Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fairstead church

Today we are off to Fairstead church, just south of Terling, and I have spent the last half hour trying to find where the Roman villa is near to the church, no luck, though there is mention of it in the literature, but it is not on Pastscape.  We have already been once in 2010, and the photos definitely show that the building had reused Roman tile, etc. Strengthening the corners or quoins is of course usually done with stone, but Essex is practically 'stoneless', though the conglomerated 'puddingstone' can be found.
This is one of the earliest churches in Essex, a Saxon foundation in the area, Fairstead means simply a fair place.

The quoins are of Roman and Coggeshall brick

Puddlestone in the foundations, something you see at Broomfield church and others.  Now is this a 'pagan  signature' or a builder's design.  Re-use of Roman tiles is very evident alongside the flint that has been used for the walls.

 They were cleaned again by Mr Rowse in 1966. The oldest paintings, which are above the chancel arch, (early 13th century) represent the Passion of Christ. Those on the south wall depict St Christopher and a scene believed by some to represent the Shepherds and the Angel and by others the miracle of Longinus. There is, at the west end, a curious grotesque head in a horn-like headdress.

Earlier blog from 2011


  1. I love the way you have picked out things from the church to show us Thelma. Those quoins are interesting.

  2. Churches Pat are patched up over the centuries, sometimes they are just faint ghost marks of old doors and windows, or, as in this case, old paintings on the wall that have been uncovered in the last century...