Monument record MCC7838 - All Saints Church, Colchester


C12 and later.


Grid reference TL 9992 2519 (point) (FCE)
Map sheet TL92NE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

C12 and later. W tower C14. N aisle C15. Roman brick in the fabric. <1> The walls are stone and fliint-rubble mixed with brick. the dressings are limestone. Roofs are tile and lead covered. The nave is probably C12 or earlier (Morant records herringbone work in the S wall, since refaced). Early in the C14 the chancel was largely rebuilt. Later in this century a W tower was added. In the C15 the N chapel was added and the N aisle rebuilt. early in the C16 the W tower was rebuilt. Features and fittings include: C14, C15, early C16 windows (all much refaced); late C15 N doorway with C15 door; reset late C14 W doorway in tower with C15 door; C15 door in doorway of turret staircase to tower; C14 or C15 moulded plates in chancel roof; flat C14 N chapel roof (N aisle roof similar); nave roof of trussed rafter type but covered by modern boarding. <2> <5> Little of interest except the fine W tower with diagonal buttresses. <3> A fairly simple structure, nave and chancel are the oldest parts. Proportions are more characteristic of Norman than later date but there may be complications. S wall of the nave was refaced in 1855 (prior to this it contained herringbone work in Roman brick). No early medieval detail survives, though the doorway in the centre of the S wall of the chancel may have been Norman (was blocked in 1800 by a buttress). At the E end disruption of the Roman brick courses provided evidence for the removal of an apsidal sanctuary, therefore indicating a 3-celled Norman church (similar to East Ham or Wimbotsham, Norfolk). The chancel is more elongated than is normal for a 3-celled church, therefore the nave could be an addition to a pre-existing 2-celled apseidal chuurch. The geographical situation also suggests that the church was in existence before the High Street was deflected southwards by the building of the castle bailey earthworks in the later C14. <4> After St Runwald's, All Saints is one of the earliest churches in the town, suggested by the High Street location. <6>

Site Management: = Now in use as Natural History Museum. <5>

Site Assessment = In impressive position facing modern opening towards the castle. Little else of interest except fine W tower. <5> W tower (C14) and N aisle (C15). No current threats but should the opportunity arise excavation and fabric examination would be needed (particularly to assess Anglo-Saxon use of Roman structures - see ) as All Saints is on the forum-basilica site of the Roman town. <4>

Sources/Archives (7)

  • --- DESC TEXT: Brooks, H. 2005. A desk-based assessment of the archaeological remains around the Central Clinic, East Lodge Court, High Street, Colchester. June 2005.
  • <1> MENTION: Priddy, DA. unknown. SMR.
  • <2> DESC TEXT: RCHME. 1922. An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex - Volume 3. Vol 3, pp.32-33.
  • <3> DESC TEXT: Pevsner, N. 1954. The Buildings of England, Essex. p118.
  • <4> DESC TEXT: Rodwell, Warwick J with Rodwell, KA. 1977. CBA Research Report No. 19 Historic Churches - a wasting asset. p30.
  • <5> DESC TEXT: unknown. 1971. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest:Colchester. p57.
  • <6> DESC TEXT: Crummy, P. 1981. Aspects of Anglo-Saxon and Norman Colchester (Colchester Archaeological report 1). No 39, p74.

Finds (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Nov 3 2015 11:41AM

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