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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26. FINGRINGHOE. (D.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. xxxvii. N.W.)
Fingringhoe is a parish on the right bank of the Colne estuary, 4 m. S.E. of Colchester. The church is the principal monument.
(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew (Plate, p. xxviii) stands in the village. The walls are of flint and limestone-rubble with septaria and some Roman brick; the dressings are of limestone and Roman brick and the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built in the 12th century. Early in the 14th century the chancel-arch was rebuilt, the S. arcade built and the South Aisle and West Tower added. Later in the 14th century the Chancel was rebuilt and the South Chapel and South Porch were added. In the 15th or early in the 16th century the S. end of the porch was rebuilt. Various buttresses have been added in modern times, but the church generally has been little restored. The North Vestry is modern but stands on old foundations.
The S. porch has interesting detail and among the fittings the remains of paintings are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (26¼ ft. by 19¾ ft.) has an E. window, all modern except perhaps the mid 15th-century splays and rear-arch and part of the external label. In the N. wall is a late 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights in a segmental head; further E. is a doorway possibly of the same date but with a modern lintel. E. of the doorway is a window probably of the 14th century but now blocked and only visible internally; it has a segmental rear-arch. In the S. wall is a 16th-century window of two plain square-headed lights; further W. is a late 14th-century arch with moulded responds and two-centred head. The 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of one continuous moulded order; the responds have been for the most part restored.
The South Chapel (18¼ ft. by 10½ ft.) has an E. window all modern except the splays and rear-arch which are perhaps of late 14th-century date. In the S. wall is a window probably of the 14th century but with a 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops inserted in the older openings; further W. is a 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head; it is now blocked.
The Nave (38 ft. by 20 ft.) has N.E. and N.W. angles of the 12th century and of Roman brick; the building was heightened probably in the 15th century. In the E. wall above the chancel-arch is the mark of the former steep-pitched gable of the nave and a 15th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights, now covered by the chancel roof. In the N. wall is a window with a two-centred head and a moulded label with head-stops; it is probably of the 14th century, but without mullions or tracery; further W. are remains of a 12th-century window with Roman brick jambs; it is now blocked; W. of this window is the 14th-century N. doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. In the S. wall is an early 14th-century arcade of two bays with responds and two-centred arches of one moulded order; the E. respond has a square rebate cut in the N. angle with the moulding mitred back on to it; E. of this arch is a blocked doorway to the former rood-loft.
The South Aisle (10 ft. wide) has in the S. wall a 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head and mostly modern externally; further W. is the late 14th-century S. doorway (Plate, p. 132) with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. In the W. wall is a partly restored 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label.
The West Tower (11½ ft. square) is of three stages and is built in bands of flint-rubble and limestone. The moulded plinth has flint chequer-work. The tower-arch has chamfered responds and two-centred arch of uncertain date. The 16th-century W. window is of three plain ogee lights with uncusped tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label. The roof has a quadripartite vault all plastered and with chamfered ribs. The second stage has in the E. wall a wide round-headed opening of Roman brick. The N., S. and W. walls have each a 14th-century window of one pointed light with jambs and heads of brick. The bell-chamber has in each wall a 14th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label; they are in a bad condition and parts are missing or blocked.
The South Porch (Plate, p. xxix) is of flint with an embattled parapet of chequer-work and a moulded plinth with trefoil-headed panels of flint-inlay; the diagonal buttresses have similar panels, and above them, on each buttress is a mutilated niche with a three-centred head. The two-centred outer archway (Plate p. 142) is of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on round attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the double moulded label has defaced angel stops and a square head enclosing carved spandrels with St. Michael and the dragon; above the arch is a much mutilated niche with a carved woman's head corbel. The side walls have each a late 14th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the window in the E. wall is much broken and both are blocked; below the W. window is part of the 14th-century plinth.
