Little Tey is a small village in the Colchester district of Essex, situated on the former Roman road of Stane Street (now the A120), some 6 miles W of Colchester. It is dwarfed by its neighbours, Marks Tey to the E and Great Tey to the N, and consists of little more than a few dwellings on a minor road that runs northwards from the A120 and peters out when it reaches the church.
St James’s is a small single-cell building of flint rubble with ashlar dressings and puddingstone quoiss. It has an apsidal E end; originally Norman but refenestrated in the early 14thc. Nave and chancel are decorated with an extensive series of 13thc wallpaintings of the Passion. There is a timber bell turret over the W end of the nave, and a S porch protecting a 12thc doorway – the only feature described here. The N doorway is now covered by a vestry.
The Domesday Survey does not distinguish between the three Tey settlements, but records two holdings between them. Count Eustace held a manor of 3½ hides on 1086 that had been held by a free man in 1066. A second manor of 1½ hides and 20 acres was held by Geoffrey de Mandeville in demesne. According to Wright, however, it was included with Feering in the Survey and was held by Westminster Abbey; a theory apparently confirmed by the fact that the patronage of Little Tey was held by the abbey until its suppression.
|Height of opening||1.91m|
|Height of tympanum||0.495m|
|Height of tympanum and lintel||0.61m|
|Width of opening||1.05m|
|Width of tympanum||1.36m|
Plain ashlar jambs carrying chamfered imposts with narrow rolls at the bottom of the faces. They must originally have carried a lintel, but now each carries two bricks, one above the other, and these support the ends of a rough and rotting wooden lintel, It is this that supports the tympanum: a lunette of opus reticulatum, with each tile decorated with a chip-carved saltire. Gaps between the edge of the tympanum and the arch of the 2nd order are filled with tile fragments.
J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 560
Historic England Listed Building 420604
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 258.
RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3: North East (1922), 173-74.
T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, 1, 1836, 415-16.