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Monument Name Hatfield Broad Oak Priory - St Mary's Church
SMR Number 4333
Summary Nave now parish church.
None Available
Associated Media
None Available
Description Nave now parish church. Benedictine. <1> The parish church was once part of a small priory, founded probably c.1135 by Aubrey de Vere the second. The church walls are mostly flint rubble with post medieval brickwork, and incorporate old ashlar. The church was originally cruciform in plan with an aisleless nave. The former presbytery, central tower and the N wall of the present N aisle probably formed part of the original monastic structure of c1140-1150. Many alterations were made 1317-1330 including the extension of the presbytery toward the E. At the end of C14 the aisleless nave was removed, except the N wall, and a new parish nave, chancel and S aisle built to the S of it. This threw the axis of the nave to the S of that of the monastic choir, and the W arch of the crossing had to be blocked. N and S chapels were also added, the N chapel being shortened later by a wooden screen, the E part being divided into 2 stories. The S porch and W tower were built early in C15. The tower's top stage was added later in this century. The priory was dissolved in 1536 and probably shortly afterwards the monastic part was pulled down. The presbytery, N and N chapels, transepts, sacristy and part of an extension to the presbytery are represented by foundations exposed in the churchyard. The crossing has been destroyed except for the western piers which still stand. The plan of the domestic buildings was recovered by excavation but nothing is now visible. Monument in chancel to Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford, 1221. However, monument is late C13 with effigy. The chancel has re-set C14 tiles, there are carved stones in the library and a carved oak figure in the nave of late C14-early C15 date. The roofs of the N and S aisles are late C14. The chancel roof is modern but incorporates four C15 large carved angels. The library includes the Aldine Aristotle of 1498. RCHM has photos of the church and the C13 effigy. <2> In 1897 with the assistance of the Society of Antiquaries, the whole plan of church and priory was exposed. In 1915 the foundations of the former were built up to the surface but are `now' covered again. For details see source 5. <3> Transactions of Essex Archaeological Society references. <4> <5> Photo of church is in SMR. <6> Various plans in SMR. <7> A fragment of carved clunch and 1 sherd of Mill Green ware found during the rebuilding of the NE quoin of the chancel by D Lodge, shown to D Priddy, May 1984. <8> Other refs: <9> <10> <11> The surviving western piers of the crossing have demi-shafts and one water leaf capital of c1175, according to DOE listing. <12> Domesday Book mentions a church on this site, and which may have been found during the 1897 excavations. <13> <14> See 4323 for Scheduled remains of priory, N, NW and NE of the church.. The Domesday book records the presence of a church at Hatfield Broad Oak in 1066 and notes that Swein of Essex had appropriated a hide and 30 acres belonging to it <14> . The foundations of the original church were discovered during the nineteenth century excavations <15>. The Priory, founded in about 1135, was granted the tithes and land of the parish church. It appears that the earlier church was demolished and a new larger church erected on the site. This new church was of flint rubble, cruciform in plan with an aisleless nave. The former presbytery, central tower and the north wall of the current north aisle may also have formed part of the original plan, dating to c.1140-50. Many alterations were made between 1317-1330, including the extension of the presbytery. A dispute between the parishioners and the priory in 1378 led to the sub-division of the church into a parochial church at the western end and a priory church at the eastern end. This entailed the blocking of the west arch in the crossing, the demolition of the nave (except for the north wall) and the construction of a new parish nave, chancel and south aisle. North and south chapels were also added. In the fifteenth century the west tower and south porch were built and the top of the tower was added at the end of that century <16>. Between June 1999 and January 2000 work was done to replace the pew platforms with stone slabs and to install a toilet in the tower. <17> - <19> Listed Building Description: TL 5416/5516 HATFIELD BROAD OAK CHURCH YARD 6/68 Church of St. Mary the 20/02/67 Virgin GV I Parish church, former western part of Benedictine Priory. Founded by Aubrey de Vere about 1135. The walls are mostly of flint rubble with some brickwork and old ashlar. Dressings are of Barnack limestone and clunch. Roofs are low pitched, gabled and lead covered. Consists of west tower, vestry, south porch and rectangular block containing aisled nave, north and south chapels and library enclosing short chancel. The C15 west tower is of 4 stages with moulded plinth and embattled crow-stepped parapet. The tower arch is early C15 and of 2 moulded orders with semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals. The second stage has a single light window with a trefoiled head in the north, south and west walls. The west wall also has a single light C16 window. Each face of the third stage has 2 light windows with 4 centre heads and moulded labels. The bell chamber has C15 windows in each face, each of two 4 centred lights in 2 tiers and with square heads and labels. The north vestry is of Cl7 red brickwork with black headers and a gabled pegtile roof. The south porch is C15 with embattled parapet and crocketed pinacles at the angles. The 2-centred arched door has attached side shafts with moulded capitals and blank shields in the spandrels. The side walls each have a 3 light window. The nave has C14 north and south arcades each of 4 bays with fine label stops with carved heads. The clerestorey has 5 late C14 windows. The north aisle has 4 windows, 2 of the C15, one modern and one C14 much restored. The roof is of the late C14 with curved braces springing from corbels carved with angels. The south side also has 4 windows in its long wall, largely modern but with earlier fragments. At the east end is a semi-octagonal stair tower for the rood loft access. The south door arch is of the late C14 and of 2 moulded orders with a probable C15 pair of doors in-situ. The west wall has a late C14 repaired window matching one on the west wall of the north aisle. The aisle roof is of the late C14 and that over the nave of 1843. The chancel has a modern east window and roof, but with C15 carved angels and the north and south walls have modified C14 arches. The north chapel has 2 late C15 windows in its north wall and, externally, 2 arches of a blank arcade. The south chapel has a C15 window and modern door in its east wall. In the south wall is a large 5 light C15 window. The west arch is uniform with that of the north chapel. In the south east corner is the library of 1708 with 300 volumes of the C15-C17. Externally evidence remains for the original cruciform plan form of the Priory church. The surviving western piers of the crossing have demi-shafts and one water leaf capital of c.1175 and the foundations of the rest of the east end were exposed in the late C19. In the chancel is an early C18 oak reredos, early C18 communion rail with carved and twisted balusters and some old marble and encaustic tile flooring. In the nave, an elaborate C18 brass candlelabra, a c.1400 kneeling oak figure and one stained glass window by Hardman of 1893. Stone late C13 effigy on floor of chancel, said to be of Robert de Vere, third Earl of Oxford. Five C17 floor slab memorials with elaborate lettering. Wall monuments to Sir John Barrington, Bart 1691, to Sir Charles Barrington 1788 by J.F. Moore and Lady Ibbetson 1816 by Flaxman. Neo-classical wall monuments to William Selwint of Down Hall and Stanes Chamberlayne 1782. In the north chapel, a C15 oak screen or parclose skillfully restored. Royal arms above south door and painted Parish Poor board. Included for architectural, historical, landscape and townscape importance. RCHM 1. Listing NGR: TL5467216625
Monument Type(s) LIBRARY (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
CHURCH (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
CHURCH (Dated 1086AD to 2050AD)
PRIORY (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
TOWER (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
SCULPTURE (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
EFFIGY (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
Period 1066AD to 1539AD Medieval
Status Listed Building (EH)
National Grid Reference Square: TL51NW
Ref: 546166


