An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.
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35. GREAT YELDHAM. (E.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xi. N.W. (b)xi. N.E. (c)xi. S.E.)
Great Yeldham is a parish and village about 6 m. N.W. of Halstead, in the Colne valley. The most important monuments are the Church and the Old Rectory.
a (1). Parish Church of St. Andrew (see Plate, p. 139) stands at the N. end of the village. The walls are of flint rubble with stone dressings, except the S. gable of the porch, which is of red brick, and the W. tower, which is partly of brick; the roofs of the N. aisle and the tower are covered with lead, the other roofs are tiled. The Chancel was rebuilt c. 1350, and the North Aisle was added at the same time. A large S. tower was added to the earlier Nave c. 1400, and the ground stage forms the present South Porch. The South Chapel was built late in the 15th century. If the S. tower was ever completed, the upper part was destroyed before the end of the 15th century, when the West Tower was added. Early in the 16th century a brick gable and an upper room were added to the remains of the S. tower or S. porch. The church was restored in the 19th century, when the South Vestry and Organ-chamber were added.
The plan is of particular interest as it shows the positions of the 14th-century and the 15th-century towers.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24¾ ft. by 17¾ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall are two mid 14th-century windows; the eastern is of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery under a segmental-pointed head and chamfered label; the western window, considerably restored, is of one lancet light carried down below a transom to form a low-side window, rebated for a shutter. In the S. wall is a window similar to the eastern window in the N. wall; further W. is a modern arch. The mid 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and moulded, and has moulded responds, with moulded capitals and bases; on each side of the chancel-arch is a 15th-century squint with a cinquefoiled ogee head on the E. face; the southern squint has been partly restored.
The Nave (41 ft. by 22¼ ft.) has a N. arcade of two bays and is of c. 1350; the arches are moulded and segmental-pointed, and the column is moulded and shafted, with a moulded capital and base; the responds have attached half-columns; there is a modern opening in the wall E. of the arcade. In the S. wall is a four-centred arch of late 15th-century date, of three chamfered orders on the S. side, and of one hollow-chamfered and one continuous moulded order on the N. side; the responds are chamfered and shafted, and have moulded bases and capitals. Further W. is the late 14th-century S. doorway, with moulded and chamfered jambs and two-centred arch; the chamfered label has grotesque headstops. Near the W. end of the wall is a blocked doorway leading to the stair turret of the former S. tower; it is of late 14th-century date, and has chamfered jambs and a moulded two-centred arch.
The North Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has in the E. wall, a window of three cinquefoiled lights, modern, except the moulded splays and rear arch, which are of c. 1350. In the N. wall are two windows, all modern except the splays and one moulded jamb-stone of the eastern window, and the moulded splays and rear arch of the western window, which are of the 14th century. Below the western window are the bases of the jambs of the former N. doorway. The window in the W. wall is modern, except some re-used jamb-stones and the moulded splays and rear arch, which are of the 14th century.
The South Chapel (13½ ft. by 16¼ ft.) has, in the S. wall, a window entirely modern, except the lower part of the moulded splays, which is of the 15th century.
The West Tower (11 ft. square) was built entirely c. 1490. It is of three stages with a moulded plinth, a S.E. stair-turret and a crow-stepped embattled parapet; the middle merlon on each side of the parapet has a carved figure of an angel, and there are crocketed pinnacles at the angles; the offsets of the buttresses have embattled cornices. The two-centred tower-arch is of three moulded or chamfered orders, the two outer being continuous; the inner order of the responds has moulded bases and capitals. In the S. wall the doorway to the stair-turret has chamfered jambs and a four-centred arch. The W. doorway has richly moulded jambs and a two-centred arch with a moulded label mitred to a square label with plain spandrels; the W. window is of three trefoiled ogee lights with vertical tracery in a segmental-pointed head, and has a moulded label. The second stage has, in the W. wall, a small window of one trefoiled light with a moulded label; the head of the light is blind. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of three trefoiled and transomed lights under a four-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops.
The South Porch (12 ft. square) is the ground stage of the former S. tower. It is of two storeys with an attic, and has a crow-stepped S. gable of brick. The 14th-century outer entrance has richly moulded responds and a two-centred arch with an ogee label which is moulded and crocketed; flanking it are small buttresses finished with small gables, pinnacles and carved finials. The E. and W. walls have each a small window of one pointed light with moulded jambs, head and label; the window in the E. wall now opens into the S. chapel. The first-floor chamber has a modern window in the S. wall. The S. gable has an imitation or blocked window of brick and of three pointed lights under a square head with a moulded label.
