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St Mary and All Saints, Lambourne, Essex

(51°38′39″N, 0°8′10″E)
TQ 479 961
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ann Hilder
  • Ron Baxter
24 July 2018

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Feature Sets

Lambourne is a hamlet in the Epping Forest district of W Essex, consisting of little more than the church, a large former rectory, and Bishops Hall, seat of the Lockwood family, half a mile to the S. The church has a 12thc nave, a 13thc chancel and a 15thc weatherboarded W bell turret topped by an octagonal broach spitre. A timber gallery erected at the expense of William Walker, Ironmonger of London, in 1704 still survives at the W end of the nave. An inscription over the W doorway gives a date of 1726. According to VCH the vestry book records work done in 1723-27, that included the removal of N and S timber porches; the blocking and resetting of the two lateral doorways, the construction of the new W doorway and the oval window above it, the insertion of new windows in chancel and nave, and the remnodelling of the interior. This must nclude the insertion of a spectacular 3--centred chancel arch carried on scroll consoles.Remaining Romanesque features are plain lancets in the N and S nave wallls, and the N and S doorways described below.


Lambourne was held as a manor of 2 hides and 80 acres by Leofsige in 1066, and by David from Count Eustace of Boulogne in 1086. In addition to the ploughland there were 20 acres of meadow here and woodland sufficient for 100 pigs. After the death of William Count of Boulogne in 1159 the tenancy in chief passed to the crown. The tenancy held by David in 1087 was held in the 12thc by Pharamus of Boulogne, the grandson of Geoffrey who was probably an illegitimate sone of Count Eustace. It passed on Pharamus's death to his daughter, Sybil, wife of Ingram de Fiennes, and then to their son William de Fiennes. In 1282 ir was sold to Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, by another William de Fiennes, perhaps the grandson of the first.

Long before 1300 the manor was subinfeudated to a family taking their name from it. Robert de Lambourne held land in the parish in 1203, and he or another of the same name held the advowson of the church in 1218. This family held the manor until well into the 14thc.

The Lockwood family whose memorials dominate the church bought the estate in 1702.


Exterior Features



Urban (1821) includes a print of the church which shows no N doorway, although in his text he describes the doorway as, `the north door is indented and the pillars are of the Tuscan order.' Text and image are contradictory, and neither matches the present arrangement. A good description of the restoration, based on the vestry books, is to be found in VCH. A curious feature of the SN doorway capitals is the use of conical wedges in the angle tucks


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 516-17.

W. Chancellor, 'Lambourne Church', Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society NS xii (1910), 130-2,

J. Cooper, The Church Dedications and Saints’ Cults of Medieval Essex, Lancaster 2011, 144.

Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 118663

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 230-31.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2: Central and South West (1921), 143-44.

R. Stevens, The Parish Church of Saint Mary and All Saints Lambourne Essex. History, 4th ed. Ramsgate 1961.

Mr Urban, 'Account of Lambourne Church, Essex', Gentlemen's Magazine 1821 (2) 297.

Victoria County History: Essex IV (1956), 72-86.