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St Giles and All Saints, Orsett, Essex

(51°30′46″N, 0°22′4″E)
TQ 644 820
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Essex
now Thurrock
medieval London
now Chelmsford
  • Ron Baxter
19 July 2016

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Feature Sets

Orsett is a village in the Thurrock district of Essex, on the N side of the A13 some 5 miles NE of Grays. The church, in the centre of the village, has a Norman nave with a 14thc chancel, with an organ chamber S of the chancel and a transeptal S chapel both added in 1865. On the N side of the chancel is the Whitmore Chapel of c.1500, and the nave has a N aisle added in the 13thc and modified in the 14thc. The tower is at the W end of the N aisle and dates from the 15thc. It is of flint, rebuilt in brick in the upper storeys, with a weatherboarded spire. Romanesque work is found in the elaborate S doorway, protected by a timber-framed porch, and a blocked round-headed lancet to the W of it. The N porch was converted to a vestry in the 19thc. Construction is of flint and ragstone rubble with Reigate stone dressings.


In 1066 the Bishop of London held a manor of 13 hides, and in 1086 he held 12 hides these, the other being held by Count Eustace. The See of London held the larger manor until the reign of Elizabeth I. Count Eustace’s holding was eventually used to fund a chantry for Bishop Braybrooke (1381-1404).


Exterior Features



This doorway is a late example of features that appear elsewhere in the county; earlier at Tillingham (segmental lintel and diapered tympanum) and around the same time at Great Bentley (segmental lintel, chevron arch) and High Ongar. The rolls at the ends of the lintel and the volute capitals are reminiscent of work at Ely Cathedral.


J. Bettley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Essex, New Haven and London 2007, 617-18.

Historic England listed building 119701

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. (1923), 102-07

T. Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, II, 1831, 558-59.