WOOD SCULPTURE (Dated 1066AD To 1539AD)

POTTERY VESSEL (Dated 1066AD To 1539AD)

Events PART EXCAV by Galpin, FW?,

Hatfield Broad Oak St Mary - Pew Platforms

Hatfield Broad Oak St Mary - Toilet in Tower

Hatfield Broad Oak St Mary - Pews at front of nave

Sources <1> Desc Text : SMR form unknown Dated : 1960 0nwards

<10> Desc Text : Essex Rev (Galpin, FW) Vol 43 Dated : 1934

<11> Desc Text : Essex Rev (Galpin, FW) Vol 44 Dated : 1935

<12> Desc Text : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest: Uttlesford (Department of the Environment) pp23-24 Dated : 1985

<13> Scheduling record : DOE Scheduled Ancient Monuments (Department of the Environment) Parts 5-8 Dated : 1986

<14> Desc Text : Domesday Book - 32, Essex (Rumble, A) 1,3 Dated : 1983

<15> Desc Text : The history of the church of Hatfield Regis or Broad Oak, with some account of the Priory Buildings (Galpin, Rev. FW) Dated : 1898

<16> Desc Text : Hatfield Broad Oak: Historic Town Assssment Report (Medlycott, Maria) Dated : 1999

<17> Desc Text : Hatfield Broad Oak St Mary - Pew Platforms (Andrews, D) Dated : 1999

<18> Desc Text : Hatfield Broad Oak St Mary - Toilet in tower (Andrews, D) Dated : 1999

<19> Desc Text : Hatfield Broad Oak St Mary - Pews at front of nave (Andrews, D) Dated : 2000

<2> Desc Text : An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex - Volume 2 (RCHME) Vol 2, pp116-120 Dated : 1921

<3> RECORD SHEET/FORM : OS cards (Ordnance Survey) TL51NW23, 1950 Dated : unknown

<4> Desc Text : Trans Essex Archaeol Soc (Trans Essex Archaeological Soc) New Series, Vol 1, pp82-85 Dated : 1878

<5> Desc Text : Trans Essex Archaeol Soc (Trans Essex Archaeological Soc) New Series, Vol 6 Dated : unknown

<6> Photograph : TL51-020 (unknown) Dated : unknown

<7> Mention : SMR (Various) Dated : unknown

<8> Desc Text : SMR (Priddy, DA) Typed sheet in SMR Dated : 1984

<9> Desc Text : The Buildings of England, Essex (Pevsner, N) pp209-210 Dated : 1954