Friday, 5 November 2010

Manuden, Essex

This is odd, St Mary the Virgin resembles Stisted but doesn't warm to me, I'm not sure why - although I suspect the Victorian clean up contributes.

ln A.D. 1143 a Norman knight, Richard de Camvill and his wife Alicia, gave "the church of MANEGUEDANA to God and Saint Melaine and his monks at the Church of Hatfield Regis for ever".

This Benedictine priory at Hatfield Broad Oak dedicated to a 6th century French saint had been founded in A.D. 1135 by Aubrey de Vere, whose grandfather had been Lord of the Manor of Manuden.

Although there is no trace of a church prior to the present structure it is reasonable to assume there was one as Manuden had well established roots in Saxon times with several of its manors recorded in the Domesday Survey of A.D. 1086.

The present building is a much restored medieval church, which suffered partial rebuilding of its chancel in 1746 and drastic major restoration of the entire building, except the north transept, in 1863-67. Fortunately, some interesting work did survive, notably the magnificent chancel screen (not actually that magnificent more surviving), the north transept and the nave roof.

The church originally consisted of a nave and chancel, to which was added a south aisle or chapel followed by a small private manorial chapel on the north side. The roof of the nave and transept are probably 15th century work and noteworthy for their king post construction with the roof ceiled below the rafters. The tie beams are not visible, being enclosed in ornamental casing.

A Jacobean wall tablet commemorates Sir William Waad of Battles Hall, a notable diplomat and officer of state in Elizabethan and Jacobean times. He was Secretary to the Council under Queen Elizabeth I and was sent on special missions to the Emperor Rudolph, King Philip of Spain, Kings Henry III and IV of France and Mary Queen of Scots. He was Inspector General of the Forces in Ireland, Secretary to the Privy Council under James I and finally, for eight years was Lieutenant of the Tower of London where some of his many prisoners included Guy Fawkes and Sir Walter Raleigh. He retired to spend his last years at Battles Hall, Manuden, situated on the road to Furneux Pelham.

This North Transept was built about 1400 and probably paid for by the Bataille family of Battles Hall, Manuden. Early reports mention stained glass windows with ancient coats-of-arms, including those of the Bataille family, in the north window.

Originally there were three windows with probably an altar under the east one. The west window was removed about 1777 when a door was inserted. From outside the remains of the two-light pointed window is still visible above the door. The ancient stone head now shown in the left—hand frame of the north window was found buried in the wall over the window arch. In the south eastern corner the splayed walling conceals the original staircase to the former rood loft. Later lords of Battles Manor also used this transept as their private chapel and like Sir William Waad are buried here. Also interred in the chapel are two members of the Knight family of Pinchpools Manor.

ST MARY. Quite a big building, all of 1864 except for the N transept and N wall. - SCREEN. Sumptous for Essex, with large one-light divisions. Dado panels with quatrefoil frieze at the foot, blank tracery and two top friezes. Cusped and crocketed ogee arches are the main motif above, surmounted by panel tracery. Broad straight cornice. - PLATE. Elizabethan Cup and Paten. 

St Mary the Virgin (3)

St Mary the Virgin (4)

MANUDEN. Much beauty has Manuden by the River Stort,whether we look at its white cottages with their timbers, its group of houses with overhanging eaves, its two splendid chestnuts by the gate of an oval churchyard laid out in Saxon England, or its treasure of old woodwork in the church. A sight not to be missed is the superb chancel screen, still almost as it left the carpenter’s hands 500 years ago, except for a modern cornice. The tracery at the top is splendid, the double gates are enriched with quatrefoils and foliage, and there are eight bays of lovely old craftsmanship. The church has been much rebuilt, but parts of it are 14th century, the roof has Hne 15th century timbers, and there are Norman stones in the transept. Beside a handsome 500—year-old window is a marble tablet to a man who saw much history made in our last Tudor and first Stuart reigns. He was the diplomatist Sir William Waad, who is buried here after a long life of historic adventure. He went on missions all over Europe, and spent eight years as Lieutenant of the Tower, having Sir Walter Raleigh as his prisoner, and helped to investigate the Gunpowder Plot. He conducted many delicate negotiations, such as the attempt to persuade Mary Stuart to come to terms with Queen Elizabeth, and once he was ordered out of Spain by the angry Philip. It was he who led Sir Walter Raleigh from the Tower to his trial at Winchester, the anger of the mob being so great that Waad was astonished that his prisoner escaped alive. Charges were brought against him of tricking his prisoners and even of carrying off the jewels of Arabella Stuart, but there seems to be no authority for all this.

Shining in the east window of the church are figures of Our Lord as Good Shepherd and Light of the World, in memory of John Thomas who built the village almshouses last century. We read here, too, of other benefactors and their gifts, including Robert Bucke the draper, who in 1620 left money for suits and hats and shoes and stockings for three poor men and three poor women.

No comments:

Post a Comment