An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
2. ASHELDHAM. (G.b.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Laurence stands on the S. side of the parish. The walls are of septaria with some Roman bricks; the dressings are of limestone; the roofs are tiled. The whole church including Chancel, Nave and West Tower was re-built early in the 14th century, the tower being rather later in date than the rest of the building. The chancel was restored in the 19th century when the E. wall was re-built and the South Porch added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (19½ ft. by 17½ ft.) has a modern E. wall and window. In the N. wall is a 14th-century window of a single trefoiled light. In the S. wall is a 14th-century window of one trefoiled ogee light with moulded jambs, splays and rear-arch; further E. is a doorway of the same date with moulded and shafted jambs, moulded two-centred arch, rear-arch and labels with head-stops; the capital of one shaft is foliated. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (38¼ ft. by 18¾ ft.) has in the N. wall two windows, the eastern is of the 14th century and of one cinque-foiled ogee light with a moulded label; in the E. splay is the 14th-century doorway to the rood-loft staircase; it has a two-centred head; the western window is modern; further E. is the 14th-century N. doorway, with double chamfered jambs and moulded two-centred arch and label. In the S. wall are two windows both modern except for the splays and rear-arches which are probably of 14th and 13th-century date respectively; between them is the 14th-century S. doorway, similar to the N. doorway.
The West Tower (11 ft. square) is of three stages with a modern embattled parapet and undivided externally except by a band of flints above the ground-stage. In the E. wall is a 14th-century doorway with double-chamfered jambs and two-centred head. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window, of one trefoiled ogee light. The second stage has in the N. wall a small loop of Roman brick. The bell-chamber has in each wall a 14th-century window of one trefoiled light.
Fittings—Communion Table: with carved and 'gouty' reeded legs with Ionic capitals and fluted top-rail, c. 1600. Floor-slab: In chancel— to Philip, son of Rev. Philip Ranshaw, 1691. Piscinae: In nave—in N. wall, with two-centred head and octofoiled drain, 14th-century; in S. wall, with trefoiled ogee head and octofoiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes small cup of 1563 with band of engraved ornament and a mid 17th-century stand-paten. Sedile: In chancel— with moulded two-centred arch, label cut back, shafted jambs with moulded capitals and bases, early 14th-century. Stoup: In nave—in splay of S. doorway, with trefoiled ogee head and round basin, 14th-century. Scratchings: On N. doorway —mason's marks. On jamb of S. doorway—date 1609, etc. Miscellanea: Incorporated in N. wall of chancel, fragments of window tracery.
(2). Plateau Camp, 600 yards W. of the church, appears to have been of irregular shape but the original plan has been much obscured by gravel digging. There is a large mound on the E. side and a rampart continuing to the S.W. The northern boundary is probably represented by the road which makes a detour at this point and the southern side is represented by a slight bank and scarp.