An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.
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38 MIMMS, SOUTH (C.a.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)I, N.W. (b)I, N.E. (c)I, S.W. (d)I, S.E. (e)VI, N.E.)
South Mimms is a large parish and village on the N. border of the county and adjoining Enfield on the W. The church, castle, Knightsland Farm and the White Hart Inn are the principal monuments.
c(1) Parish Church of St. Giles stands on the W. side of the parish. The walls are of flint-rubble and brick with limestone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The Chancel was built probably in the 13th century and foundations of a wall between the chancel and nave have been discovered, possibly belonging to an earlier building, but more probably the wall under the former chancel-arch. The earliest detail in the Nave appears to be of late 14th or early 15th-century date. The West Tower was built in the first half of the 15th century and Thomas Frowyk (see Brass 8) left a bequest for its upkeep. The N. arcade was built and the North Aisle added early in the 16th century and the North Chapel was built or re-built pursuant to the will of Henry Frowyk 1527. The church was restored by G. E. Street in 1877–8 when the South Porch was added and the N. chapel and aisle probably refaced.
The church is of some architectural interest and among the fittings the chest, glass and monuments are noteworthy.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (35 ft. by 17½ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is an early 16th-century arcade of two bays with four-centred arches of two moulded orders: the octagonal column and semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern probably of mid 15th-century date much restored and of two trefoiled and sub-cusped lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head, with a moulded label; the western window is a 'low-side' of early 14th-century date and of one trefoiled light; the recess is carried down to form a shelf with chases on each side probably for a board; the 14th-century doorway, between the windows, has chamfered jambs and restored head. There is no chancel-arch.
The North Chapel (23½ ft. by 15 ft.) is of early 16th-century date and of red brick with stone dressings; the much restored E. window is of three cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are two windows, uniform with that in the E. wall, the western entirely modern.
The Nave (49½ ft. by 20¼ ft.) has an early 16th-century N. arcade of four bays, with four-centred arches of two moulded orders, carried on octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall are two late 14th or early 15th-century windows, restored externally and of two cinque-foiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the inner sill of the eastern window is carried down to near the ground and from it rises the rood-loft staircase to a doorway in the E. splay and a wall-passage; the doorway has a four-centred head; the much restored late 14th or early 15th-century S. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred head and label, restored in cement.
The North Aisle (15¾ ft. wide) is of early 16th-century date and has three windows in the N. wall and one in the W. wall, all uniform with those in the N. chapel and all more or less restored.
The West Tower (about 12 ft. square) is of the 15th century and of three stages (Plate 54) with an embattled parapet and a stair-turret at the S.E. angle. The two-centred tower-arch is of two hollow-chamfered orders; the chamfered responds have each a semi-octagonal shaft with a moulded capital and base. The W. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label; the W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a label. The second stage has, in the S. wall, a window of one cinque-foiled light in a square head with a label. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a label.
The Roof of the N. chapel is of early 16th-century date and of two bays, flat pitched and with chamfered tie-beams, ridge, plates and rafters. The roof of the N. aisle is similar and of four bays.
Fittings—Brasses: In chancel—(1) to Henry Frowyk , inscription and four shields-of-arms of Frowyk; (2) to Henry Ewer, 1641, inscription and shield-of-arms; (3) to Sophia, daughter of Thomas Harrison, 1661, inscription with lozenge-of-arms. In N. chapel —(4) shield-of-arms of the East Lands Company and another of the Haberdashers' Company (now in nave), c. 1600; (5) to Richard Keterich, 1621 and Prudence (Dym) his wife, 1602, inscription only; (6) to Martha, daughter of Henry Ewer, 1628, inscription and indent of lozenge. In nave—(7) to Roger Hodsden, 1606, and Jone his wife, inscription only. In W. tower— (8) of Thomas Frowyk  and [Elizabeth] his wife, figures of woman, six sons and thirteen daughters, inscription-plate, indents of figure of man, second inscription-plate and three shields. Chest (Plate 18): In nave—of hutch-type with foliage-carving at foot of front posts, front now of two long panels formed with cusped rails but formerly of a series of quatre-foiled panels of which the uprights are missing, each panel formerly with small rosette in middle, four only remaining, 13th or 14th-century, iron straps possibly later. Doors: In tower—in W. doorway, with vertical panels, nail-studded, 15th-century, partly restored; in doorways to turret-staircase, two panelled doors, 15th-century. Font (Plate 10): square bowl with chamfered angles and moulded under edge, resting on four angle-shafts with moulded capitals and bases, octagonal to square central pier with tracery-headed panels on alternate faces, 13th-century, panelling on pier 14th-century. Glass (Plates 166–168): In N. chapel—in second N. window, kneeling figure of man in civil costume at prayer-desk with twelve kneeling children behind and part of inscription "Thys wendow made," also part of another inscription "be the good man"; in N. aisle— in first N. window, figures of man in civil costume and wife kneeling at prayer-desk with part of inscription "and the es mad," also a second figure of a man kneeling at a prayer-desk and two figures behind, one probably his wife, remains of inscription, "Thys wendow made"; in second window, figure of woman kneeling at prayer-desk with five daughters behind her, and inscription "Thomas Fransys 1526" also figure of man in civil costume kneeling at prayer-desk with six sons behind, and damaged remains of inscription; in third window similar kneeling figures of woman and three daughters and man with six sons with remains of inscriptions "Rechared Waltter 1526," "Thys [wen] dow made"; all early 16th-century; from a memorandum in the parish registers it appears that the windows were made by (a) the good women of the parish, (b) Thomas Francis, (c) Richard Hunt, (d) the young men and maids of the parish and (e) by Richard Walter and John Boman; a window made by Edward Jones, 1541, in the S. wall has now disappeared. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—against N. wall, (1) possibly to Henry Frowyk, 1527, altar-tomb and canopy (Plate 164) of free-stone, altar-tomb with moulded plinth and cornice, side and W. end panelled with quatrefoils and side with central cinquefoil-headed panel in addition, quatrefoils on this side each enclosing a carved boss, two with the initial R. and a doubtful letter, E. end with three trefoiled ogee-headed panels; canopy with panelled soffit and moulded and depressed four-centred arches in square heads with main cornice above, the whole resting on four enriched baluster-shaped supports standing on the ground; Henry Frowyk desired by will to be buried in this portion of the church; on S. wall, (2) to Thomas Marshe, 1661, marble and slate tablet with architrave, cornice, broken pediment and cartouche-of-arms; (3) to Frances (Harrison) wife of Robert Newdigate, 1682, black and white marble tablet, with Ionic side-columns, entablature, broken pediment and cartouche-of-arms. In N. chapel —against N. wall, (4) of one of the family of Frowyk, c. 1530–40, altar-tomb, canopy and effigy (Plate 165), altar-tomb of freestone, with moulded plinth and capping, front with four quatre-foiled and sub-cusped panels enclosing shields-of-arms, (a) Frowyk impaling a cheveron, (b) Frowyk impaling Aske, (c) Frowyk quartering Knolles and (d) Frowyk impaling Lewkenor, ends of tomb panelled with small quatrefoils, each enclosing a leopard's head, at angles of tomb moulded piers with outer shafts carried up and finished with terminals, canopy formed with depressed four-centred arches with traceried frieze at ends enclosing leopards' heads, cornice and remains of cresting, soffit in form of barrel-vault with traceried panelling and bosses; effigy (Plate 163) of man in plate armour with feet on lion and head on helm. In nave—on S. wall, (5) to . . . [Nowell], early 17th-century, wall-monument (Plate 14) with base in form of sarcophagus with enriched panel above enclosing strapwork cartouche and recess with skull. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Elizabeth (Norbury) wife of John Blithman, 1660–1; (2) to Thomas Marshe, 1657, and Thomas his son, 1649; (3) to Mary, wife of John Howkins, 1698, with shield-of-arms; (4) to John Adderl[y], 1652–3, with shield-of-arms; (5) to John and Elizabeth, children of John Howkins, 1689, with achievement-of-arms. In N. chapel—(6) to Mary (Ewer), wife of [Edward] Turner, late 17th-century; (7) to Joane, wife of Henry Ewer, late 17th-century. Piscina: In chancel—recess with moulded jambs, trefoiled head and quatre-foiled drain, 13th-century. Plate: includes three brass alms-dishes, with repousse figures, probably Dutch, 17th-century. Screen (Plate 162): In N. chapel—on S. side and at W. end, of fifteen and ten bays, respectively, two occupied by doorway on each side, close lower panels and open upper panels divided by buttresses and with trefoiled sub-cusped and traceried heads with crockets, doorways with trefoiled, sub-cusped and traceried ogee heads, carved leopards' heads as cusp-points, moulded rail and head, early 16th-century. Seating: In chancel—two stools with turned legs, late 17th or early 18th-century. In nave—bench-end with linen-fold panel and moulded capping, early 16th-century.
b(2) Motte and Bailey Castle, earthwork about 1 m. N.N.E. of the church, stands on a slight shelf of the valley-side. The work (area about 2¼ acres including the defences) consists of a circular motte with a kidney-shaped bailey, the whole formerly surrounded by a ditch. The ditch has now been partly filled in and partly destroyed by quarrying. There are slight indications that the motte may have been separated from the bailey by a shallower ditch. Traversing the bailey from S.E. to N.W. is a cart-track which is responsible for the filling in of the ditch on the N.W., but its entrance on the S.E. would appear to coincide with the original entrance. There are traces of an inner rampart to the bailey which, on the W., attains considerable height. There is a sinking through this portion of the W. rampart and a slight causeway across the ditch which may indicate a postern, but there is much disturbance at this point, due to quarrying. Some faint traces of scarping on the S. suggest the possibility of an outer court or enclosure on that side. There is a sinking on the top of the motte, which is about 40 yards in diameter at the base and about 17 ft. high.
