Tuesday, 2 October 2012


Heading off from Ingatestone to Stock I ran out of road, literally - the road to Stock was shut while the Man dug it up and installed something; so I backtracked to Buttsbury.

St Mary is not far from Ingatestone (I'd guess 2 miles maybe 3), is utterly isolated and yet is open - go figure.

A beautiful location is matched by a sublime church.

ST MARY. Small and alone. Short nave of two bays with two aisles, that is wider than it is long. Date CI4. Chancel of the C18 with C19 E window. Small W tower of timber, weather-boarded. The nave arcades are typical Late Perp, composite with the centre parts to the nave carried on into the arches without capitals and the side parts concave-sided semi-octagonal. Two original traceried windows were found during a restoration in 1927. - DOORS. The N and S doors are both old, that on the N more interesting. Some of the metalwork is C13, some later. - PLATE. Cup of 1563 and Paten of 1567, both with bands of ornament.


C15th panel

BUTTSBURY. Its small church stands lonely among elms and limes; by the path is a gravestone carved with a cherub fading away after 200 years. In a table tomb in the churchyard lies Thomas Tyrell of Charles Stuart’s day. Two doors and two windows are the fine possessions here. Both doors have ornamental ironwork, one with hinges of the 13th century and tendril-like bands of great beauty forged in the 14th. The windows, long embedded in plaster, now admit the morning sunlight down each aisle. Their tracery has the graceful curves in which our 14th century architects delighted. In two later windows are fragments of medieval glass, and a bell of the 15th century rings from a last century tower. A local craftsman of great skill has given the fine candlesticks and oak panelling.

Simon K -

Open. An utter delight, a tiny little church set in a peaceful churchyard. There is no tower, and the cross is hard to spot on an OS map. I bet not many people find it except by accident. The interior feels like a CCT church, clean and uncluttered, although it is not redundant. I suspect it is a retired vicar's hobby church. If you stand on the chancel steps looking back, you get a glorious view through the clear glass of the wide west window of rolling barley fields. Wonderful.

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