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The West Porch






 

The upper room in the West Porch is known as the Priest's Chamber. It is believed to have been used by monks from Beeleigh Abbey for overnight quarters when they
were
preaching in the church.

From 1180 the church was a subject of Beeleigh Abbey; it's possible that the living was held in name only by the abbot, who sent one of his monks to serve in the parish.

After the Dissolution of the
Monasteries by Henry VIII, the benefice passed into private hands.

The exposed timbers of the Priest's Chamber, if original, are in a remarkable state of preservation.



The stained-glass Priest's Chamber window was made and donated to the church by Alistair Bruce in 2000. Ron Parr built the oak frame and installed the window.

 

 



 



 

The West Porch was built in the 15th century.

This is probably the most unusual feature of the church in that it consists of two storeys, with a gabled roof and a projecting wing that contains a staircase to an upper room, thought to be a Priest's Chamber.

Inside the West Porch is a highly decorated doorway. It has a two-centred arch in a square head. The spandrels have quatrefoiled circles enclosing foliage.

To the left of the doorway to the Priest's Chamber is a medieval water stoop with a moulded head. It was rediscovered in 1974 during renovation work.

The West Porch leads to the Vestry in the
base of the Tower. Here are the bell ropes,
the ladder leading to the clock chamber,
and the door leading into the church.