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All Saints, Wimbish, Essex

(52°0′27″N, 0°18′54″E)
TL 590 369
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ann Hilder
  • Ron Baxter
10 November 2015

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=9143.

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Feature Sets

Wimbish is a village 3 miles E of Saffron Walden, consisting of the church, Wimbish Hall and a few scattered agricultural buildings and dwellings. The church stands in an isolated position in arable farmland. All Saints' is built of flint and pebbles, and consists of a chancel, a nave with a S porch and a N aisle that extends partway along the chancel as a vestry and organ room. There is no tower. The nave is Norman in origin, with one window in the S wall and a S doorway that incorporates 12thc material. There is also the remains of a blind arcade on the S nave wall, which has some 12thc features. Both the doorway and the arcade (the two features described here) have 13thc features too, pointing a to a major remodelling at that time. The N arcade is 13thc too, the S porch and chancel 15thc but the latter rebuilt by W. O. Milne in 1872.


Wimbish was held as a manor of 8 hides by Aethelgyth before the Conquest, and by Ralph Baynard in demesne in 1086. There was a priest before and after the Conquest, implying a church too. Ralph’s son William forfeited his barony when he supported Robert Curthose against his brother Henry I, and that king gave it to Richard fitzGilbert, ancestor of the earls of Clare.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration


The list description calls the S doorway 12thc and fails to note the external wall arcading. RCHME calls the S dooway and the wall arcading, ‘good examples of 12th-century work’. Bettley and Pevsner appear to suggest that the wall arcading is 13thc and the S doorway 12thc, but the position is more complex than this, as each feature has elements from each period. In brief, the doorway was at least remodelled in the 13thc, but the nook-shafts and the capitals are early 12thc at the latest. The fact that the capitals do not fit the doorway suggests the interesting possibility that they were a later addition to a 13thc doorway, and raises speculation about their original position. The arcading is similar in that its arches are clearly 13thc, and the two 12thc cushion capitals appear to have been awkwardly inserted.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 839.

Historic England Listed Building 416253

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

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1: North West (1916), 349-57.

T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, II, 1831, 134-35.