An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
41. HIGH EASTER. (E.b.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands in the middle of the village. Except the clearstorey and S. porch, which are of brick, the walls are of flint-rubble with some Roman bricks and tiles in the chancel, set in courses in the S. wall and herring-bone fashion in the E. wall; the dressings are mostly of Reigate stone and clunch; the roofs are covered with lead. The Chancel and Nave were built early in the 12th century. The North Aisle was added during the 14th century; the outer wall was built probably in the middle of the century and the arcade not completed until late in the century; at the same time the chancel-arch was re-built and widened. In the 15th century a N. vestry was built on the site of the present vestry, and the West Tower added. Early in the 16th century the South Porch and the clearstorey of the nave were built. The church was restored in the 19th century and the North Vestry re-built.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (26 ft. by 22 ft.) has quoins of Roman bricks. In the E. wall is a window entirely modern except the splays and two-centred rear-arch, which are probably of the 15th century. In the N. wall is a 15th-century doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch under a square head having quatre-foiled spandrels and a moulded internal label. In the S. wall, are two 15th-century windows, each of two much restored lights under a four-centred head with a rear-arch of two chamfered orders, the outer segmental-pointed, the inner four-centred; between the windows are traces of a former window of the 13th or 14th century; further E. is a doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch, probably of early 14th-century date and partly restored. The chancel-arch, possibly of the 14th century but entirely covered with plaster, is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the 12th-century S. respond is of two square orders towards the nave and one towards the chancel; the N. respond is built of 12th-century masonry, re-used and chamfered; on a level with the springing of the arch the 12th-century wall is tabled back on the W. side to the face of the 14th-century work above it.
The Nave (58½ ft. by 28 ft.) has a N. arcade of c. 1400 and of four bays inserted in the 12th-century wall of which a few feet remain at each end; the columns are octagonal and the responds semi-octagonal, all with moulded capitals and bases; the arches are two-centred and of two hollow-chamfered orders; the limestone masonry bears many mason's marks. The S. wall has E. quoins of Roman brick. In it are three windows, all modern except for the splays and two-centred rear-arches, possibly of c. 1400; between the two westernmost are traces of a former 12th-century window with a semi-circular arch; below it is the original S. doorway with plain jambs, semi-circular arch and grooved and hollow-chamfered imposts, partly restored. The early 16th-century clearstorey has two windows in the E. wall and four in the N. and S. walls; they are each of three trefoiled lights under a four-centred head with a moulded label; between the windows on the N. side is external diaper-work in black brick; between those on the S. side are pilaster buttresses with crow-stepped tabling; the parapets are embattled.
The North Aisle (11½ ft. wide) has an embattled parapet and in the N. wall are three windows, all much restored; the easternmost is modern except for the splays and segmental rear-arch, which are probably of the 15th century; the second is of two cinque-foiled ogee lights under a two-centred head, probably of the 14th century; the westernmost is of two trefoiled lights under a two-centred head, probably of early 14th-century date; between the two westernmost windows is the 14th-century N. doorway, which has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label and is built partly of re-used 12th-century masonry. In the W. wall is a window all modern except the splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch, which are probably of late 14th-century date but are built partly of 12th-century masonry.
The West Tower (15 ft. square) is of the 15th century and of three stages. The moulded plinth has chequer-work, partly restored, and below the embattled parapet is a string-course which has bosses carved with heads of beasts, etc., and much-weathered gargoyles. The moulded and two-centred tower-arch has moulded responds each with an attached shaft having moulded base and capital; the moulded label has angel-stops. S. of it, in the nave, is the doorway to the stair-turret, with moulded jambs and four-centred arch. The W. doorway has a moulded two-centred arch in a square head with spandrels carved with a horseman and woodman on the N. and a winged beast on the S., and with the bust of an angel holding a shield at the apex; the moulded jambs are partly restored, and have each an attached shaft with moulded capital and base; the moulded square label is mitred into a string-course and has carved bosses and stops. The W. window is modern except the splays, two-centred rear-arch and external label-stops carved with figures playing musical instruments. The N., W. and S. walls of the second stage have each a small cinque-foiled window with a square label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two transomed and cinque-foiled lights under a two-centred head with a label having head-stops. On the E. wall of the tower are traces of the old high-pitched roof of the nave.
