3: North East (1922), 225-26.
Victoria County History: Essex X (2001), 116-28.