Little Braxted - St Nicholas  Grade 1 listed. Built about 1120, the church is a small Norman structure, with a wooden belfry and two bells. An old Norman semicircular apse forms the chancel but the porch is of wood in the Tudor style.The church has a small, faithful congregation of between 6 and 8 people.  The plain exterior is in marked contrast to the interior. Ernest Geldart, rector from 1881 - 1900, adapted and altered the church significantly. In 1881 he carved a piscina into the chancel wall. In 1883 he refurbished the seating and installed new stained glass. In 1884 a north aisle and vestry was added, together with a low chancel screen, font, altar and reredos.   In 1886 he began decorating, and virtually every surface has been covered with a variety of pictures, texts and symbolic designs. : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Norman, Apse
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Interior  Ernest Geldart, rector from 1881 - 1900, is responsible for the idiosyncratic internal church decor. He trained as an architect before taking orders, and was a proficient artist. He provided paintings for several other Essex churches. He believed that "God's house ought to be the finest.... and.... most beautiful house in the parish". To this end, virtually every surface within the church has been covered with stencil work, pictures, and texts.  His work was not universally liked at the time, partly because the physical decorative changes were accompanied by liturgical changes incorporating candles, incense, processions and so on, which some people thought were popish. Letters were written to the papers and there were even threats of prosecution. But eventually his changes were accepted, and the congregation increased. For an interactive 360º panorama of the stunning interior see:  Little Braxted - St Nicholas (Google photosphere) : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, Interior, Geldart, Nave, Painting
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Rood Cross  Small Rood cross, in the chancel arch. : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Geldart, Rood
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Altar  The altar and reredos, added by Rev Geldart in 1884, frame the east window. : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Geldart, Altar, Painting, Apse
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Chancel Screen  Low chancel screen added by Rev Geldart in 1884. The shields contain representations of Christ. : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Geldart, Screen
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Gate of Heaven  This painting shows Christ and the apostles standing in a vine-like tree. The banners contain the words of the Apostle's Creed. At the base of the tree is a coiled winged serpent. Christ is depicted holding a book and a cross - and the base of the cross is an arrow, piercing the serpent's head. : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Geldart, Painting
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Candleholder  Even the candleholders were decorated by Rev Geldart. : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Geldart
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Candelabra  Candelabra and cobweb : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Candelabra, Geldart
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Wall Painting  Geldart's wall painting in the north aisle depicts the trees of knowledge, healing and of life. The script at the bottom reads "because thou hast eaten of the tree: cursed is the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life" "howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. Tell it out among the nations that the Lord hath reigned from the tree: let the children be joyful in their king" and "there shall be no more curse and to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is the paradise of God" : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Painting
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Tree of Life  Detail of the Tree of Life painting : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Painting
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Nativity Detail  Detail of Nativity scene : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Nativity
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Little Braxted - St Nicholas - Nativity  Geldart painted this very tender Nativity scene on the south wall. : Church, Essex, Little, Braxted, St Nicholas, Grade 1, Painting, Nativity
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