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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3. BARKING. (C.f.)
a(1). Roman tiles and a coin of Magnentius, found in the ruins of the Abbey Church, may indicate a Roman building in the neighbourhood. Roman pottery is found from time to time in Uphall Camp, Ilford, but the actual ramparts have no resemblance to Roman work. (See Sectional Preface, p. xxviii).
a(2). Parish Church of St. Margaret stands on the W. side of the town. The walls are of flint and rag-stone rubble except the tower which is of Reigate stone ashlar; the dressings are of Reigate stone with some re-used Caen stone ashlar. The roofs are partly tiled and partly lead covered. The Chancel was built in the first half of the 13th century and at this period the building probably also included an aisled Nave with a crossing and transepts; of these buildings only the columns of the N. arcade of the Nave remain standing and possibly the bases of the two eastern columns of the S. arcade; the aisles, although re-built, are probably of their original width and there is evidence of former transepts in the greater width of the E. bays of the arcades and in the set back of the springing in the S. wall of the W. arch of the S. chapel. During the 15th and 16th centuries extensive alterations were made, but their precise sequence is uncertain. Probably the earliest work was the reconstruction of the N. arcade of the Nave with the retention of the old columns, this work extended at least to the two middle bays. The S. arcade was built or re-built later in the 15th century W. of the transept arch and this was followed by the addition of the West Tower about the middle of the century and the probable re-construction of the two westernmost bays of the arcades, and lengthening of both aisles to flank the tower. The North and South Chapels were built in the first half of the 15th century, the South probably the earlier; the South Vestry was added later in the century. Later in the 15th century the chancel-arch was remodelled and the two eastern arches of the Nave arcades were built. It was possibly then that the transepts were removed. Early in the 16th century the Outer North Aisle was added, probably in three periods, one immediately succeeding the other, the first being the easternmost two bays up to the then existing N. porch, the second being the next two bays after the porch had been removed, the third being the bay flanking the tower; the N. Porch was subsequently reconstructed where it now stands. The Outer North Chapel was built late in the 16th century with the debris of the destroyed Abbey. The plaster ceilings of the church are of the 18th century, and the whole building has been restored in that and the 19th centuries.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (46 ft. by 17½ ft.) has an early 16th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head and is plastered externally. In the N. wall are two early 13th-century lancet windows, and further W. is a 15th-century arcade of two bays with two-centred arches of two hollow-chamfered orders, octagonal column and semi-octagonal responds with modern cement capitals and moulded bases partly cut away or repaired. In the S. wall is a late 15th-century doorway with 17th-century linings and a modern frame; above it is a blocked 13th-century lancet window, visible externally; further W. is an arcade uniform with that on the N. but with the bases set at a lower level; on it are a number of mason's marks. The late 15th-century chancel-arch is four-centred and of two hollow-chamfered orders; it dies on to the plain chamfered responds and incorporates some 13th-century voussoirs.
The North Chapel (26 ft. by 12 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a mid or late 16th-century arcade of two bays with cemented two-centred arches of two hollow-chamfered orders; the circular pier and responds are apparently of the 12th century, probably brought from the abbey, and have scalloped capitals without abaci and mostly restored in cement. In the W. wall is an early 15th-century, two-centred arch of two hollow-chamfered orders dying into the walls.
The Outer North Chapel (15½ ft. wide) has walls largely composed of 12th-century ashlar and worked stones probably from the abbey. The E. window is modern. In the N. wall is an 18th-century doorway, and E. of it are two blocked windows probably used as building material, the eastern is of early 15th-century date and was of three lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; the western window is probably of early 16th-century date and has a segmental head.
The South Vestry has late 15th-century outer walls with an embattled parapet; it was refitted in 1698 and has in the E. and S. walls a square headed window of that date with two lights and a solid wooden frame.
