St Michael, Ramsey, Essex

Feature Sets (2)


Ramsey is a village in the Tendring district of NE Essex, on the S bank of the Stour estuary. The closest town is Harwich, whose outer suburbs are half a mile to the E.  The church stands apart from the village on the E side. It consists of a 12thc nave (see the N doorway and one N window) with a S porch, a chancel that dates from the 14thc in its earliest details, but was heavily restored and re-roofed at the end of the 16thc, and a 15thc W tower. This is of flint and pebbles in its lower parts with brick repairs, buttresses and parapet, while the remainder of the church is cement rendered. In 1913-14 the church was restored by W. D. Caroë, and in 2000 a hall was added on the N side. The only Romanesque sculpture here is on the N doorway.


In 1066 the manor of Ramsey was held by Aelfric Cempa, which was assessed at 7 hides and 35 acres. In 1086 it was held by Roger from Ralph Baynard. The tenancy in chief passed through the families of Baynard, fitzGilbert, fitzWalter and de Vere, under whom it was held by tenants who took the family name of Ramsey. Elias de Ramsey held it in King John’s reign and Alexander de Ramsey in 1260. A total of seven manors are recorded in Ramsey, but all seem to have been taken out of the capital manor at various dates from the later middle ages onwards.


Exterior Features


N nave doorway

Single order, round-headed. The jambs and arch are plain and unmoulded. The imposts are chamfered with a tall face and a low chamfer. The faces have a low roll at the bottom, and above this two rows of chip-carved saltires in squares. The chamfers are chip-carved with intersecting round arches. On the main angles, at the bottom, are remains of small volutes; the W worn and indistinguishable, the E parhaps a human head.

Height of opening 2.23m
Width of opening 1.09m


The use of chip-carving suggests an early 12thc date for the doorway, as noted by the list description.


  • J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 634-35.

  • Historic England Listed Building 120292

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 293-94.

  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3: North East (1922), 191-93.

  • T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, 1836, II, 808-10.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TM 218 305 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Essex
now: Essex
medieval: London
now: Chelmsford
now: St Michael
medieval: St Michael (pre-Reformation)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
26 September 2014