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Liston church, Liston, Essex

(52°4′14″N, 0°42′7″E)
Liston church, Liston
TL 853 448
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
medieval none recorded
  • Ann Hilder
  • Ron Baxter
22 April 2015

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Feature Sets

Liston is a small village in the Braintree district of north Essex, on the Essex bank of the River Stour that forms the Suffolk border. The closest major town is Sudbury, 2½ miles to the SE. Liston village consist of little more than the church itself, a few dwellings on adjacent minor roads, and the site of Liston Hall, half a mile W of the church; originally an 18thc manor house, destroyed by fire in 1870 and rebuilt, largely demolished in 1952 and now used for holiday accommodation.

The church consists of a nave with a S porch and a knapped flint S chapel that straddles the nave and chancel; a chancel with a N vestry, and a brick W tower. Otherwise construction is of flint and pebbles, the nave and chancel once mortar rendered but most of this is now lost. The nave and chancel are 12thc in origin, the chancel was widened in the 13thc, the tower was added in the 16thc, and the chancel restored in 1867 by Woodyer, who also added the S chapel, S porch and N vestry. The only Romanesque feature is the bricked-up N doorway.


Liston was held as a manor by a free man in 1066, and by Geoffrey Talbot from Hugh de Gournai in 1086. It was assessed at half a hide and 30 acres, with 30 acres of meadow and half a mill. A second manor, held by Ilbod in 1086 and by a free man in 1066, was assessed at half a hide and a virgate, and this also contained 30 acres of meadow and half a mill (presumably the other half of the same mill).


Exterior Features



The doorway is dated to the early 12thc by RCHME, but only to the 12thc by the list description and Bettley and Pevsner. The distinctive chevron and lozenge detail on the lintel connects this to the heavily restored chancel arch imposts at Middleton.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, 3 vols, London 1899, III, 183.

J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 536

J. M. Bull , A short history of Borley and Liston churches

Essex County Council, SMR number 8541

Historic England Listed building 114060

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1: North West (1916), 169-70.