The Roof of the chancel is of collar-beam type and of early 16th-century date; it is of two bays with moulded main timbers, embattled plates and curved braces forming four-centred arches and springing from engaged shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The early 16th-century roof of the nave is of collar-beam type and is generally similar to that of the chancel but beneath the middle of the curved braces, on each side, are bosses carved with heads, some of them grotesques. The flat pent-roof of the S. chapel and aisle is of the 15th century with moulded main timbers, and curved braces to the principals, partly missing.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by Miles Graye, 1625; 2nd from the Bury foundry, early 16th century and inscribed, "Sancta Maria Ora Pro Nobis"; 3rd, uninscribed; bell-frame probably 17th-century. Bier: In S. aisle—with moulded rails and carved brackets, 17th-century. Brasses: In S. chapel—on N. wall, (1) of John Alleyn and Ailse, his daughter, late 16th-century, with figures of man and daughter in costume of period; palimpsest on inscription-plate, inscription with Latin texts; on floor, (2) to Richard Bryan, 1592, inscription only; (3) to Mary, wife of Richard Bryan, 1587, inscription only; (4) to Marcie, wife of Richard Wade, 1601, inscription only. Chest (Plate, p. xxxii): In S. aisle—dug-out with five strap-hinges, two ring handles and studded with nails in patterns and the date 1684, the chest is, however, probably mediaeval. Consecration Cross: In nave—on S.W. respond, incised cross formy in circle, probably 13th-century. Door: In S. doorway (Plate, p. 132), of four panels with moulded fillets and frame, traceried heads to panels, much damaged, moulded middle rail and cusped heads to lower panels, iron drop-handle and scutcheonplate, late 14th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with moulded under-edge, plain stem and moulded base, late 14th-century. Font-cover (Plate, p. 181): of oak, octagonal and of three stages, panelled lower stage with pierced and traceried buttresses and cresting; much restored second stage; third stage with open ogee-shaped ribs with crockets and moulded terminal, 15th-century. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) of George Frere, 1655, alabaster and marble tablet with bust in round recess with laurel wreath border, segmental pediment and three shields of arms, restored in 1779. In churchyard—S.E. of porch, (2) to Henry Simon, 1681, and Grace (Lock ?), his wife, 1712, table-tomb with defaced achievement of arms. Paintings: In chancel—on E. wall, foliated diaper pattern in red, probably early 16th-century. In nave— on E. wall, round head of arch, late 16th-century foliated cresting with traces of earlier ornament in dark red, limited by line of early gable; on N. wall, high up, remains of early 16th-century diapered pattern of white flowers and feathery foliage on red ground; above N. doorway, remains of large figure of St. Christopher bearing the Holy Child, figures much defaced, background of meadow and foliated border on E. side, 15th-century or earlier; on S. wall, red wash on E. respond with traces of earlier ornament beneath; traces of foliage ornament above rood-loft doorway; on pier between arches, seated figure of the Virgin with Child, much defaced and traces of a figure probably of donor with black lettered scroll; above main figure a large scroll, formerly inscribed; background powdered with capital Ms; higher up figure of a crowned woman and remains of a censing angel, all probably 14th-century with traces of 16th-century ornament superimposed; on E. respond of second arch, remains of figure subject with cross at back, much defaced background of brocade design with painted rings and nails at top to imitate a hanging cloth; on S. side of same pier St. Michael with a seated figure of a woman with long hair and an ermine tippet and smaller figures below; on W. respond of second arch, said to be a risen Christ with hands in foreground holding instruments of the Passion (?), but almost obliterated; above a half-angel with a scroll inscribed "In omni opere memento finis"; below it an earlier sexfoiled circle. In S. aisle—on N. wall between it and chapel, embattled cresting in red with 16th-century ornamental cresting superimposed, slight traces of late 16th-century ornament in S. chapel and nave and of plain colouring elsewhere. Piscina: In chancel—with plain pointed head and round drain, probably 14th-century. Sedile: In chancel—with hollowchamfered jambs and four-centred head, all plastered, possibly 15th-century. Royal Arms: In nave—on N. wall, Stuart arms in carved and painted wood, given in 1763.
Condition—Of tower, bad; masonry of chancel, etc., poor.
(2). Fingringhoe Hall, 100 yards S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and cellars; the walls are of brick and plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century but was almost entirely reconstructed in the first half of the 18th century. Inside the building, are some original panelled doors.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(3). Cottage, at Hyde Park Corner, about ½ m. E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timberframed and plastered and partly faced with modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the W. end. Late in the 17th century the main block was rebuilt. The upper storey formerly projected at the N. end of the cross-wing but has been under-built.
Condition—Good, much altered.
(4). Ham's Farm, house, three tenements, 1¼ m. S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timberframed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 15th century with a cross-wing at the S. end. Early in the 16th century the main block was extended towards the N., probably on the site of a former cross-wing. The upper storey projects at the N. end of this extension and has a moulded bressumer. The W. gable of the cross-wing has an original moulded bracket. Inside the building the original part has exposed ceiling-beams and a cambered tie-beam. The extension has early 16th-century moulded ceilingbeams on the ground floor and hollow-chamfered ceiling-beams on the first floor.