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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19. CLAVERING. (A.c.)
Clavering is a large parish and village about 6 m. S.W. of Saffron Walden. The village, though scattered, shows traces of early importance. The Church, the Castle and houses (9) and (10) are the principal monuments.
b (1). Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Clement, stands on the W. side of the village. The walls are of flint rubble with a little stone, and have embattled parapets; the dressings are of coarse limestone and clunch; the roofs are covered with lead. The Chancel was built c. 1360. The Nave, with clearstorey, the North and South Aisles, the West Tower and the South Porch were built c. 1400; the irregular width of the S. aisle indicates that a building of an earlier date existed on the site. The church was restored in 1867 and again in 1893, when the walls of the chancel were re-faced.
The 15th-century roofs of the nave and aisles are noteworthy. Among the fittings the early 13th-century effigy in the N. aisle, the pulpit, screen and seating dating from the 15th century, and the remains of 15th-century glass are especially interesting.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (36 feet by 19 feet) has the axis inclined slightly towards the N. The E. window is modern, except the internal splays and two-centred chamfered rear arch with a moulded label, which are all of the 14th century. In the N. wall, at the W. end, is a window entirely modern, except the 14th-century opening, which is hollow-chamfered on the internal edge, and has a two-centred arch, with a carved head, now defaced, on the E. side, and a carved animal on the W. side of the springing level. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern entirely modern, and the western similar to that in the N. wall, the carved head being that of a man in a liripipe head-dress; between the windows is a modern doorway. The late 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two orders, the outer chamfered and dying on to the side walls, the inner moulded and springing from head-corbels; on the gable above the arch is a sanctus bell-cot with a plain opening covered by a slab, which supports a square stone with trefoiled panels, and a weathered finial.
The Nave (64 ft. by 25 ft.), with the clearstorey, is entirely of early 15th-century date. The N. and S. arcades are each of five bays, with moulded columns, stopped and moulded at the bases, and each having on the N. and S. sides, an attached shaft with moulded capital and base; the moulded arches are four-centred, except in the easternmost bay of each arcade, which is narrower than the rest, and has the mouldings of the E. segment of the arch broken and continued vertically down the face of the wall to the springing level; all the arches have moulded labels on both sides, which stop on the shafts of the columns. In the E. abutment of the S. arcade is the semi-octagonal stair-turret of the former rood-loft; it is entered from the S. aisle by a doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head, and is lighted by a small loop on the N. side, and by a small window of two lights on the S. side; the upper doorway is blocked. The clearstorey has, in the E. wall, immediately below the parapet, a small blocked window of two uncusped four-centred lights under a depressed head; the N. and S. walls have each five windows, all externally restored, and the four eastern on each side are of three cinquefoiled lights under a segmental-pointed head; the westernmost window is similar to the others, but of two lights; below the ledges is a moulded internal string-course.
The North Aisle (14½ ft. wide) has in the E. wall, a 15th-century window of four cinquefoiled lights and tracery under a segmental-pointed head with a moulded external label; one mullion has been completely renewed with wood and another partly restored with plastered brick. In the N. wall are four windows of the same date and design as that in the E. wall, but each of three lights; some of the mullions are of modern wood; all the labels are modern, and the lights of the westernmost window are blocked at the bottom; the second window from the E. end is set higher than the rest, and below it is the N. doorway, possibly of the 14th century, re-used; the jambs and two-centred arch are of two moulded orders, and the external label is also moulded. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the N. wall, but now blocked and only visible outside.
The South Aisle (11 ft. wide at the E. end, diminishing to 9¼ ft. at the W. end) is entirely of early 15th-century date. In the E. wall is a window of four cinquefoiled lights and tracery under a four-centred head, considerably restored. In the S. wall are four windows, each of three cinquefoiled lights and tracery under a four-centred head, all much restored. Between the second and third windows is the S. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch under a square head with traceried spandrels; the ends of the moulded external label have been destroyed. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the S. wall.
