Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Broxted, Essex

The windmill that Arthur Mee refers to was demolished in 1953. St Mary the Virgin occupies an ancient Celtic site and the present 12th and 13th century building incorporates part of a Saxon structure. The whole church was heavily restored in 1876. St Mary's stain glass window project was completed in 1993; two new windows were designed and made to commemorate the captivity and release of the Beirut Hostages since John McCarthy was brought up in Broxted. The window of Captivity and the window of Freedom symbolise the hostage's ordeal.

ST MARY. C13 nave and chancel, and C15 N aisle and belfry. The belfry is weather boarded and stands on four posts two of which rest on corbels (alteration?). - The chancel has original lancet Windows, the nave no early features. The N arcade piers have an elongated semi-polygonal shaft without capital towards the nave and normal semi-polygonal shafts towards the arches, which are double-chamfered. w of the arcade in the C13 wall a tall ogee-headed niche with a small vault. In the nave S wall two early C16 brick windows. - PULPIT. With elaborate Elizabethan arabesque ornament.
CHURCH HALL. Exceedingly picturesque facade of four gables of different sizes and heights, late C16 with a mid C17 addition, grouped with the C17 brewhouse and barn.

Hostage window

Hostage window

William and Danny Mellen

BROXTED. With many fine trees and a windmill it stands out boldly a few miles from Thaxted. Its 13th century church has for companion a beautiful gabled house with one of its original Tudor chimneys, and standing by are two barns and a brew-house from the 17th century. There are Roman tiles in the walls of the church, which has a wooden belfry, a 14th century doorway, and a 15th century aisle. A canopied niche facing the door is the beautiful work of a craftsman 500 years ago, with pinnacles and buttresses, roses and flowers, and two angel figures. The church has two fine things from the 17th century: a processional cross with flowered ends and raised bosses, and an oak pulpit with much elaborate ornament. A quaint inscription to an 18th century man, Thomas Bush of Westminster, tells in stately language how he judiciously bequeathed his fortune among his relatives in such manner as to place them above the cares but below the dangerous indulgences of life.

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