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St Mary, Lindsell, Essex

(51°55′5″N, 0°23′15″E)
TL 643 271
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Essex
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ron Baxter
29 September 2011

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Lindsell is a small village standing in the rolling arable farmland on the N side of the A120 between Bishop’s Stortford and Braintree. The church is reached through a farmyard in the centre of the village. It has a short but very wide nave with a 2 bay S aisle, the arcade dating from the mid-13thc., and a S doorway under a porch. The narrow chancel arch is 12thc, and alongside it to the S is a 13thc squint to allow a view of the eucharist from that side. On the S wall of the chancel is what at first sight appears to be a round-headed aumbry, but which on further investigation proves to be an anchorite’s cell in the thickness of the wall. The tower is at the W end of the S aisle.


A manor of 1 hide at Lindsell was held by Heoruwulf in 1066, and by the Abbey of Saint-Valéry in 1086. It contained woodland for 50 pigs and 6 acres of meadow in addition to the ploughland.This manor, known as Prior’s Hall, was held by the abbey until it was confiscated by Edward II and given to William of Wykeham in 1377. Two years later Wykeham gave the manor to his foundation of New College, Oxford. Another manor of the same size was held by Wulfmaer in 1066 and by Eudo the Steward in demesne in 1086. This manor had woodland for 30 pigs, 6 acres of meadow and a mill. The inhabitants included a priest, implying the presence of a church there at that date.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

The anchorite’s cell is described as such in Pevsner (1954) and in the updated edition (Bettley and Pevsner (2007), but is not mentioned in the English Heritage listing text.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 535.

English Heritage Listed Building 122228

A. Osborne, Lindsell: a record of its people, parish and church, 1944

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, Harmondsworth 1954, 245.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1: North West (1916), 166-69