The Roofs of the chancel and nave are modern, but each has an old tie-beam. The flat roof of the N. aisle has moulded main timbers of the 15th century.
Fittings— Brackets: In nave—N. and S. of the chancel-arch, two plain corbels of wood, pierced with vertical holes, to support the former rood-beam. Brasses: In S. chapel—on W. wall, (1) to Elizabeth (Quarles) wife of John Symonds, 1666, inscription only; (2) of Richard Symonds, 1627, and Elizabeth (Plume) his wife, plate with kneeling figures of man, woman, five sons and one daughter, shield of arms; (3) to Orlando Fitzsymonds, 1691, inscription only. Chairs: In chancel— with panelled back, having guilloche ornament and shaped top, arms carved and legs moulded, early 17th-century. In upper storey of porch— two, with carved backs and front rails; the legs of one chair twisted, of the other turned, late 17th-century. Chests: In S. chapel—plain oak hutch with moulded edge to lid and money slot, probably 17th-century. In upper storey of porch—plain, with three hasps and a money slot, 17th-century. Doors: In S. doorway—of plain battens with foliated scutcheon and drop-handle, iron staple on jamb, 14th-century. In tower— in doorway of stair-turret, of battens with hollow-chamfered frame planted on, c. 1500; in W. doorway, of ridged battens with moulded muntins, probably c. 1500. In outer entrance of S. porch—similar to that in W. doorway, early 16th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with moulded lower edge, stem panelled on five sides only, possibly late 15th-century. Monuments: In S. chapel—on E. wall, (1) to Richard Fitzsymonds, 1680, tablet with carved drapery, cherub-heads and cartouche of arms; on S. wall, (2) to Susanna (Bastwick) wife of Dr. Burgoyne, 1685, black and white marble tablet with entablature, broken pediment and cartouche of arms; on W. wall, (3) to John Symonds, 1692, black and white marble tablet with carved pilasters at sides, entablature supporting cherubs and a cartouche of arms. Niches: On S. porch—on S. wall, flanking window on first floor, two; each with moulded jambs, pointed head and ogee label, crocketed, and with carved finials and stops, 14th-century, pedestal defaced. Piscinæ: In N. aisle—in sill of modern arch, E. of N. arcade, quatrefoil drain, probably 14th-century. In S. chapel—in S. wall, with moulded jambs, cinquefoiled ogee head and quatrefoil drain, 14th-century, re-set. Pulpit: of oak, octagonal, with arcaded panels enriched with guilloche ornament, moulded top, early 17th-century, partly restored, base modern. Screen: Under chancel-arch—of oak, and of six bays, the two middle bays forming entrance, all with cinquefoiled ogee and sub-cusped heads, having tracery above them, buttresses and pinnacles between the bays, moulded and embattled cornice and moulded middle rail, close lower panels with traceried heads, the four lower panels on S. side with remains of painted figures—(a) almost obliterated; (b) probably St. Ursula with an arrow and book; (c) bishop or abbot with claw-hammer, probably St. Eloy; (d) St. Edmund the King, late 15th-century, screen much restored. Sedilia: In chancel—sill of S.E. window carried down to form seat, splays cut square and having trefoiled ogee and sub-cusped heads, 14th-century, seat modern. In S. chapel—sill of S. window carried down to form seat with chamfered edge, 15th-century. Stoup: In S. porch—plain arched recess with rectangular bowl, having cusped ornament in front, probably 14th century. Miscellanea: In S. porch—fragments of oak tracery, late 15th-century.
Condition—Good, but much ivy on S. side of tower.
a (2). Yeldham Hall, 100 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. The plan is Lshaped, with the wings extending towards the S.W. and N.W. The N.W. wing was built c. 1500. Probably in the 17th century the S.W. wing was added, with a small staircase wing in the angle between it and the N.W. wing. There is a modern addition on the N.W. side of the 17th-century wing. Two of the chimney-stacks are of old brickwork. Inside the building, some of the rooms have chamfered ceiling-beams and shaped wall-posts. In the N.W. wing a room is lined with panelling of c. 1600, and over the fireplace are a few pieces of 16th-century linen-fold panelling. On the first floor is a 17th-century panelled door. Of the two staircases, one has late 16th or early 17th-century flat pierced balusters and newels with turned terminals; the other staircase has twisted balusters and a moulded handrail of c. 1700. The roof of the N.W. wing has a rough original king-post truss.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b (3). Spaynes Hall, about 600 yards S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. The House was built early in the 17th century, probably on an L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the N. and W. Probably late in the same century a second wing was added on the W., making the plan half-H-shaped. There are 18th-century or modern additions on the W. On the E. front the upper storey projects and rests on original shaped and carved brackets, it is gabled at the N. and S. ends, and has a projecting gable in the middle. There are two gabled projections on the S. elevation; the western gable has original barge-boards carved with arabesque ornament. Two of the chimney-stacks are original and have attached diagonal shafts.
