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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35. GREAT COGGESHALL. (B.c.)
Great Coggeshall is a parish and small town 9 m. W. of Colchester. The church and Paycock's House are the principal monuments. In the town there are a number of interesting mediaeval buildings, especially Nos. 5, 70, 71 and 75.
(1). A considerable quantity of bricks, coins dating from Nero to Theodosius, and a large number of urns with much black ash were found in the middle of the 19th century in digging gravel; the urns being 2 ft. below the surface and extending over an area of 3 acres, in two fields called Crow Barn and Garden Fields near Highfields, about ½ m. W. of the town and to the N. of Stane Street, and the River Blackwater. (E. L. Cutts in Essex Arch. Soc. Trans., I (1858), 103 ff., and Arch. Jour., XVIII, 95.) They probably indicate the existence of a building in the neighbourhood, as well as a cemetery. To the latter may belong a curious burial recorded in the 17th century, found "adjoining to the rode called Coccill-way, which to this towne leadeth" (i.e., Stane Street). It consisted of "an arched Vault of bricke, and therein a burning lampe of glasse" covered with a tile 14 in. square, a 'thumbed' urn containing ashes and bits of bone, and two Samian saucers, one stamped Coccilli.M (seemingly a Banassic potter of S.W. Gaul, cf. Déchelette, Les vases ornès de la Gaule romaine, I, 118, n.). (Weever, Funeral Monuments (1631), p. 618, and Méric Casaubon, Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (1635); Notes, p. 34 and fig., hence Burton, Commentary on the Itinerary of Antoninus (1658), p. 231, and Archaeologia, V, 141.) In a piece of ground, recently added to the S.W. of the churchyard, tesserae and ridge-tiles have been found indicating the approximate position of a building. (See also Sectional Preface, p.xxvii, and Little Coggeshall (1A)).
(2). Parish Church of St. Peter ad Vincula stands N.E. of the town. The walls are of flint-rubble with fragments of Roman bricks, partly faced with ashlar and with limestone dressings; the roofs are covered with lead. The whole church consisting of Chancel, North and South Chapels, Nave, North and South Aisles, West Tower and South Porch was rebuilt in the first half of the 15th-century beginning with the tower.
Architectural Description—All the ancient details are of the 15th century. The Chancel (50 ft. by 26 ft.) has walls faced with ashlar and a plinth enriched with quatrefoiled panels and shields, mostly restored and bearing two keys saltirewise; the buttresses have plain and trefoil-headed panelling. The much restored E. window is of seven cinquefoiled ogee lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; the internal and external reveals are moulded. In the N. wall is an arcade of three bays with two-centred arches of two moulded orders; the moulded columns have each four attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the responds have attached half columns. In the S. wall is an arcade uniform with that in the N. wall. The two-centred chancel-arch is of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The clearstorey has on each side three much restored windows each of three cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a four-centred head.
The North Chapel (51 ft. by 16 ft.) has walls and plinth similar to those of the chancel. In the E. wall is a much restored window of four cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a four-centred head. In the N. wall are three much restored windows, the easternmost is uniform with the window in the E. wall; the other two windows are each of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental-pointed head. At the W. end of the wall is a doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred head opening into the semi-octagonal rood-stair turret. The W. archway is two-centred and of two continuous chamfered orders.
The South Chapel (51 ft. by 16 ft.) is generally similar to the N. chapel and has an E. window uniform with the E. window of the N. chapel. In the S. wall are three similar windows and under the middle window is a doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label, the spandrels are carved with lions. The W. arch is uniform with that in the N. chapel.
The Nave (65½ ft. by 26 ft.) has N. and S. arcades each of five bays and with two - centred and moulded arches with moulded labels; the columns and responds are similar to those of the arcades of the chancel. The clearstorey has a moulded internal string-course and has on each side five much restored windows, each of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental-pointed head.
