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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18. DEDHAM. (D.b.)
b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate, p. 81) stands in the village. The walls are of flint-rubble and brick; the tower is faced with knapped flints; the dressings are of limestone; the roofs are lead covered. The church was practically rebuilt at the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century, but incorporates a few fragments of earlier walling at the W. end. The rebuilding began on the S. side and comprised Nave with North and South Aisles, Chancel, South Porch, West Tower (finished in 1519) and North Porch. The church was restored in the 18th century and in modern times.
The church is a handsome example of the East Anglian type; the vaulted passage under the tower is a curious feature and amongst the fittings the panelled door and early 16th-century monument are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—All the details not otherwise described are of c. 1500. The Chancel (45 ft. by 20 ft.), has in the E. wall a modern window. In the N. wall are three windows each of three trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and moulded jambs; all have been much restored. In the S. wall are three windows, similar to those in the N. wall but less restored; below the middle window is a modern doorway. The four-centred chancel-arch is of two moulded orders, the outer dying on to the walls and the inner resting on moulded corbels with carved grotesque heads.
The Nave (95½ ft. by 20 ft.) has N. and S. arcades each of six bays with moulded four-centred arches of two moulded orders, the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the outer order is continuous in alternate piers, the outer member in the other piers springing from a moulded capital and shaft; from the piers and from the apex of each arch spring wall-shafts terminating in moulded capitals under the wall-posts of the roof. The clearstorey has on each side twelve windows each of three trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label, and partly restored.
The North Aisle (13 ft. wide) has in the E. wall a partly restored window of three trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a four-centred head with moulded jambs and label. In the N. wall are five windows of similar design to that in the E. wall, and all partly restored; between the two westernmost is the N. doorway (Plate, p. 42), with moulded and shafted jambs and moulded two-centred arch and label. In the W. wall is a window similar to that in the E. wall.
The South Aisle (13¾ ft. wide) has windows similar in number and character to those in the N. aisle and all partly restored. Between the two westernmost windows in the S. wall is the reset S. doorway of c. 1350, with double chamfered jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label; above this doorway is a doorway of uncertain date to a former gallery. Between the two eastern windows in the S. wall are the upper and lower doorways of the rood-loft staircase, both with four-centred heads.
The West Tower (about 16 ft. square) is of early 16th-century date and of four stages (Plate, p. 80), with an embattled parapet of flint-inlay work, crocketed pinnacles rising from octagonal turrets or buttresses, and a moulded plinth with cusped panels of flint-inlay (Plate, p. 133) enclosing blank shields and crowned monograms of the Virgin. The ground stage forms a passage from N. to S. and is roofed with a segmental-pointed vault of stone; the soffit (Plate, p. 213) is enriched with a double range of cinquefoiled panels with tracery on each side, enclosing carved flowers, portcullises and two heads, a crown, a mitre, and a hand holding a sword; there is also a series of small shields bearing (a) party palewise; (b) a cheveron between three lozenges and three martlets on the cheveron for Welbeck; (c) a cross charged with a rose; (d) a cross, (e) merchants' marks and the initials I.H., I.W. and T.W. In the E. wall is a lofty arch, the full height of the nave, with moulded responds and four-centred arch; it has a brick filling, in the lower part of which is the early 16th-century W. doorway with elaborately moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and quatrefoiled spandrels enclosing shields; the rear-arch has traceried panelling on the face and a panelled and traceried soffit; further N. on the E. face is a blocked doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch; S. of the doorways on the E. side is an inserted stair-turret leading to a stone gallery with a parapet, all modern except a frieze with three lozenge-shaped panels with rosettes and a shield with a merchant's mark and a trefoil-headed panel at the N. end. The upper part of the filling of the main arch is pierced with a modern opening with a plain rounded head. The passage in the ground stage of the tower has at the N. and S. ends an archway with a moulded two-centred arch of two orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the arch has a square moulded label with traceried and carved spandrels. The second stage has the springers of a ribbed stone vault, never completed; they rest on moulded corbels; in the W. wall is a window partly restored and of four cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with moulded jambs and label. The third stage has in each wall a window of two cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label.
