The church of All Saints in Wilstead is situated to the east of the main road through the village and is accessible from Church Lane and Pollards Close. Parking is best at the roadside in Pollards Close. The village of Wilstead has been known by several names over the years including Wilshamstead and Wylhamstead and indeed the parish is still known as Wilshamstead but the more usual name is Wilstead.
Web Site: All Saints, Wilstead
The church consists of nave and chancel, north and south aisles, west tower, south porch, vestry to the north of the chancel and church rooms adjoining the north aisle. The chancel is around 30 feet by 16 feet with the nave adding around 48 feet by 19 feet. The north aisle is around 7 feet wide with the south being around 10 feet wide. The tower is around 13 feet square and about 40 feet high.
The oldest parts of the current building are from C14 but little evidence remains of a building of this time with the older parts of the present building dating from C15. The chancel, vestry, porch and tower all date from late C19 with the modern church rooms date from 1975.
The chancel was rebuilt in 1872 with further work at the turn of the century after structural problems were found. The south side of the chancel has two windows towards the west end.
Both are of two cinquefoiled ogee headed lights with a quatrefoil design in the head under a two-centred arch. Separating the windows is a small Saint’s or Sanctus bell.
The south aisle has windows to the east and west along with four windows to the south, three to the east of the porch and one to the west.
The east window is of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil design in the tracery under a pointed arch.
The two eastern windows are completely different with the main window being of three cinquefoiled lights under a Tudor arch and hood mould. Next to it is a single round headed lancet window set lower in the wall. The window next to the porch is of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil design above under a two-centred arch.
The western window in the south aisle is similar to its neighbour on the other side of the porch but has only plain glass. The west window of the south aisle is also of two cinquefoiled lights under a two-centred arch.
The south porch was rebuilt in C19 around the time the chancel was rebuilt and has no windows to east and west.
The nave and aisles are all embattled and the clerestory above the aisles has four two-light windows under two-centred arches.
The tower is modern dating from 1851 and is of two stages with a plain parapet. The belfry openings are of two cinquefoiled lights with quatrefoil designs under two-centred arches. There is a clock facing the east – towards the village – which was placed in the tower in 1898 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
The west window is modern and is of four cinquefoiled lights with multifoil designs in the tracery under a two-centred arch. There is no west door. There is an external octagonal stair leading to the belfry stage.
The west end of the north aisle is dominated by the 1970’s Chapter House and church rooms.
Of the two accessible windows in the north aisle, the western is of two trefoiled lights under four-centred arches. The upper lobe of the trefoil design if offset in both lights giving a slightly strange appearance. The eastern window is of three trefoiled lights with no tracery under a flattened four-centred arch. Again, the outer lights having the offset lobes.
With the modern vestry being hard against the east end of the aisle, there is no east window to the aisle.
The only window on the north side of the chancel is a modern pointed single lancet window.
The east window is modern and of three lights, the outer being wide and cinquefoiled and the centre trefoiled. Above is geometric tracery all under a two-centred arch.