An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.
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28. FOBBING. (D.d.)
(1). Parish Church of St. Michael stands in the S.W. corner of the parish. The walls are of ragstone-rubble with some flint, septaria, tile, etc.; the dressings are mainly of Reigate stone; the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built in the 11th century, possibly before the Conquest, as the N. wall is only 2½ ft. thick. Early in the 14th century the Chancel was re-built and the South Chapel added. Towards the middle of the 14th century the nave was extended W., the S. arcade built and a S.W. tower and South Aisle added; this aisle appears to have extended only to the E. face of the tower. Late in the 15th century this tower was destroyed and the existing West Tower built; at the same time the S. aisle was largely re-built, and extended W. to cover the site of the former tower; the rood-stair turret was built and the E. arch of the arcade re-built to accommodate the rood-loft. The South Porch is also of late 15th-century date. The church has been restored in modern times when the South Vestry was added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (29 ft. by 15¾ ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern is a re-set 13th-century lancet-light and the western is of c. 1500 and of three cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the S. wall is a window all modern except the E. splay and rear-arch which are possibly of the 14th century; further W. is an early 14th-century arcade of two bays with two-centred arches of two hollow-chamfered orders, partly restored; the pier and W. respond are modern; the E. respond has an attached semi-octagonal shaft with moulded capital and base. The early 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders dying on to the walls.
The South Chapel (20 ft. by 12½ ft.) has an E. window all modern except the 15th-century jambs, sill, splays and rear-arch. In the S. wall is an early 14th-century window of two lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a defaced label; further W. is a modern doorway. In the W. wall is a 14th-century two-centred arch of two hollow-chamfered orders, dying on to the responds.
The Nave (49 ft. by 20½ ft.) has in the N. wall two 14th-century windows, the eastern is of two cinque-foiled ogee lights with tracery in a square head; the western window is also of two cinque-foiled ogee lights with different tracery in a three-centred head; to the W. of this window is a blocked 11th-century window with a wide external opening (1½ ft.) and a round head; the 14th-century N. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label and head-stops; at the E. end of the N. wall is the rood-loft staircase of c. 1500; the lower doorway has a two-centred and the upper a four-centred head. The 14th-century S. arcade is of four bays of which the eastern was heightened and re-built c. 1500, the arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders and the columns are octagonal with moulded capitals and bases; the W. respond of the third bay has an attached half-column; the westernmost bay is separated from the third by a solid pier and formerly opened into the S.W. tower; both orders of the arch are continued down the E. respond and the inner order down the W. respond.
The South Aisle (21¼ ft. wide) has, adjoining the pier just described, part of the base of the respond of an arch formerly opening from the aisle into the S.W. tower. In the S. wall are three windows of c. 1500, each of three cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label; high up in the wall further E. is a small square-headed window probably of the same date; the late 15th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. In the W. wall is a late 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label.
The West Tower (14 ft. by 12½ ft.) is of c. 1500 and of three stages with an embattled parapet and a stair-turret rising above it (Plate, pp. xxxii–iii). The two-centred tower-arch is of three hollow-chamfered orders, the two outer dying on to the splayed responds and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is of three pointed lights with plain transomed tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and traceried spandrels enclosing rosettes. The N., S. and W. walls of the second stage have each a window of one four-centred light with a square moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two pointed and transomed lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label.
The South Porch (Plate, p. 96) is of late 15th-century date and is timber-framed on dwarf brick and rubble walls. The four-centred outer archway has spandrels carved with foliage, the head of a king and a seated man opening the mouth of a dragon; the carved and cusped barge-boards of the gable are much defaced. The E. and W. sides have been restored except for the main posts. The roof is of two bays with moulded wall-plates and king-post trusses.
The Roof of the chancel is of the 15th century and of braced collar-beam type with a moulded and embattled wall-plate on the N. side. The roof of the S. chapel is of similar type with a similar wall-plate on the S. side; the N. wall-plate is probably of the 17th-century. The 15th-century roof of the nave is of four bays with moulded and embattled wall-plates and king-post trusses; the tie-beams have curved braces with traceried spandrels. The 15th-century roof of the S. aisle is of four bays with moulded and embattled wall-plates and plain king-post trusses. The first floor of the tower is of c. 1500 and has moulded and embattled wall-plates.