The South Chapel (21½ ft. by 12 ft.) has in the E. wall traces of a blocked window. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of the 18th century and the western modern except for some re-used stones in the splays; between the windows is an early 15th-century doorway, now blocked, and of which the E. jamb and part of the two-centred head are visible externally. In the W. wall is an early 15th-century, two-centred arch of two hollow-chamfered orders dying on to the chamfered respond on the N. and set back into the wall on the S.; the respond has re-used 13th-century material.
The Nave (68 ft. by 21 ft.) has a N. arcade of four bays; the easternmost arch is probably of late 15th-century date and is four-centred and of two hollow-chamfered orders incorporating some 13th-century voussoirs; the other arches are probably of early 15th-century date and are two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the octagonal columns are of small stones and probably of the 13th century; the capitals are all modern except those of the third column, and the W. respond where part of the mid 15th-century moulded capitals remain; the westernmost arch is higher than the others and has some re-used 13th-century voussoirs; the bases are modern except that to the third column where part of a chamfered base is exposed. The S. arcade corresponds in form to the N. arcade but is of later 15th-century date; except possibly the bases of two piers which do not fit the columns above them; the arches have plastered outer orders, and all the capitals and bases are cemented or modern except that the third column has a portion of the original capital cut back; the westernmost arch has a number of mason's marks. The late 18th-century clearstorey has on each side four windows groined into the plaster ceiling.
The North Aisle (9¼ ft. wide) has in the N. wall an early 16th-century arcade of five bays with moulded four-centred arches, the outer members continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the piers vary in width and the westernmost arch is higher and wider than the others; E. of the arcade is a window of three cinque-foiled lights, not grooved for glazing, in a square head; it probably served as a squint. In the W. wall is a 15th-century doorway to the turret staircase, with moulded jambs and four centred arch.
The Outer North Aisle (16¼ ft. wide) is continuous with the outer N. chapel, and is of early 16th-century date. In the N. wall are four early 16th-century windows; the three eastern are of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery in segmental-pointed heads; the westernmost is of similar character, but of three lights with a moulded label; all much restored; between the second and third windows is the N. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head, with quatre-foiled spandrels, enclosing discs and a moulded label; it is possibly not in situ. E. of the N. porch is a large patch of re-used ashlar enclosing a re-set 16th-century window of two pointed lights; this patch may represent the position of a former N. doorway. In the W. wall is a three-light window, modern externally but with splays and rear-arch partly of the 16th century.
The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has in the S. wall four windows all modern, except for some re-used stones in the splays and rear-arches. In the W. wall is a window, modern externally, but with late 15th-century splays and rear-arch.
The West Tower (14½ ft. by 13½ ft.) is of the 15th century and of three stages with moulded plinth, string-courses and embattled parapet with the stair-turret rising above it. The E. tower-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders; the responds are splayed and have attached semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The N. and S. arches are similar in detail but much lower. The W. window and doorway are modern externally but have old splays and four-centred rear-arches; below the window is a gallery formerly part of a lower floor to the tower and entered by a doorway from the stair-turret uniform with that at the end of the N. aisle. The second stage has in the E. wall traces of a former doorway. In the N., S. and W. walls are windows, all modern externally. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window, modern externally.
The North Porch is covered with cement, but is probably of early 16th-century date. The two-centred outer archway is roughly moulded and has responds, each with an attached shaft with a moulded capital, perhaps of the 13th century, re-used.
The Churchyard has walls largely of rag-stone rubble and probably of the 16th or 17th century. At the W. end is a length of red-brick wall with buttresses and two niches with four-centred heads in the W. face, all probably of the 16th century. (For the Fire Bell Gate, see Barking Abbey).
