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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24. EPPING UPLAND. (C.c.)
Epping Upland is a large parish adjoining Epping on the N. and W. It formed the larger part of the old parish of Epping, which was divided in 1896. The Parish Church and Takeleys are the principal monuments.
d(1). Plateau Camp, known as Ambresbury, Ambersbury, or Amesbury Banks (Plan p. 64) S.E. of the London Road, 2¾ m. S. of the church, is a little above the 300 ft. contour on the crest of the forest ridge, the ground sloping gently towards the S.E. The N.E. side is straight, the three others are slightly convex on plan. The defences consist of a rampart, now from 4 to 7 ft. high above the interior surface, a ditch which excavation has shown to be V-shaped, 10 ft. deep and 22 ft. wide at the natural level of the ground, and a slight counter-scarp-bank, except possibly on the N.W. side. A natural depression internally near the W. side evidently represents a stream which issued through a gap at the S. corner and could be dammed up to provide a water-supply. On the S.W. side is a well-marked entrance on each side of which the banks curve inwards; five other gaps are of doubtful origin. A small and inconclusive excavation carried out in 1881 appeared to indicate that the work was of pre-Roman origin.
c(2). Parish Church of All Saints stands in the middle of the parish. The walls are apparently of flint-rubble with dressings of freestone, but are covered with pebble-dash; the W. tower is of brick; the roofs are tiled. The architectural history of the building has been almost entirely obscured by modern alterations and restorations, but the present Nave appears to date from the first half of the 13th century and may originally have included both nave and chancel. The present Chancel was probably added in the second half of the 13th century, but the N. and E. walls appear to have been entirely reconstructed and the North Vestry is modern. The South Porch was added in the 15th century. The West Tower was built probably late in the 16th century.
The Nave (71 ft. by 21½ ft.) has no old details except the early 16th-century S. doorway which has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with sunk spandrels and a moulded label with blank shields as stops.
The West Tower (11½ ft. square) is of late 16th-century date and of brick, with stone dressings; it is of three stages with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet above a corbel-table. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders with semi-octagonal responds having moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is modern except the splays and rear-arch. The second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a window of a single pointed light with a moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two segmental-pointed lights in a segmental head with a moulded label.
The South Porch is timber-framed with plastered dwarf walls; the sides were formerly each divided into ten lights by diamond-shaped mullions, of which the mortices remain. The timber-framing is of late 15th-century date, partly restored.
Fittings—Bells: six and a clock-bell; 2nd and 4th by John Searle, 1707; 3rd by John Waylett, 1707; 5th by Andrew Searle, 1707; 6th by Robert Oldfield, 1611. Brass: In chancel—on S. wall, of Thomas Palmer, professor of Common Law in the University of Cambridge, 1621; figure in academic robes, with two shields of arms, two inscription plates and two fillets. Chair: In chancel—with twisted posts, carved and pierced back and lower rail, shaped arms; late 17th-century. Collecting-shovel: square box with handle, painted green, with inscription "Remember the poore do Epping Anno Domini 1626." Doors: In nave—(1) in S. doorway, plain oak boards, nail-studded, strap-hinges, 15th-century. In W. tower—(2) in doorway to stair-turret, of broad oak boards with strap-hinges, 16th-century; (3) in W. doorway, of plain oak boards, strap-hinges, oak lock and ornamental keyhole, 16th-century. Inscriptions: In W. tower—fixed to wall, said to have been formerly in nave, carved in black letter on strips of oak, (1) partly defaced, "[Pray for the souls of] John A ... her and Elyn his wife ........ [W]ylyam Connier and Benet his wife ........ have mercy ......."; (2) "Praye for the Sowlyes of Wylyam Holwey (?) and Jone and George Lucas and Margorye"; both inscriptions probably late 15th or early 16th-century. Locker: In nave—in N. wall, square rebated recess, possibly 13th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In churchyard—(1) to Elizabeth, daughter of John Clarke, 1712, headstone carved with skull and crossbones, foot-stone carved with hour-glass; (2) to Susanna, widow of Nymphas Stace, 1679; (3) to Susanna, daughter of Nymphas Stace,... 4, headstone carved with skull and cross-bones; (4) to Susanna, daughter of Nymphas Stace, 1680; (5) to Nymphas, son of Nymphas Stace, 1709, headstone carved with skull and cross-bones; (6) to John Stace and Susanna his wife, 1684; (7) to John Clark, 1712, and to Elizabeth, daughter of John Clark, 1712. Floor-slab: In W. tower—to William Larken, A.M., curate of the parish, 1713. Piscinae: In chancel—(1) double, circular drains with stop-chamfered sills, of Purbeck marble in modern recess, probably 13th-century. In nave—(2) recess with two-centred elaborately moulded head, first half of 13th-century, possibly piscina. Plate: includes cup and paten of 1639, with coat of arms and inscription. Seating: In nave—five oak seats with moulded top rails and damaged popey-heads, early 16th-century. Table: In chancel—oak table with columnar legs, mid 17th-century, possibly former communion table. Miscellanea: In churchyard —fragments of window-tracery, etc., apparently 15th-century.
