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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76. PELDON. (D.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxvi. S.E. (b)xlvi. N.E.)
Peldon is a parish and scattered village 5 m. S. of Colchester. The church is the only monument of importance, though the secular monuments are all of the 15th century.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands in the middle of the parish. The walls are of mixed rubble except the clearstorey and part of the porch which are of brick; the dressings are of limestone and the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built probably in the 12th century. The West Tower was added c. 1400, and the South Porch rebuilt during the 15th century. Early in the 16th century the clearstorey was added and the walls below strengthened with buttresses. The church was restored in the 19th century, when the Chancel was rebuilt, the North Vestry added and the S. porch rebuilt.
Architectural Description—The Nave (47¼ ft. by 24¼ ft.) has early 16th-century buttresses of brick. In the N. wall is a 14th-century window, partly restored, and of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; further W. is the N. doorway of c. 1400, with richly moulded and shafted jambs, moulded two-centred arch and label with defaced angel-stops; the splays are shafted and the rear-arch is moulded. The clearstorey is of early 16th-century brick and has on this side three windows, each of two four-centred lights with a pierced spandrel in a four-centred head. In the S. wall are two windows, all modern except for some reused stones in the western window; at the E. end of the wall are the upper and lower doorways of the rood-loft staircase, both with segmental heads and of early 16th-century date; between the two windows is the mid 14th-century S. doorway, with moulded jambs, two-centred head and label with a defaced head-stop. The clearstorey on this side has four windows uniform with those on the N. side.
The West Tower (12½ ft. by 13¼ ft.) is of c. 1400 and of four stages with a moulded plinth and embattled parapet with grotesques at the angles. The two-centred tower-arch is of two hollowchamfered orders; the responds have each two attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. In the N. wall is the doorway to the stair-turret, with moulded jambs and two-centred arch. The partly restored window is of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with traceried spandrels and a restored label with defaced head-stops; N. of it is a small cross of flint and there are four similar crosses in the S. wall of the third stage. The second stage has in the S. and W. walls a window of one cinquefoiled light, that in the W. wall having been rebuilt. The third stage has in the W. wall a restored window of one trefoiled light. The bell-chamber has in each wall a partly restored window of two cinquefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label.
The South Porch incorporates in the W. wall an early 16th-century brick buttress; in its E. face is a recess with a four-centred head and above it part of a trefoiled corbel-table of brick, partly restored.
The Roof of the nave is of early 16th-century date, partly restored, and of six bays with hammerbeam trusses resting on wall-posts forming shafts with moulded capitals and bases and restored except in the easternmost truss; all the main timbers are moulded and the curved braces to the collars form four-centred arches. The 15th-century roof of the S. porch has a central king-post truss and a moulded tie-beam at the base of the S. gable.
Fittings—Bells: two; 1st by Miles Graye, 1613. Doors: In tower—in two doorways to turret, with chamfered fillets and nail-studded battens, c. 1400. Font: octagonal bowl of Purbeck marble, with central pier and eight small shafts, double chamfered base, late 12th-century, much restored or re-cut. Indents: In tower— (1) of priest, with inscription-plate. In S. porch— (2) much defaced. Stoup: In S. porch—E. of S. doorway, with moulded jambs, four-centred head and foliated spandrels, 15th-century. Miscellanea: Loose in stoup, capital with conventional foliage, 12th-century. On quoins of N.E. angle of nave incised geometrical pattern.
a(2). House, 50 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. The walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. It appears to be the remaining wing of a 15th-century house, but has been refaced at the W. end with modern brick. The upper storey originally projected at the E. end but has been under-built. Inside the building are some 17th-century battened doors; the roof has an original king-post truss.
a(3). Harvey's Farm, house, 700 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, partly timber-framed and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 15th century, probably with a central hall and cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The S. wing was rebuilt in the 17th century and the main block in the 18th century. The upper storey formerly projected at both ends of the N. wing and at the W. end of the S. wing, but on the W. side these projections have been under-built. Inside the building is some exposed timber-framing and an original cambered tie-beam.
a(4). Kemp's Farm, house, 1,450 yards S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 15th century, with a central hall and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beam with curved braces and some of the timber-framing is exposed. The roof has original cambered tie-beams.
a(5). Rose Inn, 1¼ m. S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 15th century, with a cross-wing at the N. end and possibly one at the S. end, now roofed with the main block. Inside the building the N. room has an original moulded beam and chamfered joists with foliated stops. Other rooms have exposed ceiling-beams and there are several 17th-century panelled doors.
b(6). Red Hills, a number, starting from the head of the "Ray," about 1 m. S.E. of the church and extending southwards along the old high-water mark.