The West Tower (14¾ ft. square) is of four stages with right-angled buttresses and an embattled parapet, and is almost entirely of early 15th-century date. The two-centred tower-arch is moulded; the moulded responds have each an attached shaft having a moulded capital enriched with leaf-ornament. The W. window is of four cinquefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head, all much restored; the W. doorway is modern, except the internal splays and segmental rear arch. The third stage has, in the N. wall, a small square-headed window; the S. and W. walls have each a cinquefoiled light, externally completely renewed. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a two-centred head, completely renewed externally, and internally partly covered with cement.
The South Porch (11 ft. by 10 ft.) is entirely of early 15th-century date. The outer entrance has a moulded two-centred arch in a square head, with internal and external traceried spandrels; the external spandrels have each a blank shield, and the moulded external label has grotesque head-stops; the responds have been much restored, and are each of two moulded members, the inner member having a moulded capital. In each side wall is a much restored window of two trefoiled lights in a square head flanked internally by corresponding panels, which, with the moulded internal jambs of the window, are carried down to a modern seat.
The Roofs are almost entirely of the 15th-century; the low-pitched roof of the chancel has moulded main timbers and cambered tie-beams with curved brackets; the wall-plates are embattled; some of the timbers have been renewed. The low-pitched roof of the nave is of five bays with some modern timbers; the main timbers are moulded, and the tie-beams have each a large grotesque face in the middle of the soffit, and curved brackets; at the feet of the intermediate rafters are carved figures of seraphim; one of the figures on the N. side and two on the S. side are missing; in the two E. bays, at the intersection of the rafters with the purlins, are foliated bosses. On the S. side the stone corbels which support the trusses are original, one is carved as a bishop's head and the rest are grotesques; on the N. side all, except one, are modern. The flat lean-to roof of the N. aisle is of four bays with moulded principal timbers, which have curved brackets and, at the intersections, foliated bosses; there are fragments of an embattled wall-plate; three carved figures, two seraphim and an angel holding an organ, remain at the feet of the intermediate principals. The roof of the S. aisle is similar to that of the N. aisle, but the spandrels of the brackets are richly carved, and at the main intersections are carved bosses, one representing a man and woman, each with a string of beads; two carved figures of seraphim and a third figure in an alb and amice remain at the feet of the intermediate principals. The roof of the S. porch has moulded main timbers, embattled wall-plates and three carved bosses, one of them having two shields; the E. shield is charged with a plain cross with a border, and the W. shield with a saltire with a border and a label.
Fittings—Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In nave—at E. end, (1) of Ursula, wife of Thomas Welbore of Pondes 1591, two kneeling figures, that of the man in civilian dress, one son, and five daughters, inscription, two scrolls, a crest, four shields and the indent of fifth shield. At vicarage—loose, (2) of Joane Day, 1593, two figures, man in civilian dress, woman with beaver hat, and inscription; (3) of [. . . . Songar], two figures, lower half only of man in civilian dress, woman in modified horned head-dress, group of nine daughters, c. 1480. Indents: In nave—(1) of marginal inscription with separate letters, early 14th-century. In N. aisle— (2) of two figures, with children, inscription plate and shield. In churchyard—outside N. doorway, (3) of two figures, with children, inscription plate and two shields. Chairs: In chancel—two, of oak, with turned legs, curved arms, and back carved with round pattern, 17th-century. Chests: In N. aisle—(1) of oak, with panelled front and sides, two old locks and handles, 17th-century. In W. tower—(2) of oak, heavily iron-bound, with semi-cylindrical lid, 17th-century. Communion Table: In chancel—with turned legs, carved upper rail and plain lower rail, early 17th-century, now grained and varnished. Doors: In chancel—in S. doorway, of oak, 17th-century. In tower—in W. doorway, part of framework, old. Font: of Purbeck marble, octagonal bowl with two shallow pointed panels in each side, central stem surrounded by eight circular shafts, early 13th-century, restored, stem and base modern. Glass: In N. aisle—E. window, in upper part of lights, representing scenes from the life of St. Katherine; in N. light a crowned female saint with four philosophers and remains of three other figures, inscribed scrolls (a) Credo in Deum patrem; (b) Ego nego; (c) Ego probo; in second light remains of martyrdom of philosophers, God the Father above, with Souls ascending as birds; in third light St. Katherine and the Emperor (fragmentary); in fourth light, St. Katherine taken to prison and fragment of inscription, 'Hi(c) Sca Ka . . .'; in background, other figures, a decapitated head, etc., and porch with shield, dotted field, a cross or; in the tracery, figures of the Virgin and St. Gabriel with scroll, Ave Maria, etc., and six angels, some fragmentary; in N. wall, in tracery of easternmost window, figures and various fragments; figures represent St. Cecilia virgo, St. Sitha, the Coronation of the Virgin and St. Apolonia, some with scrolls inscribed with the names; in second window, various fragments in third light, including remains of figure of St. Michael, in tracery, six coloured roundels; in third window, in tracery, figures of two seraphim and four angels in albs and amices, some of the figures damaged; in westernmost window, in middle light, panel with inscription to William Barlee, 1693, and achievement of arms; in tracery, fragments only. In S. aisle—E. window, in heads of lights, figures of two angels, a seraph and a half-length kneeling figure in scull cap, in tracery, head of Christ, crowned with thorns, a sun, rose and fragments; lying loose, in the aisle, a leaded light, head made up of fragments, all c. 1450, except 17th-century panel and glass in second window in N. wall of N. aisle, c. 1400. Lectern: (See Pulpit). Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on S. wall, (1) to John Smith, pastor of the church, 1616, small marble tablet with cornice and flanking columns, and painted kneeling figure at desk. In nave—on E. wall, (2) to William Barlee, c. 1610, Elizabeth (Seree) his wife, c. 1620, John, son of William Barlee, 1633, Mary (Haynes) his wife, 1643, and William, their son, 1635, alabaster and black marble tablet, with arms. In N. aisle—in recess in N. wall (see Recess), (3) effigy in mail, legs broken off at knees; coif fastening at side of head, mail coat reaching almost to knees, surcoat with long openings under arms, sword and much broken shield, early 13th-century; (4) of Haynes Barlee, 1696, and his three wives, the last Mary (Riddlesden), 1714, marble tablet with bust and shield of arms under a pediment, erected 1747; on W. wall, (5) of Margaret, wife of Haynes Barlee of Curls, 1653, large tablet of coloured marbles with pediment and shield of arms, marble bust, and on base, small figures of children, and seven skulls on coffins for children who died in infancy; (6) of Mary (Turner), second wife of Haynes Barley, 1658, tablet similar to (5), but without figures at base; W. of N. doorway— (7) coffin-slab with cross in relief, broken and damaged at lower end, 14th-century. Floorslabs: In nave—at E. end, (1) to Richard Godfrey, 1699, Mary, his first wife, 1683, and Ann, his second wife, 1690, part of slab hidden. In N. aisle—(2) to William, son of William Benson of Brent Green, 1677, with arms; (3) to William Benson of Brent Green, 1659, and Elizabeth (Barley) his wife, 1677, with arms; (4) to Christopher, son of William Benson, of Brent Green, 1681, with arms; (5) to Margaret, wife of Haynes Barlee . Niche: In tower—in S. buttress, shallow, square, with chamfered edges. Painting: In nave—on stair-turret of rood-loft, traces of red colour. Piscinæ: In chancel—with chamfered jambs having small shafts with moulded capitals and bases, cinquefoiled ogee head with label and foliated finial, octofoil basin and remains of wooden shelf, 14th-century. In N. aisle— in abutment of arcade, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, cinquefoil basin, probably 15th-century, re-cut. In S. aisle—with chamfered jambs, four-centred head and septfoiled basin, 15th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1662. Pulpit (see Plate, p. xxxi): of oak, inlaid with other woods and with seven complete sides, carved with semi-circular arches and interlacing pattern, early 17th-century; stem with attached buttresses, hexagonal moulded base with quatrefoils, 15th-century, formerly belonging to a lectern; curved brackets supporting pulpit, 17th-century. Recess: In N. aisle—now containing effigy (see Monuments), with segmental pointed arch, having moulded edge, remains of label and pinnacle at each end, 15th-century. Screen: Under chancel-arch—of five bays including central doorway, side bays with open upper panels having pointed and traceried heads and ogee sub-heads cusped and sub-cusped; moulded posts and rail; below rail, close panels, two in each bay with traceried and carved heads; doorway with moulded ogee head, cusped and sub-cusped, and having finial extending to the moulded cornice, and traceried spandrels on each side, cornice possibly partly 17th-century, and partly modern; close panels below rail formerly each with a painted figure of a saint, in black lines on white ground, those N. of the doorway all destroyed, those S. of it much damaged, but representing St. Anthony, St. Leger (?), St. Laurence, St. Stephen, St. Edmund, St. Agnes, a king and one other, early 15th-century. Seating: In chancel—S. side, one popey on stall, 15th-century. In each aisle—eleven benches with moulded rails, plain backs and traceried ends with buttresses, 15th-century. Miscellanea: In S. aisle—cut in one of S. buttresses, fragment of Sundial, possibly 18th-century.
