Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Rawreth, Essex

St Nicholas was effectively rebuilt in 1882 but was done rather well. The immensely tall chancel does look a bit odd and the interior is very stripped back but for all that I rather liked it.

ST NICHOLAS. 1882 to the design of the Rev. Ernest Geldart, rector of Little Braxted. A rather gaudy design with flushwork and, in the porch, even some flint, stone and red tile-work. W tower; chancel higher than nave. - MONUMENT. Brass to Edmund Tyrell d. 1576 and wife. Kneeling figures on stone tablet with side-columns and a round arch. In the decoration still Gothic motifs.

St Nicholas (2)

Edmund Tyrell 1576 (3)

RAWRETH. It lies attractively on a byway, its tower seen afar in the undulating countryside. Except for this old tower, with its lions peering from the corners, and a 15th century arcade, the church was refashioned in 1882 from the designs of Ernest Geldart, rector of the tiny Norman church at Little Braxted. Its font has a modern bowl on a stem which once held a Norman one, and there is a fine screen watched over by a handsome nave roof. A Tudor monument in the south aisle has brasses of Edmund Tyrell and his wife on a stone richly carved. From the porch St Nicholas looks out on this corner of Essex where a foreign king is believed to have fought his last battle for English soil, for we are not far from what is still called Battlesbridge on the River Crouch, and it was hereabouts that Canute, after a long and terrible fight, defeated Edmund Ironside. Where the tall mills now stand by the river the Danish ships are thought to have been drawn up, waiting for the result of a battle which influenced the whole course of our island story.

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