The North Porch is of early 16th-century date and of two storeys, with an embattled parapet, moulded plinth and diagonal buttresses, all enriched with flint-inlay in panels with cusped heads; the two-centred outer archway is of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the arch has a double label enclosing a square head and having crowned lions as stops; the traceried spandrels have each a shield—(a) the Trinity (defaced); (b) quarterly a bend with three crosses crosslet thereon for Fastolf. The side walls have each a much restored window of three trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label. The upper storey has in the N. wall a much restored window of two cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred head with a moulded label; flanking it, externally, are niches, each with moulded and buttressed jambs, moulded pedestal and trefoiled traceried and crocketed canopy.
The South Porch has an early 16th-century moulded plinth with panels of flint-inlay and a 14th-century two-centred outer archway of two chamfered orders reset; above it is a window of one cinquefoiled ogee light in a square head with a moulded label.
The Roof of the chancel is flat-pitched and of four main bays with moulded main timbers and embattled wall-plates; the principals have curved braces, springing from wall-posts and forming four-centred arches. The roof of the nave is flat-pitched and of thirteen bays with moulded main timbers and carved and embattled wall-plates; the curved braces beneath the principals spring from wallposts having attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases and standing on embattled corbels. The roofs of the N. and S. aisles are of flat pent form with moulded main timbers with curved braces and wall-posts.
Fittings—Bells: eight; 6th by W. Burford, c. 1400 and inscribed "In Multis Annis Resonet, Campana Johannis"; 7th by John Darbie, 1675. Door: In N. doorway (Plate, p. 42)—of two leaves with moulded and carved fillets planted on; defaced angel at apex; each vertical panel with traceried ornament to lower part and above it six shallow niches each formerly having a figure and canopy, all now cut away; in head, four double panels or niches each with remains of carved figures including probably St. Catherine and St. Margaret, and two female and four male figures all unidentifiable, early 16th-century. Font: octagonal bowl with panelled faces, carved with symbols of the evangelists and angels; moulded lower edge with carved angels' heads, almost entirely defaced, moulded base, 15th-century. Glass: In N. aisle—in N.E. window, 16th-century quarry with knot and initials E.S.; in N.W. window, fragments of tabernacle work, c. 1500. At vicarage—a few fragments. Indents: In churchyard—S. of chancel, (1) of cross and four round plates at angles; W. of N. aisle, (2) of two figures, scrolls, inscription-plate, groups of children, Trinity and round plates at angles, 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Edmund Chapman, 1602, lecturer to the church, alabaster and black marble tablet with broken pediment and achievement of arms (see also (5)); (2) of John Roger, 1636, minister of the church, tablet with niche containing bust in skull-cap and gown, represented in pulpit (see also (6)); on S. wall, (3) to William Burkitt, 1703, minister of the church, draped white marble tablet with cornice, lamps and achievement of arms. In N. aisle— against N. wall, (4) to [Thomas Webbe, early 16th-century, erected by his son John], altar-tomb with plinth partly enriched with quatrefoils, side of tomb with square quatrefoiled panels enclosing shields and rosettes; the shields have the initials I.W., and T.W. and merchants' marks; grey marble slab with moulded edge; at back four-centred arched recess flanked by octagonal panelled piers carried up as embattled pinnacles, cusped and sub-cusped arch with foliated cornice and traceried spandrels; at back of recess, range of quatrefoiled panels with three shields having the initials T.W. and merchant's mark, and one with initials I.W., cresting of Tudor flowers; soffit of recess panelled with quatrefoils; above cornice, a high attic with panelled and embattled parapet and cornice enriched with an angel holding a shield with a cross and small shields repeating the initials and mark in the recess; on front of attic, indents of two kneeling figures, scrolls, groups of children and a square plate; on edge of altar-tomb socket for marginal inscription. In churchyard—(5) to Edmund Chapman, 1602; slab; (6) to John Roger, 1636, table-tomb; (7) to Robert Alefounder, 1630, table-tomb; (8) slab of 1638, defaced. Floor-slab: In chancel—to Martha (Wilkinson), wife of William Burkitt, 1698, with achievement of arms. Niches: See under N. porch. Piscinae: In chancel—with cinquefoiled and sub-cusped head and traceried spandrels enclosing shields with a sprig and the arms of the Trinity respectively, square drain, c. 1500, much re-cut. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with moulded jambs and trefoiled head, quatrefoiled drain, probably 14th-century reset. Recess: In chancel—in S. wall, with segmental brick head and flue, date and purpose uncertain. In room over N. porch—in W. wall, small with square head, early 16th-century. Scratchings: on piers of arcades, doorways and window jambs, many masons' marks, c. 1500. Miscellanea: Near tower—carved figure (Plate, p. 133) of kneeling angel holding scroll, formerly on parapet of tower, early 16th-century.