Interior:—The middle room of the main block has an open timber ceiling, and the walls are wainscoted with early 17th-century panelling; the carved and panelled overmantel has carved pilasters, and has been partly restored. The S. room is lined with linen-fold, traceried, and moulded panelling, probably brought from elsewhere; the fireplace has an early 17th-century carved and panelled overmantel with carved pilasters. Other rooms have chamfered ceiling-beams, and there is an original door of moulded battens.
a (4). The Old Rectory, 50 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with cellar and attics; the walls are timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built, probably late in the 15th century, on an H-shaped plan, with the crosswings at the N. and S. ends. There is a modern addition at the S. end. On the E. front the upper storey projects. The cellar under the W. wing has an original doorway with a four-centred head, and a door of studded battens.
Interior:—The former Hall, in the main block, has original moulded ceiling-beams and joists. A room in the S. wing has an original moulded and carved ceiling-beam. The S.W. wing has, on the first floor, an elaborate roof (see Plate, p. xxxiv) of two bays with moulded timbers; the middle truss has curved braces forming a four-centred arch, and the spandrels are carved with foliage and shields bearing the following badges—a water bouget and fetter-lock, the Bouchier knot, a merchant's mark, fleur de lis, rose, crown, chequer-board and the sacred monogram.
a (5). Gunces Farm, house, about 1 m. W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 15th century on a half-H-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the W. Probably late in the 16th century the Hall was divided into two storeys, and a chimney-stack was inserted. The S.W. wing was further extended, probably in the 17th century, and there is a modern addition between the wings. On the E. front the upper storey projects and there are three gables. Inside the building, the lower storey of the former Hall has moulded ceiling-beams and two moulded brackets of the 16th century. Other rooms have chamfered ceiling-beams. The roof of the S.W. wing has two original king-post trusses, with chamfered king-posts which have two-way struts.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, without exception.
a (6). Weybridge Farm, house, nearly 1½ m. W.N.W. of the church.
a (7). Borley's Farm, house, now three tenements, 200 yards E. of (6), with an 18th-century addition on the N. side. The original central chimney-stack has three attached diagonal shafts.
a (8). Man's Cross Farm, house, 700 yards W.N.W. of the church, is of T-shaped plan, with the cross-wing at the E. end. There are 18th century additions in the angles between the wings. The original central chimney-stack has a small buttress at one angle.
a (9). Change Farm, house, now two tenements, 150 yards N. of the church, was originally of T-shaped plan, with the cross-wing at the S.W. end. Probably early in the 18th century an addition was made on the N.W. side of the N.E. wing, extending beyond it, and there are modern additions on the N.E. side of the cross-wing. The S.W. front has a gable at each end, and an original chimney-stack with two octagonal shafts, modern at the top. There are two gables at the back of the original cross-wing. The original chimney-stack of the N.E. wing has four octagonal shafts, modern at the top. Inside the building, the staircase is original, and has flat shaped balusters to the upper flight, and square newels with turned terminals.
a (10). School House, 100 yards E.S.E. of the church, has a small staircase-wing on the S. side. In the 18th century a wing was added at the E. end of the N. side, making the plan L-shaped. The 18th-century wing has a modern extension. Inside the building are two original doors of moulded battens.
a (11). House, now two tenements, on the W. side of the Colne Bridge, 400 yards S.S.E. of the church, was built c. 1500 on a rectangular plan. Early in the 17th century a wing was added at the N. end of the W. side, and other small additions were made on the same side. There are modern additions on the N. side of the 17th-century wing. The E. front has a gable at each end, and there are three gables at the back of the main block. Inside the building, the N. room of the original block has a 16th-century moulded ceiling-beam, and the middle room has some early 17th-century panelling. On the first floor are heavy wall-posts, and in a cupboard is a window with old quarry glazing, re-fixed. Two cambered tie-beams with curved braces are visible in the original block, and in the roof of the 17th-century wing are fragmentary remains of a king-post truss.
b (12). House, now an inn, on the S. side of the Little Yeldham Road, ¼ m. S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; it has modern additions at the E. and W. ends. The original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building is an original door of moulded battens.
