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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42. HIGH LAVER. (D.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. xli. S.E.)
High Laver is a small parish 4 m. N.N.W. of Chipping Ongar.
(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands near the S.E. end of the parish. It is built of flint-rubble which is set in courses in the chancel and the earlier part of the S. wall of the nave and is intermixed with some Roman bricks and tiles in the chancel and the N. wall of the nave; the S.W. angle and upper part of the tower are of brick; the dressings are mostly of clunch; the roofs are tiled. The Nave and Chancel were built probably at the end of the 12th century. c. 1340 the West Tower was added and the chancel-arch widened. At some uncertain date, perhaps c. 1340, the N. and S. walls of the nave have been partly re-built or refaced. About the end of the 18th century the S.W. stair-turret appears to have given way and, with the upper part of the tower, was re-built in brick. In the 19th century most of the stonework was restored, the floor of the chancel raised, and the North Vestry and South Porch added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (29 ft. by 21 ft.) has quoins of Roman brick. In the E. wall are three lancet windows, modern except for the splays. In the N. wall are two lancet windows similarly restored; further W. is a blocked doorway, probably of the 13th century, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. In the S. wall are three windows; the first and third are uniform with those in the N. wall; the second is of two lights under a square head, all modern except the moulded splays and rear-arch, which are probably of the 15th century. Between the second and third window is a modern doorway. The chancel-arch is of c. 1340 and of two orders with moulded responds and arch, which was probably two-centred but has partly subsided; the lower order has moulded bases.
The Nave (41 ft. by 21 ft.) has E. quoins of Roman brick, and has been re-built or refaced on the upper part of the N. and S. walls. In the N. wall are two windows; the eastern is modern except for the splays and four-centred rear-arch which are probably of late 14th-century date; the western is a small round-headed window, probably of late 12th-century date; further W. is the late 12th-century N. doorway, with chamfered impost, (W.), semi-circular head and square jambs partly restored. In the S. wall are three windows, all modern except for the splays which are probably of late 14th-century date; between the two westernmost is the S. doorway, probably of the 13th century, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head partly restored.
The West Tower (10 ft. by 9 ft.) is of three stages with a moulded plinth and an embattled brick parapet. The two lower stages, which are mostly of flint, are now plastered. The tower-arch is two-centred and is of one moulded and one double chamfered order on the E. side and of three chamfered orders on the W. The W. window is of two trefoiled and ogee-headed lights with an octofoil in a two-centred head with internal and external labels, all of the 14th century, partly restored. Across the S.W. corner is a doorway, now blocked, with a two-centred head. The second stage had a window in each of the N., S. and W. walls; these windows are now blocked and indistinct, but that on the N. has a label and a two-centred head. The bell-chamber has 18th-century windows of brick.
The Roof of the chancel has wall-plates and two tie-beams, all moulded and of the 15th century. The roof of the nave has moulded wall-plates probably of the 16th century, and two old rough tie-beams.
Fittings—Bells: one and a small Sanctus bell inscribed "XRE AUDI NOS," probably 14th-century. Brass and Indent. Brass: In chancel— partly covered by organ, of Myrabyll, wife of Edward Sulyard; figures of man in armour, woman in pedimental head-dress, close bodice and full skirt, inscription below, indent of scroll above woman, c. 1495; figures of four sons and a daughter said to be under the organ. Indent: In nave— small indent of inscription. Chest: In chancel— cambered lid of oak or chestnut with narrow iron strips and wide crossbands, sides of deal, probably 17th-century. Communion Table: with turned legs and shaped brackets under plain top rail, 17th-century. Door: In S. doorway—of old battens and fillets, with strap-hinges, probably 16th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with moulded underside, each face with quatre-foiled panel enclosing a blank shield, panelled and traceried stem, mid 14th-century, base modern. Glass: In nave—in N. lancet, fragments, some with foliage pattern, 13th and 14th-century. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Damaris, widow of Ralph Cudworth, Master of Christ's College, Cambridge, 1695, white marble tablet; on S. wall, (2) to Revd. Samuel Lowe, Rector of the Parish, 1709, and Ann (Andrew) his wife, 1693, white marble tablet surmounted by a damaged broken pediment containing a cartouche with arms. Outside nave—at S.E. corner, (3) to John Locke, philosopher, 1704, marble tablet surmounted by achievement of arms and brick table-tomb with stone slab. Piscina: In chancel —with trefoiled head and roll cusp points, double circular drain, 13th-century. Plate: includes paten and cup of 1674 with engraved inscription and achievement of arms.
Condition—Fairly good, except for cracks in the chancel and the W. wall of the nave; much restored.
(2). At High Laver Hall, N. of the church; possibly had a supplementary arm surrounding the church.
(3). At the site of Otes, 1 m. N.N.W. of the church.
The following monuments, except (4), are of the 17th century, timber-framed and plastered or weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. (5), (6) and (7) have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
(4). Barn at High Laver Grange, 700 yards N.N.E. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century on a cruciform plan with five bays and two porches. Inside the building are shaped wall-posts and queen-post trusses.
(5). Whites, cottage, ½ m. N.W. of the church.
(6). Herd's Farm, house, 1½ m. W. of the church, has a modern extension at the E. end.
(7). John Barleycorn Inn, 300 yards W. of (6), has a later addition at the back. At the W. end the upper storey projects.