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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8. BOXTED. (D.b.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Peter (Plate, p. xxviii) stands in the N. part of the parish. The walls are of mixed rubble, with some Roman brick and much iron pudding-stone in the tower; the upper part of the tower is of brick; the dressings are of limestone and the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave are of mid 12th-century date and the West Tower was built perhaps rather later in the same century. In the 14th century the lateral walls of the nave were pierced with arches, but these were left in a rough state; the North and South Aisles were added at the same time. About 1500 the chancel was largely rebuilt, and in the 16th century the upper part of the tower was rebuilt and a stage added; the South Porch is perhaps of the same century. The church was much altered in the 17th and 18th centuries, and has been restored in modern times when the S. porch was practically rebuilt.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24 ft. by 17½ ft.) has the stump of an early 16th-century gable-cross and a modern E. window. In the N. wall are two windows of c. 1500, partly restored, each of two cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops. In the S. wall are two windows uniform with those in the N. wall, and between them is a doorway of the same date, with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and a label. The mid 12th-century chancel arch is semi-circular and of two orders, the outer roll-moulded and the inner plain; the responds are plain with chamfered imposts; the former side shafts or outer order have been removed and the N. respond has been partly cut away.
The Nave (41 ft. by 20 ft.) has in the E. wall above the chancel-arch two 14th or 15th-century windows, each of one trefoiled light; below them is the line of the former steep-pitched roof of the nave. The N. and S. arcades are probably of the 14th century and each have rough pointed arches cut through the wall, three on the N. and four on the S. side; on the N. side there are responds, but on the S. the arches die on to the end walls. The clearstorey has on the N. side two, and on the S. three, windows of uncertain date and with roughly cut rounded heads; below the windows on the N. side are traces in the plaster of two semi-circular rear-arches, probably of 12th-century windows. Above the S. clearstorey is a gabled dormer of timber, probably of the 18th century, but much restored. On the N. side of the W. tower are the Roman brick quoins of the 12th-century nave.
The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) is of the 14th century and has a partly restored E. window of three pointed lights with plain spandrels in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two windows, each of a single pointed light; further W. is the N. doorway, with moulded jambs and two-centred arch; it is now partly blocked and converted into a window. W. of the doorway are traces, externally, of another window. In the W. wall is an 18th-century or modern window.
The South Aisle (8½ ft. wide) is of the 14th century, and has in the E. wall a window, perhaps originally of several lights but with all except one converted into a square-headed two-light window; the remaining light is trefoiled and blocked internally; the rear-arch is moulded and dies on to the arcade wall. In the S. wall are three windows, the eastern is of wood and set in a gabled head of timber; the moulded lintel is dated 1604, but the window has been much restored; the other two windows are each of one cinquefoiled light, badly formed, and are of the 14th century, but much altered; the rear-arch of the eastern window is moulded; between them is the S. doorway with jambs of two moulded orders and a modern head. In the W. wall is a window of one cinquefoiled light, partly restored.
The West Tower (13½ ft. by 12½ ft.) is of four stages internally, with an embattled brick parapet; the top stage is also of brick and of the 16th century; the lower part is of late 12th-century date. In the E. wall of the ground stage is a rough pointed doorway of brick and of 16th-century date. It is set in the blocking of the former two-centred tower-arch which appears in the second stage, and is of rough rubble retaining parts of the boarding of the original centering; it is probably of late 12th-century date. The W. window is of the 14th century, and of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the S. wall is a 12th-century single-light window of Roman brick with a round head, and now blocked. The second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a single-light window, probably of late 12th-century date; two of them are now blocked. The third stage (the early bell-chamber) has in the E., N. and W. walls a pair of late 12th-century pointed windows, all now blocked; the S. wall was rebuilt in the 16th century. The bell-chamber has in each wall a reset 14th-century window, each formerly of two cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops.
The Roof of the nave is of late 14th-century date, and of four bays with king-post trusses, moulded wall-plates and tie-beams and king-posts with moulded capitals and bases. The roof of the S. porch incorporates some old timbers.
Fittings—Bells: two, 1st by Thomas Gardiner, 1714. Chest: In N. aisle—iron-bound, with two locks, 17th-century. Door: In tower stair-turret—of oak battens with strap-hinges, probably 17th-century. Glass: In chancel—in tracery of S. windows, fragments of ruby and blue glass, 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on S. wall, (1) to Elizabeth (Maidstone), wife of Nathaniel Bacon, 1628, marble tablet with a double arch and figures of an angel, skeleton, and shield of arms; "dedicated to ye memory of God's great favour in her dere love, N.B." In churchyard —(2) to Anne, wife of Thomas Goodall, 1714, head-stone with skull and cross-bones. Floorslabs: In chancel—(1) to John Maidstone, 1672; (2) to Mrs. Mary Havers, 1679, Maidstone Havers, her son, 1687, and Anne, daughter of John Maidstone, 1698; (3) to John Maidstone, 1666, and Dorothy (Maidstone), widow of Timothy Felton, 1717; (4) to Anne, daughter of John Maidstone, 1692; (5) to Robert Maidstone, 1684. In nave— (6) to Alexander Carr, 1681, and John Marr, 1683, servants of Awbrey, Earl of Oxford, with shields of arms. In tower—(7) part of slab with moulded edge, mediaeval. Niche: In nave—in E. wall, S. of chancel-arch, tall plastered niche with round head, probably early 16th-century. Piscina: In chancel—with moulded jambs, cinquefoiled head and square drain, 15th-century. Sedile: In chancel—sill of S.E. window, carried down to form seat.
c(2). Rivers Hall, house and moat, nearly ¾ m. E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was rebuilt probably in the 18th century and has some ornamental plaster-work at the back, dated 1713. One of the windows at the back has the scratched date 1713. Inside the building some rooms have original deal panelling.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Many of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceilingbeams.