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.
45. LAINDON. (C.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)lxvii. S.W. (b)lxviii. S.E.)
Laindon is a parish 3 m. S. of Billericay. The church is interesting.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Nicholas stands in the middle of the parish. The walls are of ragstone-rubble, with some pudding-stone, brick and flint; the W. annexe is timber-framed; the dressings are of Reigate and Barnack-stone; the roofs are tiled. The Nave is possibly of 12th-century origin, though the proportions and thickness of the walls are the only evidence of this date. The South Chapel was added c. 1330 and about the same time the nave and chancel were perhaps largely re-built. The South Porch was added in the 15th century and the Bell-turret is probably of the same date. Early in the 17th century the West Annexe was added or re-built, probably for use as a school. The church has been restored in modern times.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (19 ft. by 16 ft.) has an E. window, all modern except the 14th-century splays and rear-arch. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern modern except for the 15th-century splays and rear-arch, and the western of the 15th century; both are of two trefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the S. wall are two 15th-century windows, both partly restored, and similar to the windows in the N. wall; between them is a 16th-century doorway with a three-centred head and restored jambs. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (38½ ft. by 22 ft.) has in the N. wall three windows, the easternmost is of the 15th century, partly restored, and of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head; the second window is of the 14th century and of one light, now blocked; the westernmost window is modern except for the 15th-century splays and rear-arch and part of one jamb; the partly restored 15th-century N. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch. In the E. half of the S. wall is an arcade of c. 1330 and of two bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders dying on to the responds; the octagonal column has a moulded capital and base; the S. doorway is similar to the N. doorway, except that the head is modern; further W. is a partly restored 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label and head and grotesque stops.
The Bell-turret, at the W. end of the nave, rests on posts with heavy curved braces, forming a two-centred arch, and subsidiary struts (Plate, pp. xxxviii–ix); above the cross-beams the framing is of trellis-form; the turret itself has two cinque-foiled lights of wood in each face and supports a shingled spire (Plate, pp. xxxviii–ix).
The South Aisle or Chapel (17 ft. by 9 ft.) has in the E. wall a partly restored 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the S. wall, which has been re-built, are two similar windows, all modern except the 15th-century splays and rear-arches.
The West Annexe (10¾ ft. by 15 ft.) is timber-framed and of two storeys with an attic; it is roofed with a gable towards the W. (Plate, pp. xxxviii–ix). Part of the N. wall and the N.W. angle are of 18th-century brick. The ceiling-beams are plain and the windows and doorways are modern. On the E. face of the E. wall is a 16th-century moulded cornice or string. The W. wall of the nave has been mostly removed, its place being taken by a timber-framed partition.
The South Porch has been re-built, but incorporates the 15th-century outer archway of oak, with a four-centred head and spandrels carved with foliage and rosettes. Against the S. doorway of the nave is a similar archway, the spandrels are carved with a dragon and a scallop-shell, etc., on one side, and a beast pierced with a patriarchal cross on the other.
The Roof of the chancel (Plate, p. 48) is of late 15th-century date and of two bays with moulded main timbers, embattled purlins and wall-plates with carved cresting; the principals have curved braces springing from wall-posts and forming three-centred arches; the wind-braces have traceried spandrels. The 15th-century roof of the nave is of two bays with king-post trusses, the middle tie-beam is moulded and has curved braces; the E. truss is modern. The 15th-century roof of the S. chapel is of braced collar-beam type.
Fittings—Bells: five, said to be: 2nd by Thomas Bartlet, 1619, with the name "James Harris"; 3rd and 4th by John Bird, 15th-century, and inscribed respectively "Johannes Cristi Care Dignare Pro Nobis Orare" and "Sum Rosa Pulsata Mundi Katerina Vocata"; 5th by Robert Mot, 1588. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel—on N. wall (1) of priest in mass vestments with chalice and wafer, c. 1480; on S. wall (2) of priest in mass vestments with chalice and wafer, c. 1510. Indents: In chancel—(1) of brass (1); in nave (2) of brass (2); both with indent of inscription-plate; (3) of priest and inscription-plate. Chest: In annexe—lid with moulded edge and three straps, two straps at angles and two old locks, 17th-century. Door: In S. doorway—of nail-studded battens with strap-hinges, 15th-century. Font (Plate, pp.xlii–iii): square bowl, each face with five shallow pointed panels, early 13th-century, stem modern. Glass: In E. window, fragments, including a fleur-de-lis growing out of a leopard's head, 16th-century; other small fragments in windows of chancel, nave and S. chapel. Inscriptions: In nave—on W. wall, five painted panels with cherubs in the angles, some with texts and inscription recording benefactions of John Puckle, 1617. Monument: In S. chapel—in S. wall, recess with chamfered and segmental-pointed arch, 14th-century, probably tomb-recess. Panelling: In annexe—some early 17th and 18th-century panelling not in situ. Piscinae: In chancel—with trefoiled ogee head and round drain, partly broken, 14th-century. In S. chapel—in S. wall, with two-centred head, drain missing, probably 15th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1656, with baluster stem and a paten of 1672, probably of secular origin and with repoussé work of flowers and a hound chasing a lion. Stoup: In nave— E. of S. doorway, with two-centred head, bowl cut away, probably 15th-century. Table: In annexe—with turned baluster legs and shaped brackets, late 17th-century. Miscellanea: In nave—at W. end, piece of woodwork carved with guilloche ornament and the date 1630.
a(2). Homestead Moat, at Great Gubbins Farm, about ¾ m. W.S.W. of the church.
b(3). Laindonponds, house and moat, about 1¼ m. N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It is a long rectangular building, with a cross-wing at the S. end and was built probably early in the 17th century and extended northwards at a later date. Two of the chimney-stacks are original. Inside the building some of the rooms have exposed ceiling-beams.
The Moat surrounds the house and is in an excellent state of preservation.
Condition—Of house, poor.
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. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, unless noted.
b(4). Laindon Hall, house, a few yards E. of the church, is of T-shaped plan, with the cross-wing at the N. end; it was built probably in the 15th century, but has been considerably altered. The upper storey of the S. wing originally projected on the E. front, but has been under-built.
b(5). Prince of Wales Inn, 1,200 yards N.N.E. of the church, is of central-chimney type. It has a modern W. extension.
b(6). Petchey's Farm, 100 yards E. of (5), is of central-chimney type. A modern addition has been added to the two diagonal shafts of the original chimney-stack.
b(7). Puckles Farm, 500 yards E.N.E. of (6), is of central-chimney type. An early 18th-century addition and a modern extension on the N.W. makes the plan L-shaped.