The South Porch is of the 16th century and has a double chamfered plinth, a stepped gable and an embattled parapet; the outer archway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch under a square head with a moulded label; in the E. wall is a much restored window of three trefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label; in the W. wall is a plain rectangular window.
The Roof (Plate p. 123) of the nave is of early 16th-century date; it is of flat-pitched queen-post type and is divided into four bays by embattled and moulded tie-beams carved with running foliage; the spandrels of the tie-beams are traceried, and all the timbers are moulded; the moulded braces form four-centred arches and have bosses carved with human faces, beasts, foliage, etc., and there are similar bosses at the junctions of the principal rafters and purlins; in each bay over the clearstorey window is a moulded four-centred arch with traceried spandrels, some unfinished. The N. aisle has a flat lean-to roof, probably of the 15th century, and of four bays with curved chamfered braces to the alternate principal rafters.
Fittings—Bells: Six; 4th by John Bird, with black-letter inscription "Hac in conclave Gabriel nunc pange suave," with shield a cheveron between three casting-pots, 15th-century; 5th by Richard Keene, 1699; 6th by Robert Mot, 1590. Brass: In vestry—to Agnes, wife of Sir Geffrey Gate, Captain of the Isle of Wight and afterwards Marshal of Calais, 1487, mutilated marginal inscription. Chair: In chancel—with carved back and rails, turned legs, late 17th-century. Chest: In tower—on first floor, with locks and staples, one lock-plate with ornamental edging, chest probably 14th or 15th-century, fittings 17th-century. Doors: In S. doorway—(1) of plain battens with three strap-hinges, sexfoil scrutcheon, 15th-century, fillets modern. In entrance to stair-turret, (2) of oak battens with strap-hinges, 15th-century, in doorway to vestry, (3) with moulded fillets and frame restored, probably 15th-century. Font: (Plate, p. xxxii) octagonal bowl, the faces carved alternately with angels holding shields and with symbols of the Evangelists, probably 14th-century, stem octagonal with shaped stops, lead lining with scratched inscription and date 1594. Glass: In nave— in S.E. window, shield of France ancient quartering England, incomplete, 14th-century; also a roundel with the letter M., late 14th or 15th-century. Monuments: In churchyard—E. of chancel, two, of oak, in form of headstones, one with skull and one with skull and cross-bones, c. 1700. Paintings: traces of red on N. respond of chancel arch. Piscina: In chancel—octagonal drain in recess with cinque-foiled two-centred head and moulded jambs, 14th-century. Plate: includes paten and cup of 1562, with chased design of swags, fruit and flowers, heads of satyrs, etc., round cup, possibly of later date. Screens: In easternmost bay of N. arcade and aisle, parcloses (Plate, p. 3) with moulded heads, close lower panels and open upper panels each with a cinque-foiled ogee head with crockets, finials and traceried spandrels; doorway in each parclose with similar but septfoiled and sub-cusped head, late 14th or early 15th-century, partly restored. Sedile: under S.E. window of chancel, plain recess with seat. Sundial: cut on W. jamb of S. doorway, evidently earlier than the porch.
c(4). Lower House and moat, 600 yards S. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W. The original chimney-stack has diagonal pilaster strips.
c(5). Crippings, house and moat, nearly 1½ m. S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams.
d(6). Hayrons (Plate, p. 110), house and moat, 1 m. S.S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably late in the 15th century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. At each end of the E. front the upper storey projects and is gabled. At the W. end is an old chimney-stack with two octagonal shafts. Inside the building, opening from the former central Hall into the N. wing is an original doorway with a four-centred head. In the upper storey is an original king-post truss and some 16th-century panelling.
b(7). Stagden Cross, house (Plate p. 111) and moat, 1 m. E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably late in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N. The S. front is gabled at each end. The two chimney-stacks are original and have octagonal shafts, some restored. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams.
