The Tower is essentially 14th
century, with C18 and later changes and added buttresses. It
houses seven bells, three inscribed "Miles Gray made me
1663". The bells were restored and re hung in 2004/5. TV
monitors show them ringing.
Another major rebuilding was being
carried out in the prosperous 1530s. The old Nave and Aisles
were demolished. The northern arcade was replaced by splendid
Tudor brick piers and arches, originally plastered. The nave
width was increased to the south by about 9 feet and an elegant
hammer-beam Roof built. It is thought that the north Aisle was
made to fit the finely carved C15/16 ceiling from the old nave.
The north transept was cut back to the new line and rood stairs
incorporated in the new wall. The south aisle was aligned with
the south transept where C13/14 windows survive. There is a
fine, but disfigured, font near the south door. The large piers
at the east end of the nave are something of a mystery, but
were probably the start of a new chancel arch. The position
of the squints tells us that it had been intended to rebuild
the chancel as well. But the dissolution of St Osyth Abbey in
1539 stopped work on the church and the chancel remains obviously
'off-centre'. C16 graffiti in northern squint was found in 2004
when archaeologists from the television programme "Time
Team" (Channel 4) were carrying out an investigative dig
to try to find the original centre of the village.
special importance in the chancel is a unique 'horseshoe' or
'sheepfold' Communion rail pictured above. This is Victorian
replacement of a C17 wooden one of the same shape. The Victorian
Reredos and painted ceiling both deserve notice.
Here are two extremely fine monuments
with reclining effigies put in by the 3rd Baron Darcy of Chich
to the 1st and 2nd Lord Darcys who died in 1558 and 1581 and
their wives. Two other D'Arcy memorials are in the Church Room,
one in poor condition. Other memorials in the Chancel to other
owners of the Priory, the Rochfords and Nassaus, related to
the Dutch House of Orange. On the wall of the north aisle there
are various other memorials including one to Benjamin Golding
who founded Charing Cross Hospital. William Slimon who founded
Clacton Hospital is commemorated by the west window of the south
aisle. Most of the other glass is Victorian, with picture glass
in the Chancel and the Church Room. The two window memorials
to St. Osyth and her martyrdom are particularly interesting.
The C20 is represented by the pleasing
and practical enclosure, in the 1980s, of the south transept
to form the well used Church Room. It had previously been a
chapel. The room includes storage and a sinks fitted in 2007
enabling coffee etc to be served after services and on numerous
other occasions, (see The Lunch Bunch page). A toilet, washbasin
and flower sink were also fitted into the south porch.
The Altar and Welcome area were
created in 2004/5. Early in 2008 our old boiler was replaced
with a more energy efficient model. Also in 2008, the Tower
room was glazed in and the building was completely rewired.
The old lighting was replaced with new modern energy efficient
spot and flood lights throughout the Nave, North and South Aisles
and the Chancel. Together, all improvements are giving us a
good reduction on our energy bills while also reducing our carbon
In the spring of 2013 new choir
stalls were installed and the old Victorian ones moved back
to their original position in the Chancel. The new ones can
be seen in situ in the above panoramic view and a close up below.