Monument record MCC7562 - St Michaels Church, Berechurch (originally at West Donyland)


Church to the north-east of Berechurch Hall.


Grid reference Centred TL 9930 2189 (81m by 94m) (FCE)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

Church isolated near the hall. Nave, chancel and west tower of c.1500, the chapel slightly later.
Berechurch was a manor in the C11 but only a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity, Colchester, until it became a separate parish in 1536 and thus remains within the Borough Liberty.<1> The church was rebuilt using some C14 material c.1500 in brick; the north chapel was added a little later and has a fine early C16 hammerbeam roof. <2> The chancel is structurally undivided from the nave. The north chapel has an early C16 brick window. The south wall of the nave has two modern windows but between them is a reset C14 doorway with two-centred arch. The west tower is of three stages. There is a reset late C14 west window and reset C14 west doorway; second stage of the tower contains in the west wall a reset late C14 window. The bell chamber has in the east and north walls a brick window of c.1500 and in the south and west walls reset late C14 windows of stone. The fittings include an early C16 door made up of linenfold and traceried panelling with strap hinges, an octagonal bowl font of the C15 or early C16 and an early C16 niche in the north chapel.<3>

A churchyard survey was completed in 1980 - records with Colchester Museum.<4><5>

Site Assessment = There was heavy restoration in 1892 involving much rebuilding. The tower is quite good but needs repair while "the interior of the Audley chapel is superb although gently deteriorating". The whole church is very damp and all drains are choked and useless. Much work is needed to put the building in order [source ?]. It was declared redundant in 1974; it is now in private ownership and used for commerical purposes (currently an architectural practice).

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> DESC TEXT: Rodwell, Warwick J with Rodwell, KA. 1977. CBA Research Report No. 19 Historic Churches - a wasting asset. p97.
  • <2> DESC TEXT: Department of the Environment. 1971. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest: Colchester Borough. p10.
  • <3> DESC TEXT: RCHME. 1922. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex - Volume 3. Vol 3, pp.45-46.
  • <4> DESC TEXT: Davies, GMR and de Brisay, K. 1981. Churchyard surveys in the Colchester District. Vol 24, p6-9.
  • <5> DESC TEXT: unknown. 1980. DESC TEXT by . churchyard survey.

Finds (6)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Aug 3 2016 4:01PM

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