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St Andrew, Sandon, Essex

(51°42′53″N, 0°31′17″E)
TL 743 048
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
medieval St Andrew
now St Andrew
  • Ron Baxter
24 July 2018

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Sandon is a village in the Chelmsford district of central Essex. It is outside the E edge of Great Baddow, and 2 miles W of Danbury. The village, alongside the main A12 road from London to Colchester, is clustered around a junction of minor roads with the church in the centre. St Andrew's is a substantial church of mixed flint rubble, puddingstone and Roman brick. The nave and chancel are 12thc in origin, although the chancel arch was rebuilt c.1300 and the chancel extended in the 15thc. In the mid-14thc the N aisle was added to the nave, and this is set up as a chapel with and E altar and a 14thc piscina in the S wall. The S porch and W tower are of brick and date from the early 16thc. On the N side, accessed from the church by the N doorway, is a brick extension meeting room, added by K. C. White and partners in 1993.

The only Romanesque features described here are a pillar piscina and a chevron voussoir, reset in the N nave aisle.


Sandon is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, and has yet to be covered by VCH. 'Bensted' (in Sandon) was held by Robert from Hugh de Montfort in 1086, and by Guthmund before the Conquest. It was a manor of 4 hides and was claimed by the monks of Ely as being in their demesne. A second manor, of 3½ hides in 'Bensted' was in the hands of Nigel who held it from Robert FitzCorbucion in 1086.

Wright (1836) suggested that Sandon was in the king's hands at the time of the Survey, and noted that it was held by Hardwin de Scales, shortly after the Conquest. By the 14thc it had passed to the tenancy-in-chief of Aymer de Valence. This may be relevant to the manor of Sandon in Hertfordshire.


Interior Features

Interior Decoration



Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


The pillar piscina at Steeple (Essex) has a similar cable moulded shaft with a plain cushion capital bowl. That at Castle Hedingham has lost its original shaft but has a bowl with interlacing stems. The complex chevron ornament of the reset voussoir finds no precise parallels within the county.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 677-78.

Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 426709

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. (1923), 132-35.

T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, I, 1836, 123-25.