An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
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(O.S. 6 in. (a)xiii. N.W. (b)xiii. N.E. (c)xiii. S.W. (d)xiii. S.E.)
c(1). Parish Church of St. Lawrence, stands on high ground W. of the village. It is built of flint rubble (most of which is rough-cast) with stone dressings; the roofs are covered with tiles and with lead. The earliest part of the church is the Nave, which was in existence early in the 13th century, when the Chancel was re-built and a North Aisle added. The South Aisle was built early in the 14th century, and the West Tower a little later. Towards the end of the 15th century the clearstorey and North Porch were added, the aisles were partly re-built and new windows inserted in them. In the 19th century the chancel was almost entirely re-built and a North Vestry was added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (31 ft. by 15 ft.) has two lancet windows of early 13th-century date, re-built in the N. and S. walls. The chancel arch is plain, of two chamfered orders, and is apparently of the 14th century. The Nave (39 ft. by 21 ft.) is of three bays: on the N.E. are remains of the rood-loft stairs with a blocked upper door: on the N. is an early 13th-century arcade of three two-centred arches on octagonal columns, with plain bell capitals: the S. arcade is similar, but of early 14th-century date, and its columns are more massive. No detail, and little but the walling over the arches, remains of the original nave. The clearstorey has six windows of two lights each. The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) has two windows of late 15th-century date in the N. wall, and E. and W. windows of an earlier date. The walls and the N. door are of the 13th century, but the embattled parapet is a later addition. The South Aisle (10 ft. wide) has been less re-built than the other. Although externally the windows are of late 15th-century date, the openings are original. The S. door is modern. The Tower (10 ft. square) is of two stages with embattled parapet. The tower arch, with shafted jambs, and the W. window are of late 14th-century date, but the windows of the bell-chamber were inserted a century later. The North Porch has an entrance archway with shafted jambs and small E. and W. windows. The Roofs of the nave and aisles are of the 15th century. The principals are moulded, and have carved bosses at their intersections; at their feet are carved angels playing lutes, harps, etc., and the nave principals have traceried brackets. On a beam at the E. end of the nave are traces of colour decoration and the E. half of the first bay of the roof is panelled to form a canopy over the rood.
Fittings—Bells: six; 2nd 1685, 3rd early 14th-century, 4th 1587, 5th 1613, 6th by Henry Jurden, late 15th-century. Brasses: on the chancel wall, or Philip Metcalffe, vicar of the parish, 1515: on S. jamb of chancel arch, of Thomas Shotbolt, his wife, four sons and two daughters: in the chancel floor, the lower part of a woman's figure and an inscription to John Clerk and his wife, c. 1430. Font: octagonal, of rough workmanship, probably early 15th-century: cover, early 17th-century. Glass: in the windows of N. aisle, fragments, some in situ, 15th-century. Monuments: in the chancel, at N.E., 13th-century tomb recess with shafted jambs and dog-tooth ornament, may have been used as an Easter Sepulchre; in the nave, mural monument with marble bust, to Mary Markham, 1673. Piscina: in the chancel at S.E., with shafted jambs and dog-tooth ornament, 13th-century. Plate: includes two patens of 1678 and 1690. Seating: open seats with poppy-head ends, 15th-century.
b(2). Homestead Moat, at Gardners, about a mile N.E. of the church.
a,c(3). Ardeley Bury, house and moat, about ½ mile W. of the church. The house is of late 16th-century date, but retains little of its original character. It is built of red brick with some flint; the roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped with three towers on the S.E. front. The walls of the hall, on the N.E., are covered to the height of about 6½ ft. with late 16th-century panelling in small squares. Some upper rooms are also panelled.
The moat is wide, deep and dry, with an inner rampart on the N.W.
Condition—House, good, much altered. Moat, good, except N.E. corner.
c(4). The Vicarage, W. of the church, is of early 17th-century date with modern additions on the S. The original building is a small rectangular block, plastered externally. In a ground floor room is a carved wood fireplace, now painted, probably of the 17th century.
a(5). Cromer Hall, at the N. end of Cromer village, now divided into two cottages, is of two storeys and an attic, and probably of late 16th-century date. It is timber-framed and plastered, and stands on a brick base. The plan is rectangular, with a central chimney-stack, which has four engaged square shafts, set diagonally. On the W. side is a gable, beyond which the roof slopes to the level of the ground floor ceiling. An original window, now blocked, with moulded frame, can be seen inside. The oak ceiling beams, the original staircase, and many oak doors remain.
a(6). Cromer Farm, S. of Cromer village, is a two-storeyed timber and plaster house, on a brick base about 4 ft. high. At each end of the W. front is an overhanging gabled projection. The roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, and has been little altered. The plan is L-shaped, with the hall in the centre; two rooms form the shorter wing, and are separated from the hall by a passage, with the porch at one end and the staircase at the other. On the N. of the hall is another room, approached by a passage formed by a modern partition across the hall. There are two original brick chimney stacks; that in the centre is a large hexagonal block, the other, which projects at the N. end of the building, has two square shafts set diagonally. A window on the N. has 17th-century leaded lights. In the hall is a wide, open fireplace, with an iron fire-back, dated 1630, and bearing in relief a pheon, an earl's coronet and the letters R.L. In the ceiling is a moulded oak beam which supports plain cross-beams. The N. room has a wide fireplace, partly blocked, and a beam in the ceiling with chamfered edges.
Outbuildings—Two large, timbered barns, covered with weather-boarding, and a granary, of timber and plaster, with brick nogging, are all of late 16th or early 17th-century date.
a(7). House, in the middle of Cromer, on the W. side of the road, now divided into two cottages. It is a two-storeyed building, of c. 1600. The walls are of timber and plaster; the roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular, with an addition at the N. end. The central chimney stack has engaged square shafts, set diagonally. In the interior are some original exposed beams, and two wide fireplaces.
d(8). Farmhouses, two, at Wood End, are rectangular buildings with timber-framed and plastered walls, and appear to be of the 17th century; the roofs are tiled. The central chimney stacks, with square shafts set diagonally, are built of thin bricks.