b(2). Clavering Castle, 50 yards N. of the church, is situated at the bottom of a small valley about 280 feet above O.D. The river Stort, here quite a small stream, flows a few yards to the N. of the site.
The work as it now stands consists of an island nearly rectangular in shape, slightly over an acre in extent, defended by a moat about 18 feet deep and 75 feet wide, which is now only partly wet, and has the eastern arm partly filled in with material from the island. No masonry remains are now visible, but the irregularity of the surface suggests the presence of foundations. The level of the ground slopes gently from W. to E., and there is a retaining bank on the counterscarp on the E. side, and an original outlet from the moat at the N.E. corner. On the N. side there is a strong counterscarp bank to the moat, beyond which is a hollow area, probably the original bed of the stream which is connected with the moat by a gap in the counterscarp, which would probably have been closed by means of a sluice. At the E. end of this hollow area is a dam, and the general lie of the ground seems to suggest that there may at one time have been a mill at this spot. There are slight remains of earthworks E. and W. of the main work, but they are too imperfect to allow any estimate of their use to be made.
a(6). Thurrocks, farmhouse, outhouse, barn and moat, nearly 1½ m. N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster, with some brickwork; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably late in the 16th century, but has 17th-century additions on the N. side and at the E. end; the first floor was altered in the 18th century. The S. front is faced with modern brick. At the W. end the upper storey projects, and at the back there is some 17th-century brick. The original central chimney-stack has been restored, and has three grouped shafts set diagonally on a rectangular base. Inside the building two moulded ceiling-beams are exposed in the parlour, and the beams and joists are visible in the scullery. One old battened door remains.
The Outhouse, S. of the house, is of two storeys with attics, built late in the 16th century. The walls are timber-framed and covered with weather-boarding; the roof is tiled. The ceiling-beams are visible and one of them is moulded.
b (7). Clavering Place, farmhouse, stable and moat, ¾ m. N. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built apparently late in the 15th century, when it consisted of a Great Hall, with the Solar at the W. end. In the 17th century the Hall was sub-divided and an addition made on the N. side of the house. The walls were re-faced with brick in the 19th century, and there is a modern brewhouse. The lower parts of the chimney-stacks are of 17th-century brick.
Interior—On the ground floor, the W. room has early 17th-century panelling with a carved frieze; some of the panels have traces of an inscription. On the first floor the W. room has panelling and a small moulded cornice of early 17th-century date; the door has similar panels, a contemporary latch and ornamental hinges. On the same floor is a 17th-century door of moulded battens, and another door with moulded panels. In one of the partitions are remains of a truss of the roof of the Hall, with a massive cambered and hollow-chamfered tie-beam which has curved braces and hollow-chamfered wall-posts.
b (8). Curls, farmhouse, barn and moat, 700 yards S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are of modern brick; the roofs are tiled. The chamfered ceiling-beams and a wall-post in the kitchen, probably of the 17th century, are the only evidences of antiquity in the building.
