An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
15. BULMER. (F.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)vi. S.W. (b)xii. N.W. (c)xii. S.W.)
Bulmer is a small parish and village, about 2 m. W. of Sudbury. The principal monument is the Church.
b (1). Parish Church of St. Andrew, stands near the middle of the village. The walls are of flint and pebble rubble with dressings of limestone and clunch; the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built possibly in the 12th century, but no detail of that date remains. The Chancel was rebuilt in the first quarter of the 14th century, possibly on the site of a former chancel and central tower; a N. vestry was probably added at the same time; c. 1330 the North Aisle was added and the chancel-arch rebuilt. Probably early in the 15th century the West Tower was built. At some uncertain date, but possibly in the 18th century, the N. vestry was pulled down. The church was restored in the 19th century, and the South Porch is modern.
The early 16th-century roof of the chancel and the 15th-century font are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (45 feet by 21½ feet) has a moulded internal string-course of the 14th century, much restored. The E. window is apparently all modern, except the internal splays, the rear arch and part of the external jambs, which are of early 14th-century date. The N. wall has two external buttresses, both repaired or rebuilt with 18th-century bricks and probably marking the position of the former vestry; the W. half of the wall has a 14th-century moulded external string-course; there are two windows in the W. half of the wall, both of early 14th-century date, slightly restored, and each of two trefoiled lights with a plain spandrel under a two-centred head. E. of the windows is a 14th-century doorway, now blocked, with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch; the rear arch is on the outer face of the wall; further E. and visible externally is an opening, about 8 feet from the ground, probably a doorway, with jambs of late 16th or 17th-century bricks, and now blocked with bricks, possibly Roman. In the S. wall are three windows similar to those in the N. wall, but with trefoiled spandrels, and externally almost entirely restored. Between the two eastern windows is a doorway almost entirely modern, except the 14th-century internal splays and rear arch. The early 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the responds have attached semi-octagonal shafts with plain bases and moulded bell-capitals, much restored.
The Nave (42 ft. by 21 ft. at the E. end, and 19½ ft. at the W. end) has an early 14th-century N. arcade of three bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the columns are octagonal, and the responds have attached half-columns, all with plain bases and moulded capitals. In the S. wall are two early 16th-century windows, slightly restored, and each of three cinquefoiled ogee lights, with a transom also cinquefoiled, and vertical tracery in a two-centred head; the jambs and label are moulded. Further W. is the early 14th-century S. doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders; the label is moulded.
The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, one window, in the N. wall, two windows, in the W. wall one window, each of the 15th century, and of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental-pointed head; the window in the E. wall, the eastern in the N. wall, and that in the W. wall, are externally almost entirely modern; the western window in the N. wall has modern mullions. W. of the windows in the N. wall is the early 14th-century N. doorway, now blocked; it has chamfered jambs and two-centred arch; above it, externally, is a line indicating the former existence of a small porch. At the S.E. angle is a 15th-century rood stair-turret, with a plain doorway which has a four-centred head.
The West Tower (10½ ft. by 9¼ ft.) is of the 15th century, and of two stages with an embattled parapet and a plinth of flint and stone checkerwork. In the E. wall of the ground stage is an early 14th-century doorway, converted into an archway when the tower was added; it has chamfered jambs and two-centred arch, and the rear arch faces the nave. In the S. wall is a modern window. The W. window, now in the second storey of the ground stage, is of two rectangular lights, probably of the 17th century. The lower storey of the second stage has, in the W. wall, a plain loop. The bell-chamber has, in each of the E., N. and S. walls, a 15th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the label is moulded. In the S. wall is a similar window, but with uncusped lights and varied tracery; it is almost entirely covered with modern cement.
The Roof of the chancel is of early 16th-century date, and of six bays with moulded timbers; the trusses have collar-beams with curved braces below them forming a pointed arch, with traceried spandrels and a carved pendant at the apex; at the feet of the braces are figures of angels surmounted by moulded canopies and holding shields, or instruments of the Passion; the N. wall-plate is carved with running foliage, but that on the S. is plain.