b (13). House, two tenements, 30 yards N.W. of (12), was originally of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. Late in the 17th century a wing was added on the N.E. side of the N. wing. There is a modern addition on the S. side of the W. wing. The original central chimney-stack has two octagonal shafts.
a (14). Cottage, two tenements, on the E. side of the Tilbury Road, 300 yards W.S.W. of the church, with a modern addition at the N. end. The chimney-stack is original, and has two buttresses with offsets.
b (15). Brook Farm, house, 600 yards N.E. of the church, was built late in the 15th century, on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. It had a central Hall with a Solar at the S. end and a Buttery in the W. wing. The Hall was divided into two storeys, probably early in the 17th century, and there are 18th-century and modern additions on the W. side. The E. front has a gable at the N. end with 16th-century moulded barge-boards. The main roof is hipped at the S. end. The 17th-century chimney-stack at the N. end has a shaft, cross-shaped on plan, set diagonally on a square base with a moulded capping. Inside the building, the former Hall has a roof of two bays with an original king-post truss; the cambered tie-beam has curved braces, and the stop-chamfered king-post has two-way struts.
Main Street, W. side
a (16). House, now three tenements, 700 yards S.S.E. of the church, was built c. 1500, on a half-H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. Early in the 17th century the staircase was added between the wings, and there are modern additions on the E. and W. sides. On the E. front the upper storey projects and is gabled at the S. end; the projection has curved brackets springing from much weathered wall-shafts with moulded capitals. Inside the building, the two southern rooms of the main block have original moulded ceiling-beams and joists; at the back is an original doorway, formerly external; it has a three-centred head and a plain battened door. The staircase has flat shaped balusters of early 17th-century date.
b (17). The White Hart Inn, 1,100 yards S.S.E. of (16), was built c. 1500, on a half-H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. Early in the 17th century small additions were made between the wings and at the S. end. Modern additions make the plan rectangular. On the E. front, there is a gable at each end, and the upper storey projects, except below the S. gable. The 16th-century central chimney-stack has gabled buttresses and four modern octagonal shafts with old moulded bases. At the back of the original building is a door of richly moulded battens. The 16th-century chimney-stack of the N.W. wing has three octagonal shafts. Inside the building, the timber framing and some shaped and moulded wall-posts are visible. On the ground floor a modern room is lined with early 17th-century panelling, which has a carved frieze. On the first floor several rooms have panelled walls, now covered with paper. At the top of the staircase are some flat wavy balusters of the 17th century. The roof of the S.W. wing has a rough original king-post truss.
b (18). Lovington's Farm, house, 1¼ m. S.S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics, and has 18th-century or modern additions on the W. side. The gable at the N. end has original carved and moulded barge-boards. The original S. chimney-stack has a shaft, cross-shaped on plan, set diagonally; the top is modern. Inside the building, the N. room is lined with original panelling, and has a carved and panelled overmantel.
b (19). Outbuilding, at Pool Farm, 200 yards N.N.E. of (18), is partly timber-framed with brick filling, partly weather-boarded and partly of brick. It was built in the 16th century, and twice extended towards the N. during the 17th century. There are modern additions on the E. side. Inside the building, the N. part of the original block has original moulded ceiling-beams; the roof is of the king-post type, much repaired.
b (20). Cottage, two tenements, 150 yards N.W. of (19), with modern additions on the E. side.
b (21). Cottage, 100 yards N. of (20), was originally of half-H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. There are 18th-century or modern additions on the N. side and at the S.E. angle of the house. The W. front and S. end have been re-faced with modern brick. The original central chimney-stack has a sunk panel with a date, apparently 1696.
b (22). House and outbuilding, 750 yards S.S.E. of the church. The House was built in the 15th century, with a central Hall and slightly projecting cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. Early in the 17th century the Hall was divided into two storeys, and the N. cross-wing was extended towards the E. The W. front has been re-faced with modern brick, and there are modern additions at the back. At the W. end of the N. cross-wing the upper storey projects, and has some curved brackets. The 17th-century chimney-stack at the back has two diagonal shafts. Inside the building, the roof of the former Hall is of two bays, and has an original king-post truss with a steeply cambered tie-beam and a moulded king-post.
The Outbuilding, E. of the house, is now partly a cottage, and is of four bays, mostly weather-boarded. It was built c. 1500, and has original king-post trusses with curved braces.
a (23). Cottage, on the N. side of the Finchingfield Road, 1,100 yards S. of the church.