Fittings—Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel—(1) of priest in academic robes with chalice, c. 1480, inscription lost; (2) of Thomas Broke, 1493, and Alice his wife, with figures of man and wife, one son and one daughter; slab cut for an earlier brass and with indent of figure and two shields; (3) of John Tedcastell and Elizabeth (Mey) his wife, 1596, with figures of man and wife, four sons and five swaddled infants, scrolls and achievement of arms; indent of figures of seven daughters. In N. chapel—(4) fragments of scroll with indents of figures of two civilians, two women, Trinity and inscription-plate, c. 1480. In nave—(5) to Christopher Merell, 1593, and Anne Yardlye, his sister, 1579, inscription and shield of arms. In N. aisle—(6) of Richard Malet, 1485, chaplain of the Sampkyns Chantry, half-figure of priest in mass vestments, found on site of abbey. Loose in vestry—(7) Lombardic capitals L and I found on site of abbey, early 14th-century. Indents: In chancel—(1) of inscription plate; (2) of figure and inscription plate. In N. chapel— (3) of three groups of children. In nave—(4) of civilian and three wives, inscription plate, five scrolls, Trinity and bell, mid 15th-century; (5) of kneeling figure with inscription plate. In N. aisle—(6) of two figures, inscription and two groups of children; (7) of inscription plate and small figure; (8) of shield. In outer N. aisle— (9) of man and woman with inscription plate, late 15th-century. In S. aisle—(10) of man and woman, inscription plate, and two groups of children, early 16th-century. Chairs: In chancel —two, with turned and carved posts, carved backs and arms, late 17th or early 18th-century. Door: see Panelling. Font and cover: (Plate p. xxxii). In outer N. aisle—stone stem carved with scrolls, etc. Bowl of same font now at Creeksmouth church, octagonal and moulded with three carved cartouches and foliage ornament; ogee-shaped oak cover surmounted by dove, early 17th-century. Glass: loose in vestry, fragments from site of abbey, mostly 15th-century. Helm: In N. aisle— on N. wall, funeral helm with vizor, late 16th-century. Inscriptions: On tower arch—including series of numerals and head-shaped design, 15th or 16th-century. Locker: In chancel—in E. wall, with rebated jambs and two-centred head, re-set, date uncertain. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on E. wall, (1) to Elizabeth (Bennet) widow of the Hon. Robert Bertie, 1712, marble Corinthian pilaster with drapery, urn and cartouche of arms; on N. wall, (2) of Francis Fuller, 1636, marble tablet with bust in oval niche, segmental pediment and three shields of arms. On S. wall, (3) to Robert, son of Robert Bertie. Earl of Lindsey, 1701, white marble tablet with Ionic side-pilasters, trophies of arms and two shields of arms; (4) to Alice (Bernard), wife of the Hon. Robert Bertie, 1677, white marble tablet with Composite side-columns, segmental pediment and two shields of arms; (5) to Elizabeth (Powle), widow of M. Hobart, 1590, alabaster panel with black marble inscription and two shields of arms; (6) of Sir Charles Montagu, 1625, marble wall-monument with recessed panel carved with a man in armour seated in a tent, camp in background, broken pediment with shield of arms. In S. chapel—on E. wall, (7) to John Fanshaw, 1699, white marble tablet with broken pediment and shield of arms. In N. aisle —(8) to William Pownset, 1553, moulded white marble sarcophagus and black marble slab, repaired in 1784. In churchyard—on E. wall of chancel, (9) to Thomas More, 1670, plain tablet; (10) To Mary...... late 17th-century, headstone with skull and cross-bones; N. of chancel, (11) to William Kempton, 1709, headstone; (12) to Thomas Pittman, 1705, headstone; N. of N. chapel, (13) to Gilbert Jones, 1713, headstone; (14) to ...... 