The Barn, N.W. of the house, is of the 17th century; it is of four bays with timberframed and weather-boarded walls; the roof is covered partly with corrugated iron and partly with thatch. On one side is a projecting entrance.
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. Many of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams, wide fireplaces and original chimney-stacks.
b (9). House (see Plate, p. xxvi), five tenements, 30 yards S.W. of the church, was built late in the 15th century, probably as almshouses. On the S.E. front the upper storey projects and has a moulded bressumer, supported by curved and hollow chamfered brackets; the wall-posts have remains of moulded capitals. At the E. corner of the building the lower storey has a large angle-post with two attached buttresses and a large moulded capital, from which springs a curved and moulded angle-bracket. At the N.E. end the upper storey projects, and has a moulded bressumer similar to that on the S.E. front, and on the ground floor is a modern oriel window with a 15th-century support and capping of moulded wood.
b (10). House and shop, S. of (9), is of two storeys with attics and a cellar. The walls are partly of brick and partly of plastered timberframing; the roof is tiled. The original house of c. 1600 was enclosed in an L-shaped addition c. 1690; modern additions have been built on the N. and W. sides.
The S. end and the S. part of the E. front are of red and blue bricks of c. 1690, with a plain band between the storeys, and a wooden eaves-cornice with dentils; the rest of the E. front is timberframed and covered with plaster, and the eaves cornice is continued along it. On this side there are three gabled dormers. The sash windows have moulded frames, but only one of them has old sashes. The doorway on the S. has a late 17th-century architrave, modillioned cornice and panelled door. The passage S. of the shop on the E. front has a moulded door-frame of c. 1600, and a door of the same date.
The late 17th-century portion of the W. elevation is similar to the S. end, but this side of the original house is plastered and has a gabled dormer window, two original windows with moulded frames, mullions, etc.; it also retains an original doorway with a moulded wood frame and a contemporary door of battens.
Interior—The Store-room (1) has a large open fireplace and a chamfered ceiling-beam; the pavement is of stone, laid in patterns, probably of c. 1690; in the S. wall are remains of an original moulded door-frame; the doorway opening into the Shop (2) has an original moulded frame and battened door with ornamental strap-hinges. The passage S. of the shop is partly paved with stone slabs, set diagonally, of c. 1690. The two Rooms (3 and 4) in the S. wing are lined with panelling of c. 1630, re-used; both fireplaces have moulded architraves of c. 1700, and carved overmantels of c. 1630; the woodwork in the S.E. room is now painted, and the overmantel has three round-headed panels, separated by Ionic pilasters; the overmantel in the S.W. room has similar panels, divided by reeded pilasters with moulded capitals and bases. The closets have some panelling of c. 1630. Under the stairs is an original door of moulded battens. On the first floor the two rooms in the S. wing have bolection-moulded panelling of c. 1700, now painted; in the E. room the frieze is partly carved, and over the fireplace is a crude painting of the Sacrifice of Isaac. In the W. room, on each side of the doorways and windows, are carved pendants of foliage and fruit; the fireplace has a moulded architrave and above it is a panel painted with a landscape, enclosed in a carved oak frame. Above the doorway opening on to the landing is a small painted panel enclosed in a similar frame and representing a hunting scene. The closet S. of the fireplace has some panelling of c. 1630. A room in the original part of the house has a fireplace with chamfered jambs and three-centred head; near it is a cupboard with a 17th-century ornamental catch to the door. In another room is an original door with an ornamental catch. The oak Staircase (5) of c. 1690, has a moulded handrail and twisted balusters up to the first floor level; above it the balusters are turned, with square newels, and against the walls are half-balusters widely spaced, and possibly belonging to an earlier staircase; one wall of the staircase is painted with two subjects, the lower apparently representing the return of Jephtha, and the upper the sacrifice of his daughter. The ceiling of the landing is also painted, but is now much decayed. In the attic, one room has, over the fireplace, a painting of Christ and the Woman of Samaria; the door has a latch and drop handle of c. 1700.