b(8). Cromps, house and moat, 1¾ m. N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. The S. front is gabled at each end. The original chimney-stack has diagonal pilaster strips.
b(9). Harpers, house and moat, 200 yards N.W. of (8). The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched. It was built in the 17th century. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal pilaster strips. Inside the building are original ceiling-beams and a wide fireplace.
b(10). Great Garnetts, barns and moat, ½ m. N.N.W. of (9). The Barns are timber-framed and partly plastered, partly weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. One was built probably late in the 15th century or early in the 16th century, and is of six bays with two aisles, two porches, and king-post trusses. The other barn, further N., is of the 17th century.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Many of the buildings have original chimneystacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.
a(12). Punch Bowl Inn, N.E. of the church, was built probably at the end of the 15th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N.; at the E. end is a modern addition. The upper storey of the W. wing projects on the N. and formerly projected also on the S.; at the S.W. angle an original corner-post remains. Inside the building some of the ceiling-beams and wall-plates of the main block are moulded.
a(13). Cock and Bell Inn (Plate p. 81), opposite (12), was built in the 15th century on an H-shaped plan with the wings at the E. and W. ends; there are modern additions on the front of the main block and at the back of the E. wing. On the N. front at each end the upper storey is gabled and projects; under the E. projection are curved brackets, exposed joists, and a corner post with a moulded capital. Inside the building is an original four-centred door-head and two original doorways with similar heads. In the E. wing is an original king-post truss.
a(14). House (Plate p. 81), S. of (13), was built in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. On the W. front the upper storey projects and is carried over a carriage-way at the N. end. Inside the building some of the exposed ceiling-beams are moulded.
a(15). House, now Post Office, formerly known as "The Cock and Rather Shop," opposite (13), was built in the 15th century and has a modern extension on the S. side. The upper storey is gabled at the E. end of the N. and S. sides and projects on the N. side and at the W. end of the original block. At the N.E. angle are traces of a corner-post, and at the N.W. angle is another corner-post with an original capital. At the back is an old chimney-stack with diagonal pilaster strips. Inside the building are two 16th-century panelled doors, some old panelling and an original king-post truss. In the cellar is a blocked well.
a(16). High Easterbury, house, 150 yards S.W. of the church, has a slightly projecting gabled cross-wing near the E. end, and a small wing at the back. Inside the building are two original doors with moulded battens.
a(17). Cottage, 150 yards S. of the church, was built probably late in the 16th century. At the N. end the upper storey projects and is supported on exposed joists and curved brackets. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal pilaster-strips. Inside the building, beside the fireplace, is a small original cupboard with carved oak doors.
c(19). Games, house, about 1¼ m. S.S.W. of the church, was built late in the 16th century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.E. At the N.W. end of the S.W. front the upper storey projects.
c(20). The Hill, cottage, 700 yards S. of (19), was built probably late in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. At the N. end of the E. front the upper storey projects and is gabled. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal pilaster-strips.
b(24). Whites, farmhouse, ½ m. W.N.W. of (23), was built probably late in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W. At the S. end of the E. front the upper storey projects.
b(28). Bell House or Mannocks, 1,500 yards N.E. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century. On the W. front are three gables, and under the southernmost the upper storey projects. Some of the casement windows are old. Inside the building is an original doorway with a four-centred head, some shaped wall-posts, an original king-post truss, and in the main fireplace an old iron fire-jack.
b(29). Does (Plate p. 96), cottage, 1¼ m. N.N.E. of the church, was built in the 16th century and has a later extension at the N.E. end. On the original N.W. front the upper storey projects on exposed joists with curved brackets and has a moulded ceiling-beam and an original doorway, now blocked, with a four-centred head.
b(30). Green's Farm, house, nearly ¾ m. N.N.E. of the church, was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. At the N. end of the E. side the upper storey projects and is supported by curved brackets.
a(31). Penlow End, house, nearly 1 m. N. of the church, is of brick and has a later addition on the E. side. Several of the original windows, some of two and some of three lights with plastered jambs and mullions remain, mostly blocked.