Welcome to our Festival blog

We are a small congregation who organised a highly successful 'William Byrd Festival' in May 2011 to celebrate the life and work of the village's Elizabethan composer, William Byrd (c.1540 - 1623). In 2012 we played host to the world-famous choir The Cardinall's Musick under their director Andrew Carwood.

This website contains everything you need to know about William Byrd and his links with Stondon Massey. The church is open for services, of course, and on the second Sunday afternoon in the month during the summer.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Stondon Massey

The following is taken from ‘Durrant’s Handbook For Essex’ (Durrant & Co., Chelmsford, 1887).

Ston’don Massey. A. 1155; P. 261; Rectory, value £500; 3 m. S.E. from Ongar.

Literally Stone-dune Marci, the stony or gravelly hill of the Marci, or Marks, its owners in former times. The Place is a good mansion. The Church (SS. Peter and Paul), though small, is a remarkable example of a Norman church. It consists of a nave and chancel, to which a modern N. aisle and mortuary chapel with vaulted stone roof have been added. A timber framework in the W. end nave supports a tower with 3 bells and a spire. On the N. side were, until recently, two round-headed Norman loopholes, placed very high in the wall. Opposite were two similar windows, one of which, in the 16th cent., was replaced by a large square-headed 3-light (Perp.) window. In the chancel are two more loopholes like the others, not more than 2½ in. wide externally, but splayed internally to 3 ft. The S. door is a rude, plain, round-arched one, with square capitals, of Norman age, or possibly older. The rood-screen and pulpit (both perfect) are of fine 16th cent. carved oak. The E. window is poor; that at the W. is Perp., with a narrow lancet window over it, which is possibly original. The font is octagonal, with rose ornaments. There is a floor brass, with effigy and long inscription to John Sarre [Carre](1570), citizen of London ironmonger and merchant venturer, who was born in the parish ; and another to Rainold Hollingworth (1753). The Register begins in 1708.

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