The North Aisle (16 ft. wide), has in the N. wall four windows, all much restored and each of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental-pointed head; between the two western windows is the N. doorway with moulded jambs and restored two-centred head with a moulded label. In the W. wall is a window uniform with those in the N. wall.
The South Aisle (16 ft. wide) is uniform in detail with the N. aisle except that the partly restored S. doorway has moulded jambs, four-centred arch in a square head with cusped spandrels enclosing shields and a moulded label; W. of it is a small doorway with moulded jambs and three-centred arch in a square head.
The West Tower is of three stages with a restored embattled parapet. The two-centred tower-arch is of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window and doorway have been completely restored except for the splays and rear-arches. The second stage has in the E. wall a pointed light opening into the nave; the N., S. and W. walls have each a single light window with a trefoiled head and completely restored externally. The bell-chamber has in each wall a much restored window of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a square head.
The South Porch is of two storeys and appears to have been largely rebuilt and has a modern outer entrance and side windows. The ribbed stone vault with its shafts is also modern except for some stones, and has a central boss carved with a pelican in her piety and three smaller bosses carved with leopard's faces and one with a woman's head. The upper stage has three windows all completely restored.
The Roofs are modern but incorporate some old material; that of the chancel has old corbels carved with angels holding shields bearing a chain between two keys, a cross, saltire, a crown of thorns, etc. Some corbels in the aisle are old and carved with grotesques; in the S. aisle also are two carved bosses, one of an angel and the other of a civilian, and on the wall is fixed a shield from the former roof, dated 1587.
Fittings—Bells: eight; 4th by Miles Graye, 1681. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In N. chapel—(1) of [John Paycocke, 1533, and his wife], figures of man and woman in civilian costume of the period, indents of foot and marginal inscriptions, five scrolls, figure of Virgin and child, two groups of children and four shields; (2) of Thomas Peaycocke, 1580, figure of man in gown, foot and part of marginal inscription, indents of five plates and a scroll; (3) to George Laurence, 1594, inscription and merchant's mark. In N. aisle— on N. wall, (4) to Thomas Aylet, 1638, plate with achievement of arms and inscription; (5) figures of two women with butterfly head-dress, c. 1480; (6) said to be of William Goldwyre, 1514, figures of man in fur-lined gown and woman in pedimental head-dress; (7) to John Oldam, 1599, inscription only. Indents: In S. porch—a number of slabs with defaced indents. In churchyard—S. of tower, of man and wife, two groups of children and foot inscription, 15th-century. Door: In doorway to turret staircase of porch—of plain studded battens, 15th-century. Font: round bowl with shallow arcade of trefoiled arches resting on pilasters with imposts and stepped bases, round stem with four detached shafts, partly restored and having moulded capitals and bases, early 13th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In S. chapel—against N. wall, (1) to Thomas Guyon, 1664, black, grey and white marble altar-tomb with moulded slab and plain pilasters at the angles. In churchyard—(2) to John Mullings, 1713, headstone; (3) to John, 1678, and Thomas Wilsher, 1703, head-stone; (4) to John Richardson, 1693, and Anne Richardson, 1712, table-tomb; (5) to Thomas Co. . . ., 1675. Floor-slabs: In churchyard—(1) to Thomas Aylett, 17th-century; (2) to Anne, wife of John Wilsher, 1675; (3) to Elizabeth French, 1686; (4) to Hannah Townsend, 1691; (5) slab carved with part of female figure in relief, late 17th-century. Piscinae: In N. chapel—recess with segmental-pointed head, date uncertain. In S. chapel—with moulded jambs and four-centred arch with foliated spandrels, octagonal drain, 15th-century. Recess: In E. wall, externally, with hollow-chamfered jambs and defaced cinquefoiled and sub-cusped head, with carved spandrels, moulded label and defaced stops, at back of recess, remains of defaced crucifix and figures of the Virgin and St. John, 15th-century. Scratchings: On all arcades—mason's marks, 15th-century. Sedilia: In chancel—three bays with cinquefoiled four-centred heads and moulded labels, moulded and shafted jambs with capitals and bases, 15th-century, now painted. Sounding Board: In S. chapel—circular with inlaid star pattern, made up into table, early 18th-century. Stoup: On S. chapel—E. of doorway, round bowl, broken, base of pedestal below, 15th-century.