b (12). The Bury, 130 yards N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with a cellar. The S. front has three gables, each with an original moulded barge-board; in the middle is a gabled and two-storeyed porch which rests on two posts, and has a similar barge-board and a moulded lintel; the doorway is original and has a shaped head, moulded frame and panelled door with one strap-hinge. At the back is an original door of battens with ornamental strap-hinges. At the E. end, is a doorway with an original moulded frame. The central chimney-stack has an original base with a moulded capping. Inside the building are some battened doors, one panelled door, and, in the scullery, a little panelling, all original.
b (13). House, now five tenements, 140 yards E. of (12), was built in the 16th century, and has been restored. It is of irregular plan, and the walls are almost entirely covered with weather-boarding. On the E. front, at the S. end, is a wing of which the upper storey projects on four brackets, and a gable further N. has an original cusped barge-board.
c (15). Priest's Farm, house and barn, 400 yards E. of the church. The House was considerably enlarged and the walls were entirely re-faced with brick in the 19th century. The original central chimney-stack has grouped shafts. Inside the building, two rooms have a little 17th-century panelling, not in situ.
b (16). House (see Plate, p. xxv.), in the grounds of the Grange, 350 yards W. of the church, was built early in the 16th century, and has a modern addition at the W. end. On the S. front the upper storey has close-set vertical timber-framing, with brick filling set diagonally. At the E. end the upper storey is similarly treated and projects with a moulded bressumer and two curved brackets, one with a carved spandrel; the gable also projects and has moulded barge-boards and an apex pendant; the moulded bressumer has a pendant at each end, from which springs a depressed arch, with carved spandrels; the window on the first floor has an original moulded frame and mullions, and is partly blocked. Two original windows with moulded frames and mullions remain at the back, but one is blocked. The original chimney-stack at the W. end has a cross-shaped shaft, set diagonally.
b (19). Deer's Farm, house, outhouse and barns, at Deer's Green, 1,200 yards W. of the church. The House is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.E. and S.E. The S. front has been re-faced with modern brick, and a modern room has been added on the S.E. The original chimney-stack has four detached square shafts, rebuilt at the top, on a rectangular base with a moulded capping.
b (21). Chamberlayne House, 70 yards W. of (20), is of late 16th or early 17th-century date. The original central chimney-stack has two attached shafts, set diagonally. Inside the building, the S.E. room has a moulded ceiling-beam and moulded joists, one with a foliated stop; the wall-plates are carved with foliage.
b (22). Yew Tree Farm, house and barn, 340 yards E.N.E. of (21). The House has a low modern addition at the S.E. end. On the front the upper storey projects on curved brackets, and the original central chimney-stack has grouped square shafts with diagonal pilasters; the shafts are set diagonally on a square base with a moulded capping.
b (27). House, two tenements, on the E. side of the road, 80 yards S.E. of (26), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W. One chimney-stack has an original cross-shaped shaft, set diagonally.
b (28). Valance, farmhouse, 1 m. N.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. On the front the lower storey is of modern brick. The original chimney-stack has attached pilasters, set diagonally. Inside the building, the staircase-door of moulded battens is original.
a (29). Butts Green Farm, house and barn, on the N. side of the road, nearly 1¾ m. N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics. At the N. end is a modern extension, and the W. front, with part of the S. end, is faced with modern brick. The original chimney-stack has pilasters set diagonally on a rectangular base with a moulded capping. Inside the building, on the ground floor, are two original doors of moulded battens, and a cupboard of c. 1700. On the first floor are four original doors of moulded battens; one room has an original stone fireplace with moulded jambs, four-centred head, and an entablature with a carved arabesque frieze; the small room at the N. end retains the carved frieze, but there is no trace of the fireplace-opening below it. The original staircase has square newels, moulded handrails and strings, and shaped and pierced pilaster balusters.
b (31). Millend Farm, house and barn, nearly ¾ m. N.W. of the church. The House was originally of L-shaped plan, but a modern addition at the back makes it rectangular. The S. front has been re-faced with modern brick. The original central chimney-stack has grouped square shafts.