Monument record MCC7193 - Church of St John the Baptist, Mount Bures


Walls are coursed flint rubble with Roman brick quoins; dressings are limestone and clunch; roofs are tiled.


Grid reference Centred TL 9045 3247 (28m by 13m) (FCE)
Map sheet TL93SW
County ESSEX


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Walls are coursed flint rubble with Roman brick quoins; dressings are limestone and clunch; roofs are tiled. Chancel and nave, with central tower were built early in the C12. Late in the C15 the south porch was added. The tower was rebuilt in the C19 when the north and south transepts were added. Features and fittings include: C12, C14 and C15 windows and window details C12 north doorway (blocked) with C15 door; late C14 south doorway with C15 door; C15 south proch roof; early C15 and mid C15 bells, both inscribed; C15 font; C15 niche; C13 or C14 piscina; sedile; C15 stoup in chancel.<1><4> Bettley & Pevsner explain the unusual shape as, no doubt, being due to connection with the Castle to the north (see MCC7138). The church is all Norman but the crossing tower and transepts were rebuilt in 1825.<2> Tripartite Norman church, tower and transepts rebuilt in 1825. Chancel may not be original, may be a Medieval rebuild, as its proportions are not in keeping with the rest of the church. The exterior was drastically refaced in the C19 so close examination is not possible. Although conventionally described as Norman there is no reason why it should not pre-date the castle. The church is alleged to have been built in 1059. Wall paintings are known, now covered with limewash.<3> Drastically refaced in the C19, so close examination is impossible.

Site Assessment (Rodwell & Rodwell 1977) = Good condition but much restored.<1> Ground level high against the walls and there is a concrete-lined open drain all round; this is choked in part and is ineffective as the church is still deep. Chancel is in a particularly sorry state, floor needs relaying; the lower parts of the walls have to be stripped and plastered but investigation of the plaster is needed because wall paintings are known (though now covered with limewash). Church is part of an important archaeological complex. Any disturbances should be preceeded by full excavation. Principal point to be settled is whether the church is pre or post Conquest. No interest in the churchyard.<3>

AP <5><6><7>

Seven digital photographs of Church of St John the Baptist, August 2016.<9>

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> DESC TEXT: RCHME. 1922. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex - Volume 3. Vol 3, pp.184-186.
  • <2> Monograph: Bettley, James and Pevsner, Nikolaus. 2007. The buildings of England: Essex. p.603.
  • <3> Monograph: Rodwell, Warwick J with Rodwell, KA. 1977. Historic Churches: a wasting asset. p.100.
  • <4> DESC TEXT: Department of the Environment. 1982. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest: Colchester Rural. p.274.
  • <5> AP: Tyler, Sue. 1986. Mount Bures.
  • <6> AP: Saunders, Helen. 2005. CP/05/11/14. 1 Pic.
  • <7> AP: Tyler, Sue. 2000. CP/00/15/2-4.
  • <8> AP: Tyler, Sue. 2000. CP/00/14/13-15.
  • <9> Photograph: Tipper, J.. 2016. Photographs of Church of St John the Baptist, Mount Bures. Digital.

Finds (5)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Sep 15 2016 2:08PM

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