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All Saints, Inworth, Essex

(51°49′41″N, 0°43′31″E)
TL 879 179
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ron Baxter
24 October 2018

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Feature Sets

Inworth is a village in the Colchester Borough Council area of the county, 8 miles SE of Braintree and 10 miles SW of Colchester. It has no obvious centre, consisting of scattered houses along the B1023 road from Kelvedon to Tiptree. The civil parish is Messing cum Inworth; Messing being a village a mile to the NE.

The church is alongside the B1023, and consists of a chancel with a nave, S porch and W tower. Nave and chancel are of flint, puddingstone and Roman brick. The brick tower dates from 1876-77 when it was constructed by Rev. A. H. Bridges. A watercolour of 1827 shows a bell turret with a short broach spire over the W gable of the nave. The chancel is late-11thc with windows deeply splayed inside and out, having exterior dressings of puddingstone blocks, roughly shaped. It was later extended. Inside are wallpaintings of c.1300 showing scenes from the life of St Nicholas. No dedication is known before 1515 and it has been suggested that the paintings are evidence of the earlier dedication. The chancel arch is the only feature recorded here.


Inworth is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey. The manor formed part of the endowment of the nunnery of Elstow, Bedfordshire, from the 13thc until the Dissolution. Elstow was founded by Judith, wife of Walthoef, Earl of Huntingdon, but the gift may not have been part of her original endowment.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

The chancel windows; round-headed, splayed inside and out, and dressed with blocks of puddingstone are valuable evidence of building practice in the second half of the 11thc in Essex. Little can be said of the chancel arch, which is extremely plain and has all of its masonry concealed by modern paint.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 508-09.

J. Cooper, The Church Dedications and Saints’ Cults of Medieval Essex, Lancaster 2011, 143.

Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID 420712.

Victoria County History: Bedfordshire I (1904), 353-58. (on Elstow)

J. Wakely, B. Taylor, G. Tyler and J. Page, Parish Church of All Saints Inworth, 2000.