1703 (?), headstone with skull and cross-bones; (15) to Jane, daughter of Edward Younge, 1689, headstone with skull and crossbones; (16) to...... 1679; S. of nave, (17) to Anthony..... oe, 1708, headstone; (18) to Edward Holmes and Robert Cooke, 170–, headstone with skull and cross-bones. Floor-slabs: In chancel—against N. wall, (1) of Martin, first vicar of Barking , incised half-figure of priest in mass vestments with Lombardic inscription, (Plate p. 103) found on site of abbey; on floor, (2) to John, 1677, and Augustin Brewster, 1708, with shield of arms; (3) to Francis Osbaston, 16–; (4) to Ann Wilmer, Abraham Wilmer and Elizabeth Wilmer, 1711, with shield of arms; (5) to...... Fanshawe, 1689. In outer N. chapel —(6) to Paul Stevens, 1675, and Judeth (Reymers), 1697, with shield of arms; (7) to Capt. John Bennett, 1706, and Mary, his wife, 1712. In outer N. chapel—against N. wall, (8) part of black marble slab with marginal inscription— [M] AVRICII. EPI. LVNDONENSIS . ALFGIVE . ABBE . BE. ..... probably early 12th-century. In nave—(9) to Thomas Stych, 1656, with defaced shield of arms; (10) to Mary (Dunche), wife of Thomas Kirton, 1638, with two shields of arms; (11) to Rebecca Hubbard, 1714, and John Hubbard, sen., 1669. In S. aisle—(12) to Mrs. Christian Cogan, 1710. Panelling: In chancel— on E. wall, two arched panels with key-blocks and imposts, c. 1700. In S. vestry—walls lined with panelling with cornice, door and cupboard, on W. wall cartouche of the Bertie arms and inscription recording redecoration of vestry, 1698. Piscinæ: In chancel—in N. wall, divided by shelf to form two recesses with four-centred heads and foliated spandrels, lower shelf cut back, early 16th-century, probably not in situ. In N. chapel— in E. wall, generally similar to last, but much damaged, early 16th-century. Plate: includes paten given in (16)77; flagon of 1680, given in 1681 and with two shields of arms; cup and cover paten of 1680, both with shields of arms, and alms-dish of c. 1700, with shield of arms and elaborate repoussé ornament. Recess (Plate p. 85): In N.E. pier of tower, with moulded four-centred head and embattled cornice, ornamental vaulted soffit, three sides of recess with traceried panels and one with small niche, 15th-century, uncertain use. Table: In vestry—of oak with turned legs and added gate-leg flaps, late 17th-century. Miscellanea: In N. aisles—part of shaft of Saxon Cross with interlacing ornament; fragment of stone with the letters "ollo"; large stone basin with sloping upper surface; fragments of worked stone from site of abbey, late 12th and 15th-century. In vestry—tiles and various small objects from site of abbey. In churchyard—W. of tower, fragments of window tracery, 15th-century.
a(3) Barking Abbey, ruins, immediately N. of the parish churchyard, consist of little more than the general lay-out of the main building, the "Fire-bell" or Cemetery Gate and part of the precinct wall. The abbey was founded c. 666 by St. Erkenwald for Benedictine nuns, and became one of the most important houses of the order in England. The remains are of rag-stone rubble with dressings of Reigate, Binstead and Caen stone. The main lay-out of the building appears to be of late 12th-century date. Early in the 13th century the Abbey church was extended to the E. by the addition of a "Saint's Chapel" and a projecting chapel beyond it. Other work of the same period is apparent in the building N. of the chapter-house. The Infirmary chapel and the Cemetery gate are of the 15th century. The abbey was dissolved in 1539 and the church destroyed in 1541. The site was excavated in 1910, but many of the walls had previously been entirely removed.
Architectural Description—The Church has been entirely destroyed except for parts of the Lady Chapel, the S. sides of the Saints' Chapel, S. aisle of the presbytery, S. transept with an eastern chapel, S. aisle of the nave and S.W. tower. None of the walls are standing more than about 6 ft. above the former floor level, and the remainder of the reconstructed plan of the church and claustral buildings has been laid out on the ground in modern rag-stone.