c(5). Takeleys, house and moat, 300 yards E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered, and partly refaced with modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S.; an addition, probably of later 17th-century date, makes the present plan rectangular.
The original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts enlarged by rectangular additions, probably of late 17th-century date. Inside the building, most of the rooms have exposed ceiling-beams. A room on the ground floor has a dado of 17th-century recessed panelling, and in the S.E. room is a fireplace with an early 17th-century stone lintel, re-set, elaborately carved with strapwork, scroll-pattern, and a shield bearing a lozenge of arms, now defaced but possibly for Wentworth, with supporters. In the upper storey is an original panelled door, and in the N.W. room are well-preserved remains of original floral wall-painting in black and brown on the white plaster; only a small portion is now exposed.
c(6). Great Marles Farm, house and moat, nearly 1 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 a modified L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. and with two small gabled wings on the W. side; on this side and in the S.E. angle are modern additions. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams.
c(7). Chambers Manor Farm, house and moat, 750 yards W.S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed, partly plastered and partly refaced with modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N. and with a small staircase-wing adjoining the E. wing; an addition, probably of the 18th-century, makes the present plan rectangular except for small modern projections on the E. and W. On the N. front are two gables. The original central and S.E. chimneystacks have each grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams.
a(8). Hunter's Hall, house and moat, 1,500 yards W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 16th century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.; between the wings and on the E. side of the E. wing are modern additions. On the S. front are three gables. Inside the building are encased ceiling-beams.
b(9). Gills, farmhouse and moat, 1,500 yards S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 16th century, but the present plan is incomplete; it is L-shaped with the wings extending towards the S. and E. and with an addition, probably of the 18th century, on the N. side. Inside the building, in the original N. wall, now covered by the N. wing, is an original window, now blocked, of two lights with a square mullion. In the upper storey is an original square-headed oak door divided by fillets into three vertical panels under a four-centred arch.
b(10). Parvills, farmhouse, ½ m. S.W. of (8), is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century on a modified H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N. and S. ends and a porch on the E. side of the main block; a small staircase-wing was later inserted between the porch and the N. wing, and the latter has been extended towards the E. The central and S. chimney-stacks are original and have grouped diagonal shafts. The original E. porch has a square-headed outer entrance with moulded jambs, and had open lights in each side wall divided by moulded mullions of which one remains. The original oak door in the main entrance is of nine moulded panels. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams. In the central chimney-stack are two original fireplaces, the lower wide with a chamfered oak lintel, the upper with a chamfered four-centred head probably of plastered brick. The roof of the main block is of two bays divided and flanked by original queen-post trusses.
c(11). Rivetts Farm, house, 1½ m. N.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered. It was built in the 16th century, probably on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.E. and N.E.; a modern S.W. wing makes the present plan Z-shaped. Inside the building, in the upper storey, is an original fireplace with a chamfered four-centred head, probably of plastered brick. Some of the rooms have exposed ceiling-beams.
c(12). Pinch Timber Farm, house, ½ m. E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century but has 18th-century and modern additions on the N.E. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal pilasters.