Sunday, 7 November 2010

Takeley, Essex

Holy Trinity is locked but I can't remember whether a keyholder was listed or not, I suspect not.

The village though not noted for its beauty yet has some buildings of great historic interest, notably the church of Holy Trinity. This has a 12th century nave and a 15th century tower. In the north wall can be seen some red Roman paving tiles, probably pieces of the original Stane Street. The church once had a wooden spire of the type common in East Anglia. This was struck by lightning in 1928, set on fire and destroyed. A striking feature of the interior is a 16th century decorated font cover. The finely carved screen also catches the eye.

Personally I think the church was probably improved by the loss of the wooden spire and like its plain lines and simplicity but I do wish I could have had a look around inside.

HOLY TRINITY. Quite a large church, and quite on its own. Norman quoins and windows in the nave, with some Roman bricks. Chancel E.E. with much renewed lancet windows. The E window is of 1874. The windows are shafted inside. C14 S aisle with characteristic (restored) window * and arcade of octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches. The easternmost respond and arch however are a little earlier, say c. 1300 and evidence of a S transept preceding the S aisle. The C15 contributed the S porch and the W tower. The latter has diagonal buttresses, a doorway with shields in the spandrels, a three-light W window and a niche above it. - FONT COVER. Very tall, with a lavish display of crocketed nodding ogee arches and buttresses and flying buttresses with crocketed pinnacles, tier above tier. - BENCHES. Eleven; plain, with buttresses and a little tracery. - PAINTING. Tall and narrow oil painting of the Nativity; copy of Romanino’s altarpiece in S. Alessandro at Brescia.

* The window further W in the nave must be re-used.

Holy Trinity (2)

Holy Trinity (3)

Mee is succinct -

TAKELEY. It lies on the Roman road near Bishop’s Stortford,with 17th century barns and timbered houses, and Roman tiles in the walls of its ancient church. The nave is Norman, the chancel 13th century, and the tower 15th; it has a small spire. The little porch has still its 14th century doorway and the 15th century roof. The treasure of the church is the medieval cover of its modern font. It is six feet high, and rises like an octagonal spire with traceried canopies and pinnacles soaring to a gilded dove which seems to hover among the rafters as the cover is drawn up on the pulley. Perhaps made by the same craftsman is the oak pulpit, standing on a trumpet—shaped base and richly pinnacled. There are traceried bench-ends, also by medieval craftsmen, and a cupboard with Elizabethan linenfold.

I wish I could get in to see!

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