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Historic England Research Records

Church Of St Botolph

Hob Uid: 374146
Location :
Essex
Uttlesford
Hadstock
Grid Ref : TL5587844743
Summary : Reputed site of a 7th century minster. The church incorporates Roman brick. Important late Anglo-Saxon church built about 1025-50 with later additions (see plans). It probably had a central tower which was pulled or fell down about 1200 and there is Roman brick in the tower walls. Belonging to Ely (from the 9th century) whose monks believed St Botolph was buried here. It is suggested that it is the minster built by King Cnut in 1020 to commemorate his victory in 1016 at Assandun (Ashdon beside Hadstock), but others identify it as Ashingdon (see TQ 89 SE 1), and some suggest the minister was Hockley near-by. The present cruciform church is 11th, 13th and 14 century with a 15th century West tower on a Saxon base. Excavations have demonstrated that the Saxon church was substantial and clearly of minster status.
More information : (TL 55884474) St Botolph's Church (NAT) (1)

Important late Anglo-Saxon church built about 1025-50 with later additions (see plans). It probably had a central tower which was pulled or fell down about 1200 and there is Roman brick in the tower walls. Belonging to Ely (from the 9th century) whose monks believed St Botolph was buried here. It is suggested that it is the minster built by King Cnut in 1020 to commemorate his victory in 1016 at Assandun (Ashdon beside Hadstock), but others identify it as Ashingdon (see TQ 89 SE 1), and some suggest the minister was Hockley near-by. (2-5)

Excavations within the church in 1974 revealed three periods of Anglo-Saxon work, the earliest of which probably belongs to the pre-Danish era and comprised a large five celled cruciform church. Among graves found was one set in the centre of the Anglo-Saxon south porticus against the east wall, the body was probably embalmed and can hardly have been other than an eminent religious figure of the Anglo-Saxon period, possibly
Abbott Botolph.

This new evidence greatly strengthens the case for Hadstock being the site of the monastery founded in the late 7th century by St Botolph at Icanho. (For alternative siting see TM 45 NW 10). Finds of earlier date comprised animal bones, oyster shells, a few chips of Roman tile, sherds of Roman pottery, one sherd of the pagan Saxon period; and a group of stones perhaps a hearth, included part of a quern of Rhenish lava and a stone Cresset lamp. (6)

Thus there are three places that could claim to be Icanho, excluding Boston in Lincolnshire which now seems to be out of the running (Whitelock et al. 1961, 20): Hadstock, Grundisburgh/Burgh, and Iken. Hadstock and Grundisburgh/Burgh both have dedications to St. Botolph and both have twelfth-century documents to back their claims. Iken however has similarity of name, the right topographical situation and location in the East Anglian Kingdom, a dedication to St. Botolph and the suggestive grant of the manor of Sudbourne, including Iken, to St Aethelwold, who was also granted the remains of St. Botolph; taken altogether these pieces of evidence argue strongly that St.Botolph's monastery was situated at Iken in Suffolk. (7)

St Botolph's Church (name confirmed) is generally as described by the previous authorities and the attached guide. The excavations, (still partly exposed) have been concluded. See photographs of north door and base of crossing pier. A random scatter of probably Roman brick can be seen in the lower courses of the tower. (8)

The investigations during restoration of the tower showed it to be a late Medieval addition to the Anglo-Saxon nave, replacing all earlier fabric at the west end, and making extensive re-use of earlier materials. (9)

Church of St. Botolph, Grade 1. The walls of the present nave and north transept are basically of late Anglo Saxon date and there is evidence to suggest that this was the minster church built by Canute after the battle of Assandan in 1016. Grade I (see list for details). (10)

See TQ 89 SE 1 for a discussion of the controversy over Ashdon/Ashington as the site of the battle between Canute and Edmund and of Canute's "mynster" to commemorate his
victory. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle distinctly states that Canute went to Assington itself to erect his minster, and not to a place nearby, as in the proposed case of Ashdon/
Hadstock. (11)

Additional bibliography. (12-17)

Full description of the Saxon doorway in the north side of the nave, and the arch opening to the south porticus, which are more firmly dated to 1030-1050. (18)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1960
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Essex. Volume I [north west]
Source details :
Page(s) : 143-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Journal of the British Archaeological Association
Source details : Burrows J
Page(s) : 127
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 32, 1926
Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : CBA Res Rep 19, Historic Churches a wasting asset, 1977, 23, 50-54, 109 (W. Rodwell and K. Rodwell)
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 13
Source : Essex archaeology and history news
Source details : W Rodwell
Page(s) : Nov-13
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 71, 1980
Source Number : 14
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hewett, C.A, 1980, English Historic Carpentry, Phillimore, London (21-23, 32)
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 15
Source : Essex
Source details :
Page(s) : 216-7
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 16
Source : The archaeology of Essex : proceedings of the 1993 Writtle conference
Source details :
Page(s) : 119
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 17
Source : Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 62
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 90, 2001
Source Number : 18
Source : Corpus of Anglo-Saxon stone sculpture, volume 4 : south-east England
Source details :
Page(s) : 211-2
Figs. :
Plates : 277-91
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 474
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Anglo-Saxon architecture : volume 1
Source details :
Page(s) : 272-5
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Uttlesford Essex Oct 1960 41
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : W Rodwell
Page(s) : 55-61
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 56, 1976
Source Number : 7
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : E A Martin
Page(s) : 153-9
Figs. :
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Vol(s) : 58, 1978
Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 PAS 06-JAN-77
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details : L E Webster & J Cherry
Page(s) : 230
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 21, 1977
Source Number : 10
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Uttlesford Dist 22 Feb 1980 204
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence :
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early C11
Monument End Date : 1032
Monument Start Date : 1001
Monument Type : Church, Minster
Evidence : Extant Building, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : C7
Monument End Date : 700
Monument Start Date : 601
Monument Type : Church, Minster
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C13
Monument End Date : 1300
Monument Start Date : 1201
Monument Type : Parish Church
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C14
Monument End Date : 1400
Monument Start Date : 1301
Monument Type : Parish Church
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C15 West tower
Monument End Date : 1500
Monument Start Date : 1401
Monument Type : Parish Church
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Parish Church
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : BRICK
Object Material :
Period : Early Medieval
Component Monument Type : Church, Minster
Object Type : CAPITAL
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 111046
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 121984
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 112250
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 54 SE 3
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 391975
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 419102
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ST BOTOLPH'S CHURCH
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1976-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 54 SE 3
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1977-01-06
End Date : 1977-01-06
Associated Activities : Primary, CHURCH OF ST BOTOLPH
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ST BOTOLPH'S CHURCH, HADSTOCK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND EAST OF ST BOTOLPH'S CHURCH
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHURCH OF ST BOTOLPH
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31