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All Saints, Stisted, Essex

(51°53′27″N, 0°36′46″E)
TL 799 246
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
  • Ron Baxter
25 October 2018

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Feature Sets

Stisted is a village in the Braintree district of Essex, on the N bank of the river Blackwater and 1½ miles outside Braintree to the NE. The village is a substantial one with a well-defined centre at a junction of minor roads. The church is in the centre, alongside Stisted Hall.

All Saints has a chancel with a N vestry, an aisled nave with N and S porches, and a tower sited at the E end of the S aisle, in the angle with the chancel. The nave and its aisles belong to the late-12thc and early-13thc, and the chancel is 13thc too. The tower was rebuilt on older foundations in 1844 as part of a major restoration in the 1840s that also included the construction of the two porches and the rebuilding of the W wall of the nave. This work was undertaken by the squire, Onley Savill-Onley, and the rector, Charles Foster. If an architect was employed, no name is known. Construction is of flint and pebble rubble with some puddingstone conglomerate. The nave arcades are described here although they are not entirely of the 12thc.


The manor of Stisted was given in the 1040s to the monks of Canterbury Cathedral by Godwin, Earl of Kent and Wisgith, widow of Elfwin, It was appropriated by Bishop Odo of Bayeux by right of his earldom of Kent, but was returned to the monks and remained with them until the Dissolution. The manor was assessed at only half a hide, but there was woodland for 800 pigs, 27 acres of meadow and a mill. The population of 13 villans (8 in 1066), 25 bordars (11 in 1066) and 4 slaves (6 in 1066) indicates a large and growing population of perhaps 200 souls at the time of the Survey.

Although the parish lay within the geographical boundaries of the London diocese in the Middle Ages, it was a peculiar of Canterbury Cathedral until 1914, when it was transferred to the new diocese of Chelmsford.


Interior Features



It seems certain that the nave was extended eastwards by a half-bay in the 13thc, when the chancel was remodelled and the S aisle added. The half-bay at the W end of the arcades was added at the same time. The majority of the N arcade dates from the later 12thc according to RCHME, and it is difficult to be more precise than this.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 751-52.

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

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3: North East (1922), 210-12.

T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, II, 1831, 12-15.