An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.
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36. GREENSTED. (D.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)l. S.E. (b)li. S.W.)
Greensted is a small parish adjoining Chipping Ongar on the W. The Church is of interest.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew (Plate p. 112) stands in the E. part of the parish. The walls of the chancel are of red brick, the nave is built of split oak logs set on a modern dwarf wall and the W. tower is timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled and the spire is shingled. The Nave is possibly the timber chapel built c. 1013 to commemorate the passing through Ongar of St. Edmund's body. A chancel of rubble was added at some uncertain date. The Chancel was re-built early in the 16th century with the exception of part of the plinth of the earlier building; the West Tower may have been added in the 16th century. In the 18th century the E. end of the chancel was re-built above the plinths. The church was drastically restored in the 19th century when the South Porch was added.
The nave is of interest as an unusual type of timber-construction probably of early date.
Architectural Description—The Chancel. (17½ ft. by 14 ft.) has an E. wall, modern above the plinth. In the N. wall is a modern window. In the S. wall are two windows: the eastern is modern, the western is of early 16th-century date with moulded brick jambs and an elliptical arch in a square head; between the windows is an early 16th-century doorway with moulded brick jambs and a four-centred arch with a moulded label. The chancel arch has double chamfered responds and four-centred arch probably of the 16th century but covered with plaster.
The Nave (29 ft. by 17 ft.) has walls of split oak logs set upright on a modern sill set on modern dwarf walls; the logs have been much reduced in length and are now only 4¼ ft. high; at the western angles are three-quarter logs rebated on the inside; the timber joints are covered internally by modern fillets. In the N. wall (Plate p. 113) three modern logs probably represent the position of the former N. doorway. In the S. wall is a modern S. doorway. In the W. wall is a modern opening to the tower and above it is a modern window.
The West Tower (11 ft. square) is possibly of the 16th century but the timber-framing, though old, has no detail work. In the W. wall is a modern window. The bell-chamber has a rectangular louvred opening in the N. and S. walls and a modern window in the W. wall. The broach spire is partly of old construction.
Fittings—Bells: one by William Land, 1618; sanctus bell, uninscribed. Coffin-lid: In church-yard—S. of nave, slightly coped with rounded ridge, 13th-century. Glass (Plate p. xxxv.): In nave—in W. window, head and shoulders of man, c. 1500. Monument: In chancel—on N. wall, to Jone (Smith), second wife of Alane Wood, 1585, alabaster tablet with enriched pilasters, cresting and shield of arms. Painting: In tower—on small round-headed wooden panel, figure of St. Edmund the King with crown and loin cloth only, bound to tree and pierced with arrows, two archers, one in Roman armour, beast at foot with severed human head, c. 1500. Piscina: In chancel—in S.E. angle, pillar piscina with octagonal bowl and moulded rim, c. 1500 or earlier. Stoup: In log, immediately W. of former N. doorway, recess with splayed jambs and pointed head, base repaired in cement, probably stoup, 13th or 14th-century.
Condition—Good, much restored.
b(2). Greensted Hall, house and brew-house, N. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and timber-framing, the roofs are tiled. The central part of the house was built probably in the 17th century and there are two modern dates, 1695 and 1698, on the building which may indicate its period. It has been extensively enlarged and refaced with brick in the 19th century.
The Brew-house, W. of the house, was built in the 17th century.
Condition—Of house, good, much restored.
The following monuments are of the 17th century and of two storeys. The walls, unless otherwise described, are timber-framed and plastered and the roofs are tiled. All have exposed ceiling-beams.
b(3). Greensted Lodge Farm, house, ¼ m. S. by E. of the church.
a(4). New House, 1 m. W.N.W. of the church, has walls refaced with modern brick and weather-boarding. The original chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.
a(5). Little Thorbens, 300 yards W. of (4).
Hallingbury, see Great Hallingbury and Little Hallingbury.