Posted on 08/14/2013

Photo taken on July 24, 2013

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apsidal chancel
St. James The Less
Little Tey
Adam and Eve
East Anglia
12th century
wall paintings
Passion Cycle

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St. James The Less, Little Tey (1)

St. James The Less, Little Tey (1)
Although only a short distance north of the busy A120 from Braintree, the setting for this charming little church could hardly be more tranquil. It stands at the end of a dead-end lane close to a small duck pond. The church dates back to Norman times; probably built in the second quarter of the 12th century, c. 1130. It consists of rubble with ashlar and there is dark brown puddingstone used in quoins of the west wall and as a double ornamental course around the exterior of the apse. Caen stone has been used for the tympanum above the south door and has Norman Lozenge diapering.
In 1365 the dedication of Little Tey Church was to St Mary but by 1522 it had been changed to St James-the-Less.

The church comprises a single cell nave and chancel with apsidal end, with a south porch of 19th century construction and a north vestry, probably early 20th century in date. The roof is thought to be of early 13th century origin. The bell tower at the west end appears to have 15th century framing. The windows are all clear except for a small piece of the 15th century coloured glass in the east window. The apse contains an original north east window and there are also original windows on both sides of the nave. More windows were inserted in the 14th century.

Only discovered in 1970 were two unusual and interesting schemes of wall painting, dating to the 13th-century and the 14th-century respectively. On the walls of the apse, an extensive 13th-century Passion cycle was discovered, as well as fragments of a later painting, indicating that a similar narrative cycle had been painted there in the following century. Elsewhere in the church, fragments of other 13th-century paintings were uncovered, including scenes of Adam and Eve and two unidentified saints. Of the 14th-century paintings, the most interesting discovery was the Virgin and Child on the north wall. Although many of the paintings were fragmentary, it is clear that both the 13th- and 14th-century schemes were of an unusually high figurative quality.

Lorenzo Kjell Salmonson, Don Sutherland have particularly liked this photo

Don Sutherland
Don Sutherland
Wonderful shot.
4 years ago.
Kathleen Thorpe
Kathleen Thorpe
Beautifully framed and composed image. Thank you so much for the information.
4 years ago.