Places to visit in Essex

Mistley Towers

  • Mistley Towers
  • on B1352,
  • Mistley,
  • Essex.
  • Mistley Towers is open by arrangement with the key keeper at Mistley Quay Workshops.
    Tel: 01206 393884
  • Website: www.english-heritage.org.uk

Mistley Towers - exterior
Mistley Towers
© Copyright Bob Jones contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Two imposing square towers built by Robert Adam which were originally part of a large church since demolished.

The local landowner, Richard Rigby, Esq., died at Mistley Hall, in 1732. He directed his executors to rebuild the parish church which had long been demolished. Instead of rebuilding the old one, his son, Richard Rigby M.P., erected an new church at Mistley Thorn which was finished around 1777.

It was a unique building, of the Doric order, from which rose two lofty circular domes. The church was intended to be part of a much larger grandiose scheme to recreate Mistley as a Spa Town.

The nave was demolished in 1870 leaving the two towers surrounded by the graveyard. The portico columns were moved and added to the towers as we see today. For years, the towers served as navigation points for fishing vessels on the River Stour.

Pictures of the original church are on view inside the east tower. The graveyard contains an Egyptian-style tomb and an obelisk.

It is a scheduled and listed property under the care of English Heritage.

plan of church
Robert Adams' original plan for the church.

Mistley Church
Mistley Church
print published 1834

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Essex Standard Newspaper

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Southminster

Ebay is a good source of old images of Essex towns and villages. If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then try one of the auctions, or there are several 'Buy It Now' shops offering postcards which have been touched up and improved - so if you're unsure about bidding, try these. Link already formatted for Essex Postcards. Browse through or type the name of the location in the Ebay search box.