From the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (1922)
Typed by T.B. Millatt, source document not known.
Transcribed August 2020 by Anne Taylor
Great Wigborough is a parish 7 miles south of Colchester.
Parish Church of St. Stephen stands towards the North end of the parish. The walls are of mixed rubble and septaria with dressings of limestone; the roofs are tiles. The Nave and Chancel were built late in the 14th century. Late in the 15th century a West tower was added, also a South Porch. The church was seriously damaged in the earthquake of 1884, and was subsequently restored; the Chancel and West Tower being rebuilt and the South Vestry added. The South Porch was rebuilt in 1903.
Architectural Description - The Chancel is modern except for some reused material of the 14th century in the North East and South East windows.
The Nave (37½ foot by 21 foot) has in the North wall two windows; the eastern is modern except for the reset 14th century splays and rear-arch; the Western window is modern; between them is the late 14th century North doorway, with moulded two-entered arch and label and defaced head-stops; it has been partly reset and is now blocked. At the East end of the wall is the late 14th century rood-loft staircase; the lower doorway has a hollow chamfered jambs and two-centred head; the upper doorway has a round head and has been reset and partly restored. In the South wall are two windows, both modern except for the West splay of the eastern window; between them is the mid-15th century South doorway with a moulded two-centred arch and label was defaced head-stops; the moulded jambs have each an attached shaft with moulded base and capital; above the doorway externally is a rough arch of doubtful purpose.
The West Tower has been almost entirely rebuilt but incorporates much of the late 15th century material. The two-centred tower-arch is of two hollow chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner dying on to the side walls. The West window incorporates some old work in the jambs and splays.
The South Porch was rebuilt in 1903 but incorporates late 15th century material. The two-centred outer archway is of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on the attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The side walls have each a window, mostly modern but incorporating in one the head of two trefoiled lights with a moulded label and in the other some stones in the jambs.
The Roof of the nave is modern but incorporates some 15th or early 16th century timbers, including a moulded principal and moulded and carved wall-plates.
Bells: two; 1st by John Danyell, inscribed "Nomen Magdalene Campana Geret Melodie," late 15th century; 2nd by Miles
Brass: In the Nave - on the North wall, to Henry Bullocke, 1609, inscription only; indent of this brass now forms
threshold of South doorway.
Door: In the Tower - in doorway to turret, of overlapping battens with strap-hinges, 15th century.
Font: octagonal bowl with moulded upper and lower edges, panelled sides, four with quatrefoils enclosing blank shields,
two with roses, the others with a pair of feathers and a heart respectively, each with a scroll, buttressed stem, 15th
century, lower part of stem and the base modern.
Floor-Slabs: In Chancel - (1) to Henry Bullocke, 1628. In Nave - (2) to Ann, widow of Edward Marke, 1621; (3) to
Richard Wiseman, 1616.
Niche: In Nave - in North wall, West of North East Window, shafted jambs and ribbed vault, moulded
pedestal, late 15th century, much defaced.
Plate: includes cup probably of late 16th century date and remodelled with knop and cone-shaped stem; late 16th
century cover paten with incised ornament.
Stoups In Nave - adjoining North doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, probably 15th century and reset; adjoining South doorway, similar to above but in situ.
Miscellanea: In splay of South doorway stone with 12th century ornament. In Churchyard - South of Tower, various worked stones, 14th or 15th century.
Condition - Poor, serious cracks in walls.
Parish Church of St Stephen Great Wigborough - history