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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6. BERNERS RODING. (E.b.)
(1). Parish Church (dedication unknown), stands in the middle of the parish. The walls are partly of flint-rubble and partly of red brick, with dressings of limestone, clunch and brick; the roofs are tiled and the bell-turret weather-boarded. The Chancel and Nave are of uncertain date. Early in the 16th century the E. and W. walls were re-built above the window-sill levels and the South Porch was probably added at the same time. In the 18th and 19th centuries buttresses have been added, and the porch and the N. wall of the nave partly re-built.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20½ ft. by 17 ft.) has in the E. wall a 16th-century window (Plate, p. 271) of three lights with moulded brick mullions and vertical tracery under a two-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are traces of a former window of uncertain date. In the S. wall are two windows: the eastern is of two ogee cinque-foiled lights with moulded jambs under a square head with a moulded label of the 14th century, partly restored; the western is of the 16th century and of two ogee lights under a square head with a moulded label, all of brick; between the windows is a doorway, now blocked, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, probably of the 14th century. There is no chancel-arch, but the chancel is divided from the nave by brick piers, probably of the 16th century, supporting a beam.
The Nave (37½ ft. by 19 ft.) has in the N. wall a single window, all modern except for the splays and rear-arch, which are probably of the 14th century; further W. is the former N. doorway, now blocked, with four-centred rear-arch probably of the 15th century. The S. wall has a 16th-century chamfered plinth of brick; in the wall are two windows; the eastern is modern except the splays, the western is of the 16th century and of brick, now plastered; it has two four-centred lights under a square head with an oak beam in place of a rear-arch; between the windows is the S. doorway, modern except for the splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch. W. of the S. doorway the nave is partitioned off as a vestry. In the W. wall is a window with old splays but now partly blocked to form a casement window.
The Roof of the chancel is probably of the 16th century. It has moulded and cambered tiebeams, king-posts with curved struts, and moulded wall-plates. The roof of the nave has moulded wall-plates probably of the same date.
Fittings—Bell: one, by John Dyer, 1594. Chair: In chancel—panelled back with round arch enriched with guilloche ornament, etc., shaped cresting and arms, turned front legs, early 17th-century. Coffin-lids: Outside S. porch—two tapering slabs. Glass: In chancel— in S. windows, fragments of white and brown leaf design, 14th-century. Monument: In chancel— on S. wall, to Thomas Carowe, 1591, and Joane (Sorrell) his wife, 1593, marble tablet with panelled pilasters and plain entablature. Niche: In nave, on south pier dividing chancel and nave, shallow niche with square head, 16th-century. Piscina: In chancel—damaged drain, two-centred and chamfered arch, probably 14th-century. Plate: includes cup with incised foliage-ornament, 1627. Recess: In chancel—in E. wall, square stone locker, possibly 14th-century.
(4). Parsonage Farm, house, now two tenements, and moat, 300 yards E.S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed, partly plastered and partly faced with modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century and is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S. end.
(5). Cottage, two tenements, 700 yards S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roof is thatched. The cottage was built in the 17th century and has an original chimney-stack.
(6). Motts, cottage, ¾ m. S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W. A chimney-stack at the back is original.