(3). Paycock's House (Plates, pp. 118, 119), on the S. side of West Street and ½ m. W.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and partly plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1500 and has two wings at the back, of which the S.E. wing is either original or of slightly later date and the S.W. wing is a late 16th-century addition with a 17th-century extension towards the S.
Elevations—The N. Front has exposed timberframing with modern brick filling. The upper storey projects and has a moulded and carved fascia with running foliage ornament, various small heads and figures and a shield with a merchant's mark or badge resembling an ermine tail and the initials T.P. for Thomas Paycock. Both storeys are divided into five bays by restored buttresses supporting curved brackets. At the top of the ground storey, under the overhang, is a plate with a band of sunk tracery. At the E. end is a large archway with a four-centred head and spandrels carved with foliage; the lower parts of the side posts are also foliated and the upper parts have moulded pedestals and canopies with two carved figures of men, one holding a shield; the double doors have moulded frames, rails and muntins and linen-fold panels. Adjoining the archway on the W. is a small blocked doorway, all restored except the moulded E. jamb. The two square bay-windows are entirely modern except the moulded jambs; in the W. bay of the wall there was a similar window of which only the E. jamb remains; in the same bay is a modern doorway fitted with an original door with moulded frame, rail and muntins and linen-fold panels. The upper storey has a plate below the eaves, carved with twisted leaf ornament; the baywindows, generally similar to those of the lower storey, are entirely modern except the moulded jambs. The S.E. Wing has a projecting upper storey and gable at the S. end both with moulded bressumers. The wing has a number of windows with moulded mullions and an original doorway, now blocked, with chamfered jambs and moulded head. The S.W. Wing has exposed timber-framing.
Interior—The main room (C) of the front block has original and elaborately moulded plates, ceiling-beams and joists, all with flowing blind tracery cut on the soffits; on the joists occur the initials T.P. and M.P. and the merchant's mark. The room (D) W. of this has moulded ceiling-beams and joists. In the S. and E. walls are reset original doorways with moulded jambs and four-centred heads with foliated spandrels. The room (B) has ceiling-beams and joists similar to those in (D). A transverse beam towards the E. side marks the extent of the original apartment, the space beyond being formerly open to the cartway (A) and having chamfered beams and joists. On the S. side of the room the ceiling is framed round the opening of a former staircase, the original entrance to which remains in the partition between B and C. In the S. wall is a fireplace with a reused lintel, carved with animals, a shield bearing the merchant's mark. and scrolls with the name of Thomas Paycock; The walls are covered with original linen-fold panelling and incorporating three elaborately traceried panels. The S.E. wing has exposed ceiling-beams and above the fireplace is a fragment of plaster with remains of painted decoration. The S.W. wing has exposed ceiling-beams and a short length of moulded wall-plate. On the first floor the rooms over (B and C) have original moulded ceiling-beams and joists. The room over (B) has in the S. wall a fireplace with an original lintel carved with grotesque beasts and the merchant's mark of Paycock; further E. is a doorway with an original four-centred head and carved spandrels. There are several other original doorways and the other rooms have exposed ceilingbeams. The roofs have mostly been reconstructed, but that over the S.W. wing has remains of 16th-century queen-post trusses.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century, and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered or weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Many of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.
(5). Woolpack Inn, 80 yards S.S.W. of the church, was built in the latter part of the 15th century with a central Hall of two storeys and crosswings at the N. and S. ends. The N. cross-wing does not line with the rest of the building and may perhaps be earlier. Early in the 16th century additions were made on the W. side of the N. and S. cross-wings.