b(2). Southfields (Plate, p. 84), house, said to have been formerly a "bay and say" factory, about 300 yards S.S.E. of the church. It is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are covered with tiles and slates. It was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century on a courtyard plan, with an entrance gateway on the N. There are small modern additions to the N. and S. ranges and the building has been altered to form ten tenements.
Elevations—Much of the original timber-framing is exposed both in the courtyard (Plate, p. xxx) and in the external walls. The N. Front has in the middle the entrance archway with exposed ceiling-beams and a projecting and gabled upper storey; hung from the middle posts of the entry is an original door of two folds and nail-studded with strap-hinges. The E. end of the N. front has a projecting upper storey. The upper storey of the E. Front also projected but has been under-built with modern brick. The S. Front has a projecting wing at the W. end, with an overhanging upper storey, original moulded bressumers and massive corner-posts with moulded capitals and curved diagonal and rectangular braces; the diagonal braces are moulded; the weather-boarded gable also projects. The W. Front has at the S. end an original projecting bay-window (Plate, p. 100) of five transomed lights with one light on the return; the frame and mullions are moulded; adjoining this window on the S. is another window of two lights, with similar mouldings. The large chimney-stack has tabled offsets and two octagonal shafts, modern at the top. On the rest of this front the upper storey formerly projected but has been under-built. The Courtyard (60 ft. by 40 ft.) has on the E. side an original doorway with a four-centred head and now blocked, and a four-light window with bar mullions, also blocked. The W. side (Plate, p. 85) has a small original porch; the outer archway has a flat triangular head. S. of the porch the upper storey projects and there are two original windows of four lights with moulded frames and sills and both now blocked. The upper storey has a blocked doorway, formerly approached by an external staircase.
Interior—The most important part of the house is the projecting S.W. wing, called the "Master Weaver's House." Both storeys have original moulded ceiling-beams and joists and in the S. wall is a blocked window of six lights, with moulded mullions. There is an original doorway with a four-centred head and some 16th and 17th-century doors. The staircase of c. 1700 has turned balusters. The rest of the building has exposed timber-framing and chamfered ceiling-beams and some tie-beams with curved braces. The upper storey of the E. range appears to have formed one long room, all the existing partitions being modern.
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 and exposed ceiling-beams.
b(3). Dedham Hall, 300 yards N.E. of the church, was built early in the 17th century on a T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the E. end; late in the same century a wing was added on the N. of the main block.
b(4). "Dael Holme," formerly Mill House, 200 yards W. of (3), was built c. 1600, and has later modern additions at the W. end. The N. front has an original timber porch with moulded framing and a dentilled lintel; at the sides are symmetrically turned balusters. On the S. side are two projecting gables on original shaped brackets. The gables of the N. and W. additions also project on shaped brackets.
b(6). House and barn, 30 yards W. of (5). The House was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N. Inside the building several rooms have original moulded ceiling-beams and joists, and there is an early 17th-century door.
b(8). Marlborough Head Inn, adjoining (7) on W. side, was built c. 1500 on an L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the E. and N. There are 17th-century additions at the end of the N. wing. Inside the building the S.W. room has original moulded ceiling-beams carved on the soffit with foliage or cusped tracery; the lintel of a recess in the S.E. corner has curved braces with foliated spandrels. A room on the first floor has an original moulded ceiling-beam and joists. The roof of the E. wing is original and of king-post type.
