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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42. LANGLEY. (A.b.)
b (1). Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist stands at the N. end of Upper Green. The walls of the nave and tower are of pebble rubble, but the facing is almost entirely modern; the dressings are of limestone and clunch; the chancel walls are of red brick; the roofs are covered with tiles. The Nave is probably of the 12th century. The West Tower was added in the 14th century, and c. 1560 the Chancel was rebuilt. The church was restored in 1885, when the upper stage of the W. tower and perhaps the S. wall of the nave were rebuilt, and the North Vestry and South Porch were added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25¼ ft. by 13½ ft.) is entirely of c. 1560, the detail being all of brick. The E. window is of three four-centred lights under a four-centred main head with a moulded external label; the jambs and mullions are moulded. In the N. wall is a modern doorway to the vestry. In the S. wall are two windows, each of two rounded lights under a three-centred head, of detail similar to that of the E. window; externally they have imitation masonry of plaster. Between the windows is a doorway with double chamfered jambs and segmental head. There is a modern bressumer in place of a chancel-arch.
The Nave (45¾ ft. by 19½ ft.) has, in the N. wall two windows; the eastern is of two cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery under a two-centred head, almost entirely modern; only the tracery and part of the splays are of late 14th or early 15th-century date; the western window is a single round-headed light, modern externally, but with 12th-century splays and rear arch. Further W. is the blocked N. doorway, also modern externally, but with an old segmental rear arch. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost is of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; it is modern externally, but internally of late 13th-century date; the middle window is of modern brick with a few 16th-century bricks incorporated in it; the westernmost window is a single modern light with some old stones in the splays. Between the western windows is the mid 12th-century S. doorway, with a semi-circular head of two moulded orders and a chamfered label; the jambs are modern, except the capitals of the shafted outer order and the chamfered abacus of each order.
The West Tower (8 ft. square) is of two stages. The lower is divided into two storeys and is of the 14th century; the upper stage is modern. The 14th-century tower-arch is pointed and of two chamfered orders; the responds have attached semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The 14th-century W. window is of two trefoiled ogee lights, with tracery in a two-centred head; externally it is modern.
The Roof of the nave is of late 15th-century date, considerably restored, and of four bays, with five trusses of double hammer-beam type, with tiebeams above the lower hammer-beams; the collars and hammer-beams are moulded, and carved with running foliage; the wall-posts also are moulded; only one tie-beam is original.
Fittings—Bells: four; 1st, 3rd and 4th by Richard Keene, 1702. Communion-Table: with carved apron, turned legs and moulded rail, 17th-century. Font: plain octagonal bowl, date uncertain, stem modern. Glass: In E. window— Royal (Stuart) Arms, late 17th-century. Plate: Includes cup of 1563 and paten with three feet, of 1708.
The following monuments are generally of two storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster or weather-boarding, and are all of the 17th century. The roofs are covered with tiles or thatch. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.
b (2). Langley Hall, now a farmhouse, 30 yards N.E. of the church, has an 18th-century kitchen at the W. end, and modern additions on the N. and E. sides. The E. and W. gables of the main block have original moulded barge-boards, with dentils. The original central chimney-stack has four engaged shafts, set diagonally.