© Mr Brian Wilcockson ARPS
THE SAXON CHURCH, SAXON GREEN
BISHOP AUCKLAND, WEAR VALLEY, DURHAM
Mr Brian Wilcockson ARPS
08 August 2000
21 April 1952
Date of last amendment:
21 April 1952
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
NZ13SE SAXON GREEN, Escomb
634-1/1/135 The Saxon Church
Parish church. C7 with C14 porch and some C13 and C19 windows.
Eaves raised at unknown date. Restored 1875-80 by RJ Johnson
and 1965 by Sir Albert Richardson.
MATERIALS: irregular courses of squared sandstone, including
stones of Roman origin probably from Binchester, with quoins
and ashlar dressings. Roof stone slates with stone gable
coping to chancel.
PLAN: 2-cell plan of chancel and nave with south porch.
Archaeological excavation in 1968 revealed sites of west
annexe and of north porticus to chancel.
EXTERIOR: proportions are high and narrow. All quoins up to
raised eaves are of Saxon type, massive stones set with long
face to alternate sides. Chamfered surround to C19
round-headed east window and to medieval lancets in chancel
and south-east nave, and wide pointed arched C19 window with
plain stone surround at centre of south wall. Chancel has
re-used Roman gutter stones set vertically above east window,
and blocked north door.
South nave has 2 small C7 lights set high in wall, with round
heads cut in big stone lintels. At lintel level between them a
carved stone with round sundial with, around the upper part, a
curved serpent-like animal with tassel-like tail hanging at
right and pointed head at left. North wall has central door,
and 2 narrow rectangular C7 lights set high in wall, with flat
jambs, sill and lintel.
High up towards east, a re-used Roman inscription LEG VI set
upside down. West window round head with irregular voussoirs,
and C7 small round-headed window in gable peak. Nave gables
have small crow steps. West gable shows roof line of 2-storey
porch below top window, and has small stone bellcote with
plain arch. Porch has C19 boarded door in keyed round headed
arch with voussoirs, plus eroded sundial above, and irregular
quoins, skew stones to gable. Nave door in porch has flat
INTERIOR whitewashed, with small section of plaster with red
paint left exposed in north wall. Roof of tied trusses with
diagonal struts, possibly contemporary with raised eaves. High
round chancel arch with large voussoirs, the stones said
without any evidence to have been brought from Binchester
(Vinovium), rests on large uneven imposts and jambs of long
and short type.
Blocked north chancel door has thin lintel and jamb stones
with simple carved tree at right. Early small windows deeply
splayed, with grooves for shutters. Shouldered rear arches to
lancets. Small medieval grave marker with carved cross set
above altar. Bowl piscina in north wall of chancel. Octagonal
stone bowl and pedestal font, possibly C12, with marks of lock
holes. Section of cobbled flooring at west end said to be
Porch contains fragments of carved stone, including inhabited
vine from a cross shaft, and other objects from site and from
excavations, with explanatory panels.
(Surtees H C: History of the Parish of Escombe (with
photographs of church): Mainsforth: 1922-: 11-26; Journal of
the British Archaeological Association: Pocock: Excavations at
Escomb Church: London: 1971-: 11-19; Buildings of England:
Pevsner: County Durham: Harmondsworth: 1983-: 267-9).