Building record MCC3946 - Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street, Dedham


C14 parish church, rebuilt late C15/early C16 and the current church is almost entirely of this date.


Grid reference Centred TM 0572 3312 (52m by 24m)
Map sheet TM03SE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

C14 parish church, rebuilt late C15/early C16. <1><2>
The current church is a rebuilding of an earlier structure, of which fragments remains at the W. end; the (re-set) S. doorway is C14 and within the S. porch is some masonry from the former S. wall aisle. Otherwise all is of late C15 and early C16, starting with the chancel. The nave was begun in c.1491 and John Gurdon bequeathed money for the N. aisle in 1504. The church was probably complete by 1520. It has a long nave with clerestorey, a long chancel, two tall porches (the N. two-storeyed, the S. originally so), and a W. tower about 40m high. The length of the church is 52m. The W. tower of brick faced with knapped flint has big polygonal clasiping buttresses with much stone dressing, a very large four-light W. window, three-light bell-openings, battlements with flushwork decoration, and tall crocketed pinnacles. The ground floor of the tower forms a passageway from N to S, and with a depressed pointed vault. Painting, The Ascension by Constable. Painted as an altarpiece for Manningtree, 1821-2, installed here in 2001. Monument to Thomas Webbe, d. 1506, erected to his son John Webbe, in the N. aisle (but probably not original location). Also tablets to Edmund Chapman, d. 1602, John Rogers, d. 1636, William Burkitt, d. 1703, Rev. T.G. Taylor, d. 1818, Lady Pilkington, d. 1841.<1>
Restored by J.M. Roberts, 1861-2, who removed part of a W. gallery and uncovered the piscina in the chancel. Further work in the chancel by Woodyer, 1879-80. In 1906-9 the chancel was restored again, by T.G. Jackson, who opened up four of the windows that had been blocked in the C18 and laid the marble floor.<1>

Unknown Photo.<3>
22 digital photographs of St Mary's Church, taken August 2016.<4>

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Monograph: Bettley, James and Pevsner, Nikolaus. 2007. The buildings of England: Essex. pp.319-320.
  • <2> DESC TEXT: Medlycott, Maria. 1999. Dedham Historic Town Project Assessment Report.
  • <3> Photograph: unknown. unknown. Parish Church of Dedham.
  • <4> Photograph: Tipper, J.. 2016. Photographs of Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dedham. Digital.

Finds (4)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 30 2017 3:55PM

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