The Lady Chapel (24 ft. by 16 ft.) was of early 13th-century date, and retains in the two E. angles the moulded bases of the former vaulting shafts. The Saints' Chapel (46½ ft. by 42 ft.) is represented only by the S. wall; in the S.E. angle is the base of a vaulting shaft similar to those in the Lady Chapel. The Presbytery (with its aisles 71 ft. by 64½ ft.) has in the S. aisle wall remains of two 12th-century responds and between them the set back in the walls of a former arcade of three bays, of which the moulded base of one shaft is still in situ. Traces of a former apse at the end of this aisle were found during the excavations. The South Transept (31½ ft. by 31 ft.) retains the base of a 12th-century pilaster in the S.W. angle and the core of the walls. Opening from the E. side is an apsidal chapel of horseshoe form, still retaining some of its internal plastering. The Nave (with its aisles 165½ ft. by 64½ ft.) has remains of three responds of the S. aisle vault and of a projecting doorway or porch in the seventh bay from the E. The S. W. Tower is represented by a large fragment of its S. W. clasping buttress.
The Cloister (about 99 ft. square) has almost entirely gone. On the E. side there are remains of the E. and N. walls of the Chapter House. The range N. of the chapter house retains the base of most of the E. wall with two early 16th-century fireplaces with tile-on-edge hearths and a passage to the Infirmary. The remains of the Infirmary, Hall, Chapel, and Misericorde, Frater, etc., are sufficiently represented on the plan. The position and size of the Dorter and Rere-dorter were discovered by excavation, but the only portion now showing above ground is the chamfered plinth of one of the columns of the dorter range with rebated angles.
The Fire-Bell Gate or Cemetery Gate (Plate p. 7) forms the present entrance into the parish churchyard. It is of two storeys with an embattled parapet, diagonal buttresses and an octagonal stair-turret at the N.W. angle. It was built in the 15th century, and has inner and outer archways with moulded jambs, four-centred arches and labels; above each archway is a niche with an ogee head much decayed. The upper floor formed the chapel of the Holy Rood and has in the E. and W. walls a window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head; there are similar windows in the N. and S. walls now blocked with brick. Below and to the N. of the E. window is a late 12th or early 13th-century Rood in stone (Plate p. 7) with figures of the Virgin and St. John; the cross is of raguly form and the ground-work is diapered fretty in broad interlaced bands. The head of the cross has been damaged by the window sill above it.
b(4) Eastbury House, house, garden and barns, about 1 m. E. of the church. The House (Plate p. 11) is of three storeys; the walls are of red brick with some diaper-work in black headers, and the roofs are mostly tiled. It was built probably in the middle of the 16th century on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the E. and W. ends; on the S. the wings are joined by a wall to form an enclosed courtyard.
Elevations.—All elevations are arranged symmetrically with the exception of the porch on the N. front; the walls have a moulded plinth; the windows had plaster dressings to imitate stonework, but have recently been restored with cement; the gables are all flanked and surmounted by the corbelled bases of former pinnacles; the lower pinnacles are square and set diagonally, the upper are hexagonal. The North Front has on each floor a range of original mullioned and transomed windows, mostly of three lights, several partly restored. The main block has two gabled dormers for the third storey. Adjoining the N.W. wing is a small porch wing of three stages; the entrance has moulded jambs and four-centred head with a square moulded label; above it is a pseudoGothic pediment with a panelled tympanum and three attached pinnacles. Between the main block and the wings are two chimney-stacks, the eastern with three and the western with two octagonal shafts having moulded engaged bases and cappings.
The East Elevation has three gables similar to those on the N. front. On each of the first and second floors were seven three-light windows uniform with those on the N. front, but two have been destroyed by modern doorways and others are blocked; in the middle is an original square-headed doorway with chamfered oak frame.
