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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56. LITTLE BRAXTED. (B.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. xlv. N.W.)
Little Braxted is a small parish adjoining Witham on the E. The church is interesting.
(1). Parish Church Of St. Nicholas stands at the N. end of the parish. The walls are of flint-rubble with pudding-stone; the dressings are of limestone and the roofs are tiled. The apsidal Chancel and the Nave were built in the 12th century. The church was restored in the 19th century, when the North Aisle, Vestry and South Porch were added and the bell-turret rebuilt.
Architectural Description—The Chancel and Nave (45½ ft. by 16½ ft.) are structurally undivided. The apse has three windows, the eastern is apparently modern; the N. window is a single 12th-century light with a round head, but that on the S. is of the 14th century, much restored, and of one trefoiled light. In the N. wall is a modern arcade and window. In the S. wall is a single-light window, completely restored externally, but with splays and rear-arch, perhaps of the 12th century; further W. is the much restored 14th-century S. doorway of one chamfered and one rounded order, with a two-centred arch and a moulded label with head-stops. In the W. wall are two 13th-century lancet windows and a modern round arch.
The North Aisle is modern, but reset in the E. wall is a much restored 13th-century round-headed window and parts of a 14th-century doorway with a moulded label and defaced head-stops. Reset in the N. wall is a 14th-century window with a cinquefoiled head and in the W. wall a 15th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label.
The Roof of the chancel is modern, but incorporates a few old timbers. The 15th-century roof of the nave has collar-beams, purlins and wind-braces.
Fittings—Brass: In chancel—of William Roberts, 1508, and Joyce and Margaret, his wives, figures of man in armour and two women in pedimental head-dresses, four groups of children and four shields of arms (a) and (b), three pheons, a chief with a running and collared greyhound therein for Roberts; (c) Roberts impaling three crescents for Peryent; (d) Roberts impaling a cheveron with three leopards' heads thereon for Pyrton. Chests: In nave—plain, with scutcheon-plate, 17th-century, lid modern. In N. aisle—panelled, with moulded muntins and lid, 17th-century. Floor-slab: In nave—to Thomas Roberts, 1680, with shield of arms. Glass: In N. aisle—in N.W. window, maple leaf quarries, 14th-century. Piscina: In chancel—with trefoiled head, probably 14th-century, drain modern. Plate: includes cup (with added base) and cover-paten of 1567 and an alms-dish of 1683.
Condition—Good, much restored.
(2). Little Braxted Hall, house, summer-house, barn and moat, W. and N. of the church. The House is of two storeys, partly of brick and partly of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century and has modern additions on the N. and W. The S. chimney-stack has two original octagonal shafts with moulded bases and partly rebuilt. Inside the building is some early 17th-century panelling and some exposed timber-framing.
The Garden Wall is of 16th-century brickwork with a projecting coping on brick corbels. At the S.W. angle is a square summer-house of two storeys and of brick and timber-framing, it is buttressed on the N. and S. sides.
The Barn, N. of the house, is timber-framed and square on plan. It was formerly of two storeys, and was built in the 15th century, but the floor has been removed. The roof is supported by an arched truss in the middle. The barn may possibly have been the hall of the former house.
The Moat surrounds the barn.
Condition—Of house, etc., good.