The upper storey projects at the E. end of the S. cross-wing and has a moulded and embattled bressumer; there is a similar bressumer at the base of the gable; on the ground floor of this wing is the original entrance to the 'screens,' with moulded jambs and four-centred head. The E. front of the Hall has the moulded and doubly embattled head of a large bay-window; above it is the moulded and embattled sill of a small bay-window, enriched with foliage and cresting. The upper storey projects at the N. end of the N. W. addition and there are two late 17th-century sash windows in the W wall of the same part.
Interior—The lower Hall has moulded ceilingbeams and joists. The upper Hall has original moulded wall-plates and a central king-post truss (Plate, p. xxxvii), with moulded tie-beam and octagonal king-post with moulded base and embattled capital. There is also some 16th and 17th-century panelling on the walls. The 'screens' are included in the S. cross-wing and there are on the ground floor in the S. wall two original doorways with moulded jambs and four-centred heads; between them is an attached shaft with moulded base and capital from which springs a curved brace; the screen itself has gone but the hollow-chamfered head remains. On the first floor part of the arched head of a fireplace remains. The N. cross-wing has an original king-post roof-truss with curved struts to the king-post. The N.W. addition has an early 16th-century door with strap-hinges. The roof has a king-post truss with curved braces. The S.W. addition is of four bays with king-post rooftrusses.
(15). House and shop, S.W. of (13), was built c. 1700. The S.E. front is of brick and has a modillioned eaves-cornice. At the back the staircase had until recently an original window with solid mullion and transom. Inside the building the original well-staircase has turned and twisted balusters, square newels and close moulded strings. The large room on the first floor has original bolection-moulded deal panelling; the fireplaces have moulded architraves and there is a moulded cornice and dado rail.
(16). House, 50 yards S.W. of (15), was built early in the 16th century and much altered early in the 18th century. It has a projecting wing at the back. The upper storey projects on the S.E. front. At the W. corner of the front is a slender shaft with a capital supporting a bracket. The back wing has a late 17th-century window with moulded mullions. Inside the building a room on the first floor has original moulded ceiling-beams. The back wing contains some original linen-fold panelling and a panel with a carved and painted shield bearing a merchant's mark and the initials I.S. The roof of the back wing has original chamfered tie-beams.
(19). House (Plate, p. 188), two tenements and shops, 60 yards S.W. of (18), was built about the middle of the 16th century and has a cross-wing at the N.E. end. The upper storey projects on the S.E. front, with curved brackets to the cross-wing. The timber-framing is exposed on the N.E. side of the same wing.
(28). Constitutional Club, house, N.E. of (27), is of three storeys and has been much altered in the 19th century. The upper storeys both project on the N.W. front and have original moulded and dentilled bressumers; the upper overhang has four brackets, carved as consoles.
(30). House, three tenements, 60 yards N.E. of (28), was built probably early in the 16th century but has been much altered. The front block has on the N. W. and S.W. sides an original moulded bressumer with twisted leaf ornament, at the first floor level. Inside the building are original moulded ceiling-beams.
(31). House, two tenements, N.E. of (30), was built c. 1565. The front has been refaced with modern brick but retains the moulded bressumer to the former overhang; it is carved with conventional designs including birds, heads, etc., and the date and initials, 1565, T.C. (? for Thomas Clark).
(32). Range of two, formerly of three, tenements, 15 yards N.E. of (31), was built originally in the 16th century but has been almost completely rebuilt in the 18th century. At the end of the passage in the middle of the range is a doorway with an original four-centred head.
(36). House, now three tenements, on N. side of Back Lane, 180 yards S.W. of the church. Inside the building are two late 17th-century fireplaces with moulded architraves; the N.E. one has an overmantel (Plate, p. xxxiii) with a cornice, and central panel flanked by two oval wreaths and by two amorini holding swags; the panel has painted verses on the vanity of life. The other fireplace has a moulded architrave and a panelled overmantel with pilasters carved with flowers; the mantelshelf has a carved cartouche.