On the South Elevation the house surrounds three sides of a courtyard which is enclosed on the S. by a brick wall containing an original square-headed doorway with a chamfered oak frame. The wings have gables similar to those already described; under each is a square-headed gablelight, and a three-light window to each storey. In the N.W. angle of the courtyard is an octagonal stair-turret with plastered quoins, and a moulded parapet with traces of a pinnacle at each angle; it is lighted by square-headed windows with moulded labels, and has in the S.E. face a square-headed oak-framed doorway with a moulded label. There was formerly a similar stair-turret in the N.E. angle of the courtyard but its outer walls have fallen; it has a sunk and moulded handrail. S. of each turret and projecting towards the courtyard from the angle of each wing is a garderobe to the height of the second storey with a square-headed opening at the base for clearing the pit; the W. opening is now blocked. The main block has on the ground floor, two, and on the first floor, one, two-light windows; in the middle is a broad chimney-stack with five shafts having moulded bases and cappings; between the shaft and the ruined N.E. stair-turret is a segmental arch springing from moulded corbels. On the return of each wing is a similar chimney-stack, the western with three shafts; those of the eastern have been destroyed above the bases.
Interior—On the ground-floor the main block was originally occupied by the Great Hall (about 40 ft. by 21 ft.), but is now divided by modern partitions; the E. wing was formerly occupied by a passage and two rooms, each with a fireplace of which only the semi-circular brick arch is now visible; the W. or kitchen wing is almost entirely altered; but one room is lined with panelling probably of early 17th-century date; the turretstaircases have a moulded brick handrail, and the western retains its central oak newel and solid oak treads. On the first floor the main block was originally occupied by the Great Chamber; in the S. wall is a fireplace, now blocked; the walls are plastered and on the E. and S. retain traces of elaborate painted decoration of late 16th or early 17th-century date (Plate p. 10), consisting of well-executed panels with landscapes and seascapes in an architectural setting comprising a panelled dado and round-headed arches flanked by twisted Corinthian columns; until recently similar columns were visible on the N. wall. On the S. wall above the fireplace is a crudely painted landscape and a shield with the arms of More of Cheshire; the whole is in an architectural composition similar to that of the E. wall and there are traces of a seascape in one side bay. In the long gallery is an original fireplace of stone; the lintel is enriched with lozenge-shaped panels.
a(5). Court House, on the W. side of Broadway, 50 yards E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of rough cast and weather-boarded timber-framing, and the roofs are partly slated and partly tiled. It was built in 1567, the date carved, with a crowned fleur-de-lis and the initials E.R., on a stone set in the chimney-stack, and is of rectangular plan (externally 70 ft. by 22 ft.). The upper storey, containing the court room, projects on the E. and W. and on this side has a moulded eaves-cornice; the lower storey is cut up into three divisions of which the central or largest forms a market-house formerly open to the street on both sides through wooden arcades, now blocked, each of four bays with octagonal posts and chamfered struts forming four-centred arches; the posts on the W. side have chamfered bases, those on the E. side have moulded capitals and bases. The N. and S. divisions are both enclosed; the northern contains in its western half the 'cage' which opened towards the W. through wooden bars now boarded up, and in its eastern half is the original well-staircase with solid treads; the S. division forms part of a small caretaker's dwelling, which occupies both floors; on the lower floor in the E. wall are two original three-light windows with moulded mullions, and in the W. wall is a similar window now blocked. The upper storey now has three modern windows in the E. wall but was originally lighted by a range of four-light windows set high up in the wall on each side; these windows are no longer visible except for one with moulded mullions in the E. wall; a similar mullion is also visible in the N. wall. The court room formerly had the dais at the S. end; on the S. wall are the Elizabethan royal arms, in plaster relief, and on the N. wall is a painted panel of the royal arms of Queen Anne. Over the staircase is a fragment of the original elliptical ceiling with a moulded cornice; the roof is of queen-post type without the collar-beam.
b(6). Outbuilding and barns at Gale Street Farm, 2¼ m. E.N.E. of the church. The Outbuilding is of one storey; the walls are of brick with occasional blocks of ashlar; the roofs are tiled. It is a rectangular fragment of a larger building of mid or late 16th-century date, but has been much altered; the partitions, windows and doorways are modern. At the S.W. angle is the lower part of an octagonal turret, containing a square-headed doorway on the ground and first floors.