St Stephens Chapel

About 1 mile north-east of the village, down a track through Fysh House Farm, lies this Chapel of St. Stephen. This was the private chapel of the Manor of Tany, or Tauney, and was dedicated to St. Stephen on St. Stephen’s Day 1218, by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

This makes it the oldest building in the parish, it pre-dates the church by approx 150 years

On Christmas Day 855, history tells us, Bishop Humbert of Elmham anointed a 14-year-old boy as King of the East Angles. The boy was Edmund, the chosen heir of King Offa, and his Coronation was documented at `Burva`.
The chronicler Galfridus de Fontibus also described the coronation as having taken place at “Bures”, which is an ancient royal hill.
It is the general belief that this was the lonely hilltop, where St Stephen’s Chapel now stands.

Inside it contains the effigies of three Earls of Oxford, the only survivors of twenty-one tombs once found at Earls Colne Priory. The became ruined after the Reformation and only a shell remains today.


At least, there appear to be three: close inspection by expert eyes has suggested that they are in fact made up from pieces of seven separate monuments which were originally located at Earls Colne Priory. This was mainly due to the confusion in trying to piece together the tombs, after the destruction of the original Priory.
This chapel fell into disuse after the Reformation.

As the name Chapel Barn implies, this simple building pretty much resembles a barn – indeed that is what it remained as until it restoration 70 years ago. It was a barn, of stone, with narrow lancet windows and a steeply pitched thatched roof. xtensions in brick and timber at the west and north date from the period after the Reformation when the building became cottages.

Strangely, what looks on the outside like an agricultural outbuilding, seen inside resembles a mausoleum.


It was restored to its present condition in the 1930s by members of the Probert family and re-consecrated.
Once a year each summer, a service is held in the Chapel by the congregation of St Mary`s Church, Bures.
There is nothing of value inside the Chapel apart from these artefacts.
For the full story visit the Bures web site at