(37). House, 190 yards N.W. of Church Street, has an original chimney-stack with plain pilasters at the angles. On the W. front is a porch with a projecting upper storey and remains of ornamental plaster work on the N. side. Inside the building there are some original moulded ceiling-beams and a staircase with square newels having turned tops and pendants.
(43). House, two tenements and shop, S.E. of (42), was built probably in the 15th century with a central Hall and cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The Hall was divided into two storeys in the 16th or 17th century and the front of the main block made flush with that of the cross-wings. Inside the building are original cambered tie-beams.
(47). House, five tenements, 40 yards S.E. of (46), has a back wing of early 16th-century date. The main block was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The upper storey projects in front and on the S. side of the back wing. The eaves of the front have a moulded cornice. Inside the back wing an original brick fireplace with chamfered jambs and four-centred arch.
(48). House and shop, 170 yards S.E. of (47), was built c. 1500 and has, in the shop, original carved and moulded ceiling-beams and moulded joists. An outbuilding at the back may be of the 17th century.
(53). House and shop on E. side of Market Hill, opposite (52), was built late in the 16th century. At the back is an original window with moulded frame and mullion. Inside the building are three original doors of moulded battens and an original brick fireplace with a segmental head.
(55). House, now two tenements, E. of (54), was built about the middle of the 16th century. The upper storey formerly projected in front but has been under-built. The eaves have an early 18th-century cornice. The 17th-century chimney-stack has attached pilasters. Inside the building is an original carved and moulded ceiling-beam and moulded joists.
(58). Cottage, two tenements, 30 yards E. of (57), was built early in the 16th century. The front has been partly faced with modern brick. Inside the building are original moulded ceilingbeams, plates and joists, and an external cornice, moulded and embattled.
(62). House and shop, E. of (61). The back wing, formerly a separate house, may be of the 16th century; the front part was built in the 17th century. A modern building has been added on the E. side. The front has an early 18th-century modillioned eaves-cornice.
(63). House, two tenements and shops, 70 yards E. of (62), was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century and has an added top storey. The second storey projects in front. Inside the building are two 17th-century doors.
(65). House, two shops and offices, 15 yards E. of (64), was built probably early in the 16th century and has a 17th-century added wing on the N.E. The front has a moulded eaves-cornice. Inside the building are original moulded and carved ceiling-beams and moulded joists. At the W. end are remains of an original roof of king-post type.
(68). House, two tenements, 40 yards W. of (67), was built in the 16th century. The upper storey formerly projected in front and has an original moulded bressumer. In the garden is a scalloped 12th-century capital, probably from Little Coggeshall Abbey.
(69). House, four tenements, W. of (68), was built c. 1585. The upper storey formerly projected in front and has a moulded bressumer (Plate, p. 100) carved with the date, conventional scrolls and a cartouche with defaced initials and grotesque unicorn supporters. At the W. end is an original door of moulded battens with an ornamental scutcheon-plate.
(70). House, now three tenements and shop, 10 yards W. of (69), was built c. 1500 with a central Hall, probably of two storeys, and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. A little later the W. wing was extended at the back. Inside the building the ground floor of the main block has original moulded ceiling-beams and joists and a moulded and carved beam on the N. side, probably indicating the former extent of the building in that direction. In the W. wall are two original doorways, now blocked, and with moulded jambs and lintels and plain three-centred heads. The roof of the main block has remains of the original construction. The W. cross-wing has on the ground floor an original moulded ceiling-beam and wall-posts with attached shafts, having moulded capitals and bases. The first floor has moulded wall-plates and a central tie-beam with curved braces forming a four-centred arch. In the S. wall is a blocked doorway with a four-centred head. The E. cross-wing has an original cambered tie-beam and the later extension has a king-post roof-truss.