b(3) Mimms Hall, house and moat 1,400 yards N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are mainly of brick and the roofs are tiled. The N. part of the house was built probably early in the 16th century but it has been cased in brick and there are later and modern additions on the E. and S. Inside the building some original timber-framing, with tie-beams and wall-posts, is exposed. The Moat seems to have formerly surrounded the house but only fragments remain.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
c(4) Blanche Farm, house, cottage and moat 1,200 yards S. of the church. The House is of two storeys, partly timber-framed and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century but has various modern additions. Inside the building the original staircase has square balusters of diminishing pilaster form and square newels with pierced and moulded cappings. On the upper floor two rooms are lined with early 18th-century panelling and one has a fireplace with an eared surround, scrolled supports and an entablature. The timber-framed Cottage, S.W. of the house, dates from the 17th century. The Moat formerly surrounded the house, but has been filled in on the E. and W.
Condition—Of house, good.
e(5) Fold or Old Ford Farm, house, barns and moat 2¼ m. S. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and faced with brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century and has 18th-century and modern additions. The Barns, N. and E. of the house, are 17th-century timber-framed buildings but have been much altered. The Moat, S. of the house, is largely intact.
Condition—Of house, good.
d(6) Knightsland Farm, house and barn about 1¾ m. S.S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are brick-faced and the roofs are tile and slate-covered. It was built in the 16th century and has a cross-wing at the W. end. The whole building was cased in brick in the 18th century.
The wall-paintings and panelling are noteworthy.
The exterior has no features of interest. Inside the building some of the ceiling-beams are exposed. The dining-room is lined with early 16th-century linen-fold panelling and the fireplace is flanked by late 16th-century fluted pilasters and there are remains of an overmantel. The drawing-room retains a little late 16th or early 17th-century panelling. The kitchen has an early 18th-century fireplace with a moulded surround. On the first floor the E. room has a series of wall-paintings (Plate 172) on the W. wall. They are of late 16th-century date and represent the parable of the Prodigal Son; the first panel has been destroyed but is followed by three complete and one damaged panels representing—(a) the prodigal wasting his substance in riotous living, Luke xv. 13, and his expulsion; (b) taking service with the swine-keeper and eating the husks, xv. 15–16; (c) the return to his father, xv. 20–22; (d) preparations for the feast, xv. 23, the lower part of this panel is destroyed; dividing the panels are painted columns. In a closet is some 17th-century panelling. At the top of the attic-staircase is an original doorway with a stop-moulded frame. The Barn, N.W. of the house, is a 17th-century timber-framed structure of seven bays.
b(7) Manor Farm or Wyllyots Manor, house nearly 1¾ m. E. of the church, is partly of one and partly of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. The W. part of the building was built late in the 16th century as a barn of which four bays remain; it has an aisle, perhaps added, on the N. side; the barn formerly extended one or perhaps two bays to the E. but the first of these bays has been reduced in height and the second was incorporated in a house built probably c. 1600. The barn has tie-beams with curved braces and struts and the house has some exposed ceiling-beams and wall-posts with shaped heads; there is also a window with moulded frame and mullions, now blocked.
a(8) White Hart Inn, 80 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century but has been much altered. Inside the building, two rooms on the first floor have 18th-century plaster panelling on the walls with an enriched cornice; the ceilings have oval or round panels in the middle with wreaths of foliage and fruit, four segmental panels and scrolled foliage enrichments; the fireplaces have eared surrounds, shaped supports and entablatures. A third room has a simpler ceiling with two branches forming an oval within a rectangular panel in the middle.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are timber-framed and the roofs are tile or slate-covered. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
a(9) Black Horse Inn, on the E. side of the road 400 yards N.N.W. of the church, is a brick building of early 18th-century date. Inside the building the upper part of the staircase is original and has turned balusters and square newels.
a(10) Sparrow Farm, house, three tenements, 30 yards S.W. of (9), was built c. 1500. The upper storey seems to have projected on the E. side of the middle block but has been under-built. Inside the building the upper floor of the middle block seems to have been open to the roof; it was of three bays and the double-chamfered wall-posts remain supporting cambered tie-beams with curved braces; the purlins have curved wind-braces. The end tenements probably formed the original cross-wings. A late 16th-century fireplace with chamfered jambs and three-centred head remains.
d(11) Barns, at Bridgefoot Farm 1,140 yards E.S.E. of the church, are single-storey buildings, one of five and two of three bays each.
d(12) Barn, on the E. side of the road 380 yards N.E. of (6), is a single-storey building of half H-shaped plan.
d(13) Barns, at Bentley Heath Farm nearly 2 m. E.S.E. of the church, are single-storey buildings of seven and four bays respectively.
d(14) Cottage and barn, on the S. side of Mutton Lane nearly 1¾ m. E. of the church.
b(15) Green Man Inn (Plate 26), on the W. side of the Great North Road 2½ m. E. of the church, has been much altered.