b(9). House and shops, at W. junction of Mill Lane and High Street, was built early in the 16th century or possibly earlier. The upper storey projects on the E. side. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams. A room on the first floor has a late 17th-century plaster ceiling of two bays divided by a beam with vine and oak leaf ornament; one bay has four panels with bosses of conventional foliage; the other bay has similar bosses, irregularly placed.
b(10). Sun Hotel, 60 yards W. of (9), was built early in the 16th century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. The N.W. wing was twice extended in the 17th century. Under the E. end of the main block is a cartway, the lintel of which has curved braces. On the E. side of the early 17th-century extension is an external covered staircase (Plate, p. 100) with exposed timber-framing; the landing at the top has a gable with a moulded bressumer and shaped brackets. Inside the building is an original moulded ceiling-beam and wall-posts with moulded heads. On the E. side of the yard is a block of stables, of early 16th-century date; the main partition in the middle of the building consists of vertical panels formed by original moulded studs. The roof is of four bays with braced tie-beams and wind-braced purlins.
b(11). House and shop, W. of (10), has on the E. wall some original pargeting with a design of polygonal panels and cross-shaped panels; the gable above has moulded barge-boards with conventional foliage. The main chimney-stack has four grouped octagonal shafts, on a square base with a moulded coping.
b(12). House and shop, W.S.W. of (11), was built possibly in the 15th century, but has been completely altered. The shop windows have trefoiled cusping at the angles, said to have come from Boxted church. Inside the building are some 17th-century doors. The staircase has an octagonal newel with a shaped top; the roof has original cambered tie-beams.
b(13). House, 15 yards W.S.W. of (12), was built probably late in the 16th century, and has a 17th-century addition at the back. In front there is an elaborate early 18th-century frame, of wrought iron, for an inn sign. The original chimney-stack has tabled offsets.
b(15). House and shop (Plate, p. 123), W.S.W. of (14), was built c. 1600, and has a late 17th-century wing at the back. The upper storey projects in front and on the same side are two projecting gables with original shaped brackets. Inside the building are original moulded ceiling-beams and joists, one with shafted dentils.
a(21). Cottage, by the river, about 1 m. W.N.W. of the church, was built c. 1500. The upper storey projects on the W. side and S. end and has an original moulded and embattled bressumer, exposed joists and curved brackets. Inside the building are original moulded ceiling-beams and joists.
a(22). Boxhouse Farm, house, ½ m. W. of (20), has a W. wing of 15th-century date; the main block was rebuilt early in the 17th century. The upper storey of the W. porch projects in front; above the entrance is a defaced date 16—, in plaster; the window on the first floor is largely modern. In the S. wall is an opening with original turned balusters and above it is a band of running foliage in plaster. To the S. of the porch, above the lower window, is a band of scallops and conventional honeysuckle in plaster. N. of the porch is an early 17th-century window. Inside the building the S. room has a late 17th-century plaster ceiling (Plate, p. 235), divided into four bays by moulded trabeations with rich conventional foliage on the soffits; the cornice is also enriched and the bays have central foliated bosses and sprays of fruit, etc., at the angles. The room above has a similar ceiling. There is one 17th-century door and the E. wing has remains of the original roof.
c(24). Mount Pleasant, house, about 1¼ m. S.W. of the church, was built probably in the first half of the 16th century, with a cross-wing at the S.W. end. The upper storey projects at the S.W. end and did formerly also on the S.E. front. Inside the building both wings have original moulded ceiling-beams. In the S.W. wing is a mid 17th-century plaster ceiling divided into square bays, with enriched borders and centre-pieces and fleurs-de-lis at the angles.
b(30). House, formerly Prince of Wales Inn, 120 yards E. of (29), was built in the 15th century, with a central hall and cross-wing at the W. end. The upper storey projects at the W. end of the cross-wing, but is covered by a modern annexe. Inside the building are original moulded ceilingbeams and king-post roof-trusses.