Fittings—Bells: four; 2nd by Henry Pleasant, 1707. Font: (see Plate, p. xxix.) octagonal, bowl with embattled rim and moulded and carved lower edge, four sides with angels holding plain shields, one side cusped with a shield—a bend impaling a border engrailed, other sides with foliage, a face, etc., panelled stem and moulded base, 15th-century. Glass: In chancel—in spandrel of eastern window in N. wall, shield of Waldegrave differenced with a border gules, probably 14th-century; in western window in S. wall—two shields, (a) checky or and azure a fesse ermine, much restored, (b) or a sleeve gules, 14th-century, in spandrel, a rose, 16th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Floor-slab: In porch—to Mary, wife of William Brage, 1700, Frances, 1698, and Elizabeth, 1697, their daughters, with shield of arms. Painting: On N. respond of chancel-arch —remains of red paint. Piscinæ: In chancel— in range with sedilia, double, with cinque-foiled heads, Purbeck marble shaft having moulded capital and base between each bay of range, early 14th-century, sill modern; in N. wall, outside, originally in former vestry, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, probably 14th-century. Pulpit: hexagonal, on carved central post, sides with raised panels, one having the inlaid initials I.H.S., etc. probably early 18th-century. Sedilia: in range and uniform with piscina, labels and horizontal outer label moulded, 14th-century. Miscellanea: In chancel—on internal jambs of E. window, two incised Consecration Crosses surrounded by circles. In nave—in E. wall, N. of chancel-arch, moulded stone Corbel, probably for former rood-beam, probably 13th-century, re-used.
Condition—Fairly good, but some cracks in walls of chancel.
a (2). At Smeetham Hall, about ¾ m. N. of the church; the S.W. side has been destroyed.
b (3). At Clapp's Farm, Bulmer Tye, ¾ m. S.S.E. of the church.
c (4) Butler's Hall, about ¾ m. S.S.W. of the church. The house is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are covered with tiles and slate. It was built in the second half of the 16th century, on a modified H-shaped plan with the cross-wings on the E. and W. On the E. side is a 17th-century addition of one storey. There are two chimney-stacks; that on the W. is original and has grouped diagonal shafts; that on the E. is of the 17th century and of L-shaped plan.
Interior—On the ground floor the middle room has original moulded ceiling-beams, wall-plates and chamfered joists. In the W. wing, the S. room has chamfered ceiling-beams and wall-posts and in the W. wall is an old blocked window; the N. room, now divided, has moulded ceilingbeams and chamfered wall-posts. In the E. wing is a passage with moulded ceiling-beams, and at the N. end is a window with old lead-glazing and remains of a strap-hinge. In the 17th-century addition is a heavy chamfered beam from which the braces have been removed; the timberframing and joists are also exposed. On the first floor, the middle room has moulded ceiling-beams and shaped wall-posts; on the E. wall is some original panelling with a carved frieze, and the panelled door is original. In the E. wing, the S. room has a panelled door, and some panelling similar to that in the middle room, with a carved frieze of different design; on the E. side of the wing are two blocked windows with diamond-shaped mullions.
b (5). The Laurels, house, 320 yards N.N.E. of the church, is a late 18th-century structure built round a 16th-century chimney-stack. The original chimney-stack has six attached octagonal shafts, covered with cement.
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, unless noted.
b (6). Cottage, 240 yards N.W. of the church, on the N. side of the road, has modern outbuildings at the back.
b (7). Grigg's Farm, house and barn, ¼ m. W. of the church. The House was built early in the 17th century on a rectangular plan; later in the same century a wing was added extending N.W. from the S.W. end, making the plan L-shaped. There are modern additions on the N.W. side of the original building. The original roof is half-hipped at each end.
The Barn, N.E. of the house, is of six bays.
b (8). Upper Houses, range of three tenements, about ¾ m. S.W. of the church, with a modern addition at the back.
b (9). Tyecorner Farm, house, 1 m. S. of the church, has an early 18th-century wing at the W. end of the S. side. The original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.
Condition—Bad, plaster defective, and some floors rotten; ivy on front of house.
b (10). Jenkins Farm, house, at Bulmer Tye, nearly 1 m. S. of the church, was built probably in the third quarter of the 16th century, but has, at the back, an 18th-century wing and a modern addition. On the E. front the upper storey projects and is supported by curved brackets, and, at the S.E. angle, by a post with a moulded top; the timber-framing is exposed and has modern brick nogging. At the N. end the timber-framing and nogging are modern. The original chimney-stack has six octagonal shafts on a rectangular base.
Condition—Much ivy on the walls.
Bumpstead, see Helion Bumpstead and Steeple Bumpstead.