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St Peter and St Paul, Stondon Massey, Essex

(51°41′28″N, 0°16′22″E)
Stondon Massey
TL 572 016
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ron Baxter
24 July 2018

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Feature Sets

Stondon Massey is a village in the Brentwood district of W Essex, 4 miles N of Brentwood and 9 miles SW of Chelmsford. The village extends for 1½ miles along a minor road, with the church at its northern extremity. St Peter and St Paul has a chancel with a N organ vestry and a nave with a N transeptal mortuary chapel. There is a S porch to the nave, and the N doorway is now the entrance from the nave interior to a lavatory. A weatherboarded bell turret over the W bay of the nave is topped with a shingled broach spire. Construction is of mixed flint, rubble and tile, and all rendered except at the W end. The church was restored in 1849-51, when the S porch and N vestry were added. The vestry was rebuilt in 1873-74 anf the organ chamber and the mortuary chapel added. The new toilet building dates from the 1990s. Recorded here are the two Romanesque nave doorways.


Stondon Massey is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey. The suffix Massey is taken from Marcy, and it is suggested (VCH) that the manor was included in Serlo de Marcy's manor of Margaret Roding: a manor of 1 hide and 15 acres held from Hamon Dapifer. By the beginning of the 13thc another Serlo de Marcy held Stondon.


Exterior Features



The tall, narrow, plain doorways must be dated to the early Romanesque period, c.1100 at the latest (the date suggested by RCHME). In 1954 when Pevsner saw it, the N doorway was blocked. Bettley (2007) repeats this information, although by 2007 the door had been reopened to allow access to the lavatory.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 754.

J. Cooper, The Church Dedications and Saints’ Cults of Medieval Essex, Lancaster 2011, 165.

Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 373810

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 341.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2: Central and South West (1921), 226-27.

Victoria County History: Essex IV (1956), 242-47.