(71). House, two tenements and shops, W. of (70), was built in the 15th century with a central Hall and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The W. wing was extended at the back early in the 16th century and the Hall divided into two storeys in the 17th century. The upper storey projects at the front end of the E. wing. Inside the building the early 16th-century extension has moulded ceiling-beams and there are original tie-beams in the main block and cross-wings.
(72). House and shop, W. of (71), was built probably early in the 16th century There is a 17th-century wing at the back. The upper storey projects on the W. side of the back wing and there are the mortices of the bar-mullions of a former window. Inside the building are remains of original moulded ceiling-joists.
(73). House and outbuildings, W. of (72). The House was built in the 16th century and has a wing at the back with a projecting upper storey (Plate, p. 100) on the E. side. Inside the building is a staircase with solid oak treads and some early 17th-century panelling. An Outhouse has a roof of rough king-post type and of 16th-century date. The Barn incorporates an early 16th-century carved and moulded beam.
(74). House and shop, 35 yards W. of (73), was built in the 16th century and is of three storeys. The front has an early 18th-century moulded eaves-cornice. At the back the projection of the second floor has a plain curved bracket.
(75). House and shop, W. of (74), was built in the 15th century as a small one-storeyed Hall. Late in the 16th century it was divided into three storeys and a gable with a moulded bressumer added in front. Inside the building the former Hall was of one bay with no free roof-truss; the end walls are framed with cambered tie-beams with curved braces and supporting queen-posts with semi-octagonal shafts having moulded capitals and bases and curved braces below the purlins; the collar-beams have curved braces also.
(79). House and shop, 15 yards W. of (78), was built possibly in the 15th century but has been almost completely altered. Inside the building are indications of a former projecting upper storey on the N. and E. sides.
(80). House (Plate, p. 231), W. of (79), has a front block of red brick built c. 1700. There is a moulded band-course between the storeys, a modillioned eaves-cornice and a hipped roof. Some of the windows have original solid frames. Inside the building is some deal panelling of c. 1700 and moulded architraves to the fireplaces.
(86). Fleece Inn, W. of (3), has a S.W. wing, probably of early 16th-century date. The main block was built early in the 17th century. The upper storey projects in front and has part of the early 17th-century moulded bressumer.
(87). House, six tenements, W. of (86), was built in the 15th century. Early in the 16th century an addition was made at the back and subsequently twice extended. In a passage next to the E. tenement, representing the former 'screens,' are two original doorways with chamfered jambs and ogee heads. The 16th-century addition W. of the passage has moulded ceiling-beams and joists.
(87A) House, three tenements, W. of (87), was built c. 1500. Part of the original timber-framing is exposed in front including two panels each of three trefoiled ogee lights with traceried heads. Inside the building are plain joists and a moulded beam.
(90). House, three tenements, 40 yards W.N.W. of (89), was built c. 1600. Inside the building is an original door with arcaded panels and a fluted frieze. There is also some original panelling, refixed in the archway in the middle of the building.
(92). Highfields, house, 200 yards N. of (90), is of three storeys. It was built c. 1600 but has been much altered and added to in the 19th century. Inside the building the middle room on the ground floor has original panelling and a panelled overmantel with coupled columns and dentilled cornice.
(94). Stockstreet Farm (Plate, p. 177), house, 200 yards W.N.W. of (93), was built in the second half of the 16th century, but has been refronted. The central chimney-stack has an original base with a moulded capping. The original stack on the N. side has tabled offsets at the ends, and an embattled offset on the N. face. Inside the building is an original moulded wall-plate.
(96). Gate House, nearly 1 m. N.W. of the church, was built late in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the W. end. The upper storey projects at the N. end of the cross-wing and has an original moulded bressumer.
(98). Bouchier's Grange, house, ¾ m. N. of the church, was built probably early in the 16th century but has an 18th-century or modern block on the S. side. The upper storey projects on the W. side of the N. wing. Inside the building is an original king-post roof-truss.