An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3, North East. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1922.
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97. WHITE COLNE. (B.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. xvii. S.E.)
White Colne is a parish 4 m. E. of Halstead.
(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew (early dedication unknown) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of roughly coursed flint-rubble with some brick and tiles; the dressings are of limestone except the quoins of the nave which are of Roman brick; the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave were built probably in the 12th century and early in the 14th century a W. tower was added; in modern times the whole church has been drastically restored, the West Tower wholly or partly rebuilt, and the South Vestry and South Porch added.
The 17th-century pulpit is noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20½ ft. by 14½ ft.) has in the E. wall a window entirely modern except for the 14th-century splays. In the N. wall is a window modern except for the splays and moulded two-centred rear-arch which are of the 14th century; the sill is carried down to form a seat; further W. are traces of a former doorway. In the S. wall is a window similar to that in the N. wall, but with a normal sill; further W. is a modern arch. The 14th-century chancelarch is moulded and two-centred; the plain responds are now largely plastered.
In the Nave (32½ ft. by 18½ ft.) in the E. wall N. of the chancel-arch traces are said to have been found of the former rood-loft staircase. In the N. wall are two windows entirely modern except for the splays and moulded two-centred rear-arches which are of the 14th century. In the S. wall is a window all modern except for the splays which are possibly of the 14th century; further W. is the S. doorway, all modern except the splays.
The West Tower (10 ft. by 9 ft.) has a modern W. window. The chamfered, two-centred tower-arch has plain cemented responds; above it is a small square-headed opening, now blocked. The upper stage is entirely modern.
Fittings—Chair: In chancel—with richly carved back, semi-gothic tracery and shield of arms, square legs with sunk panels, late 16th-century, probably foreign. Font: In churchyard—plain octagonal bowl, mediaeval. Niches: In nave— N. of chancel-arch, three, one pointed and two round-headed, one with plain pedestal, all cemented over but probably reredos to former nave altar, date uncertain. Painting: In nave—on E. wall, traces of stars, fleur-de-lis, etc., probably 15th-century. Piscina: In chancel—with trefoiled ogee head, 14th-century, scraped. Plate: includes small cup of 1563 with band of engraved leaf-ornament; cover-paten, probably of same date. Pulpit (Plate, p. 181): hexagonal, sides with bolection-moulded panels flanked by pilasters enriched with jewel-ornament; three panels carved with figures in relief of St. James the Great, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Charity; cornice enriched with masks and conventional foliage, early 17th-century. Recesses: In chancel—in N. wall, (1) with hollow-chamfered jambs and trefoiled head, 14th-century. In nave—in E. wall S. of chancel arch, (2) with cinquefoiled two-centred head and hollow-chamfered jambs, 14th-century.
(2). Fox and Pheasant Farm, house, 1,100 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century, but has a late 17th-century addition at the E. end and a modern wing at the back. On the S. front the upper storey of the original block projects. Inside the building are exposed ceilingbeams, and in a room at the W. end is a plastered fireplace with figures of a fox and a pheasant.
(3). Cottage, ½ m. W. of (2), is of similar construction. It was built probably early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings projecting towards the E. and S.; on the E., W. and S. are modern additions. In the gable at the E. end are remains of rough pargeting. The original central chimney-stack has four octagonal shafts. Inside the building are chamfered ceiling-beams.
Wigborough, see Great Wigborough and Little Wigborough.