Fittings—Bells: five; 1st to 4th by Thomas Bartlet, 1629; bell-frame, 17th-century, much restored. Bracket: In S. chapel— in E. wall, piece of 13th-century coffin-lid used as bracket. Brass Indents: In S. aisle—(1) of figure of man, scroll and inscription-plate. In W. tower—(2) of man and wife, inscription-plate and groups of children; (3) of woman and inscription-plate; (4) of man and wife with inscription-plate. Doors: In N. doorway—of feathered battens on trellis-framing, 15th-century, two strap-hinges with ornamental prongs, possibly 13th-century. In S. doorway—of ridged battens on trellis-framing, old drop-handle and lock, 15th-century. In tower —in W. doorway, panelled, with drop-handle, strap-hinges and lock, 17th-century; in turret-staircase, three battened doors, c. 1500. Font: octagonal bowl of Purbeck marble with two shallowpointed panels in each face, eight small shafts and hollow-chamfered base, 13th-century, stem modern. Glass: In E. window of chancel, fragments of tabernacle-work, 15th-century; in E. window of S. chapel, 14th and 15th-century fragments of quarries with foliated and trellised designs. In nave—in N.E. window, foliated quarries, borders and foliated spandrels, 14th-century, in situ. In N.W. window, foliage, borders and fragments including tabernacle-work and Lombardic letter T, 14th and 15th-century. In S. aisle—in middle S. window, 14th and 15th-century fragments of quarries, borders and tabernacle-work. Image: In S. chapel—on bracket, seated stone figure of the Virgin and Child (Plate, p. 25), both heads gone, 15th-century. Monument and Floor-slab. Monument: In chancel—on N. wall, to Thomas de Crawedene, c. 1340, stone sunk-panel (Plate, p. 48) with Lombardic inscription "+Pur lamur Jesu Crist priez pur sa alme ki ci gist pater noster et ave Thomas de Crawedene fut apelle." Floor-slab: In tower, to Sarah, wife of James Foxon, 1712, and James their son. Piscinae: In chancel —with two-centred head and square drain, 13th or 14th-century. In S. chapel—in S. wall, with two-centred head and multifoiled drain, 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with trefoiled head and round drain, 15th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1633 dated 1633. Scratchings: On stonework of S. aisle and W. tower, mason's marks; on W. respond of S. arcade, graffito. Seating: In S. aisle—seven benches, five with traceried bench-ends, two with shaped tops, early 16th-century, restored; also two early 17th-century benches with shaped finials to the posts. In tower—one bench with traceried ends, 16th-century. Sedile: In chancel, one bay with moulded jambs and two-centred head and label, 14th-century. Stoup: In S. aisle—E. of S. doorway, large bowl recessed into wall, early 16th-century. Weather-vane: with letters A.A., possibly 17th-century. Miscellanea: In E. wall of chancel, internally, two carved head-stops, 14th-century; in S. respond of chancel-arch, part of coffin-lid, used as corbel.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered or weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. Some of the buildings have original chimneystacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
(2). The Rectory, 50 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and has been partly refaced with modern brickwork. It is possibly a 16th-century house enlarged at a later date and has modern additions on the N.E. and S.E.
(3). Wheelers House (Plate, pp. xl–i), now two tenements, on E. side of road, 300 yards N.N.W. of the church, was built late in the 15th century but has been much altered. It has a small modern addition on the S. The upper storey projects at both ends of the W. front, and the southern projection, which at some later date has been extended partly along the main block, has curved brackets. The eaves are continuous and are supported over the middle block by a curved bracket springing from the upper storey of the N. wing. The early 17th-century main chimney-stack has a shaft of cruciform plan set diagonally on a square base. Inside the building on the first floor of the main block is a heavy cambered tie-beam with curved braces but the upper part is hidden by a modern ceiling.
(4). House (Plate, pp. xl–i), now three tenements, on W. side of road, 500 yards N.N.W. of the church, has a thatched roof. It was built probably in the 15th century with a central hall and N. and S. crosswings and has a modern addition at the back. The upper storeys of the cross-wings project on the E. front and are supported on heavy curved brackets.
(5). House, now two tenements, opposite (3), is the central hall of a 15th-century dwelling, the cross-wings of which have been demolished. The first floor and central chimney-stack were inserted in the 17th century. In the W. wall is an original four-centred doorway. Inside the building is a king-post truss, with a heavy moulded tie-beam with curved braces forming a four-centred arch below, octagonal king-post with a moulded base and necking and curved four-way struts; the wall-plates are also moulded.
(6). White Lion Inn, 150 yards W.N.W. of the church, was built possibly in the 15th century with a central hall and N.E. and S.W. cross-wings. In the 17th century a first floor was inserted in the hall and the roof raised; there is a modern addition at the back. The upper storeys of the cross-wings project on the S.E. front. Inside the building is a 17th-century open fireplace and one original cambered tie-beam is exposed.
(7). House (Plate, pp. 56–7), 90 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and has been refaced with 18th-century brick. It was built in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.W. and N.E. and has a modern addition in the angle. At the end of the N.W. wing is a large chimney-stack of early 17th-century date surmounted by three grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building is some early 17th-century panelling and an original windingstair with a central newel.
(9). Fobbing Hall, house, now two tenements, 200 yards S.E. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century and has a cross-wing at the W. end and modern additions at the back. The main chimney-stack is of early 17th-century date. Inside the building in the W. wing is a cambered tie-beam with curved braces.