33. GREAT SALING. (D.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. xxiv. N.E.)
Great Saling is a small parish, nearly 4 m.
W.N.W. of Braintree. Saling Hall is the principal
(1). Parish Church of St. James stands on the
N. side of the parish. The walls are built of flint
rubble with occasional blocks of freestone, and the
dressings are of shelly oolite and clunch. The roofs
are tiled. The early history has been much
obscured by 19th-century repairs, and nothing
remains to indicate the date of the Chancel. The
S.E. angle of the Nave is possibly of the 12th
century. The West Tower was added towards the
end of the 14th century, and a little later the nave
was widened towards the N. In the 19th century
the whole church was restored, and the North
Organ-chamber and Vestry and the South Porch
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (22 ft.
by 16 ft.). All the details, including the chancel-arch, are modern.
The Nave (46 ft. by 23 ft.) has, in the walls, a
few stones which apparently have diagonal tooling,
and the S.E. angle somewhat resembles 12th-century work. In the N. wall are two windows,
each of two lights; the eastern has modern
mullions and tracery in a late 14th-century opening,
with a moulded external reveal and an external
label; the western window is almost entirely
modern. Between the windows is a late 14th-century doorway, now blocked; the jambs
and two-centred arch are of two continuous
chamfered orders. In the S. wall are three
windows each of two lights; the two eastern are
probably of the 15th century, but almost completely restored; the westernmost is also almost
entirely restored. Between the second and third
windows is the S. doorway; the splays and rear
arch are probably of the 15th century, but the rest is
The West Tower (8½ ft. by 8 ft.) is of three stages,
with a parapet, and of late 14th-century date,
much restored. The tower-arch is modern. In
the W. wall is a window of one trefoiled light. In
the second storey of the first stage, in the S. wall, is a
window of one trefoiled light, externally restored;
in the second stage is a similar window. The
bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of one
trefoiled light, much restored.
The Roof of the chancel is of the 15th century,
much restored; it is of braced collar-beam construction, and has a moulded wall-plate. The
roof of the porch is similar to that of the chancel,
but has been re-set.
Fittings—Bells: One and sanctus; 1st by Miles
Graye, 1623. Chest: In organ chamber—with
panelled front, shaped feet and two locks, early
17th-century. Font: With octagonal bowl, having
sunk traceried panels, early 15th-century, stem,
modern. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of
1559, gilt inside. Stoup: In nave—E. of S.
doorway, recess with pointed head, probably for
Condition—Good, but very much restored.
(2). Saling Hall, N.E. of the church, is of
two storeys with attics; the walls are partly
of brick and partly of plastered timber-framing;
the roofs are tiled. It was built, probably early
in the 17th century, on an H-shaped plan with
the cross-wings on the E. and W. Late in the
17th century the E. and W. elevations were re-faced
in brick and in 1699 the S. front was also re-faced.
The additions at the back are modern.
Elevations—The S. Front (see Plate p. 133) has a
moulded plinth and brick bands between the
storeys, continued round the E. and W. sides. The
two projecting wings have each a curvilinear gable
with moulded copings; in the E. gable is a panel
with the date 1699. The doorways and windows,
symmetrically placed, have plain square heads of
rubbed brick; the windows have each a solid
mullion and transom, except those in the gables,
which are without transoms. The late 17th-century chimney-stacks are plain and have oversailing courses. The E. and W. Elevations are
similar to the S. front, but have no gables. Near
the N. end of the W. elevation is an early 17th-century chimney-stack. The N. Elevation is of
Interior—On the ground floor, four rooms have
early or mid 17th-century panelling, re-set. In
the Hall there is also some 16th-century linen-fold
panelling, and the late 17th-century doors have
moulded architraves. In the Study is a considerable quantity of 16th-century linen-fold panelling,
said to have come from Little Leez Priory, Essex.
The main Staircase has moulded rails, twisted
balusters and square newels, of late 17th-century
date. The late 17th-century secondary Staircase is
enclosed, and has, at the head, a balustrade of
plain bars set fret-wise. On the first floor, in
the W. wing, are two late 17th-century fireplaces
with moulded architraves.
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century, and of two
storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are
tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have
original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, or fairly good, without exception.
(3). Cottage, two tenements, on E. side of road,
300 yards S.E. of the church. The original central
chimney-stack has two shafts, set diagonally.
(4). House, three tenements, on W. side of road,
¼ m. S. of the church, is of two storeys with attics.
It is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the W.
end, and has 18th-century or modern additions
on the W., N. and E. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal shafts and pilasters. Inside
the building, in the N. wall of the cross-wing, is an
original window of two lights, now blocked, and a
door made up of original panelling.
(5). Picott's Farm, house and barn, ½ m. E. of
the church. The House has a late 17th-century
addition at the S.W. end, making the plan F-shaped,
with the wings extending towards the S.E.; the
main block was extended further towards the N.E.
at the same time. At the back, the upper storey of
the smaller wing projects and has curved brackets.
The Barn, N. of the house, is of the 15th-century, and of seven bays with aisles; the walls are
weather-boarded. There are two original doorways on the S. side. The roof is of the braced
(6). Mount's Farm, house, 1 m. S.E. of the
church, is of unusual plan, consisting of a long
and narrow range, with two small wings projecting
towards the N.E.; in the angle of one of the
wings and the main block is a one-storeyed lean-to
outhouse. The end of the main block has a cross-ridged roof with a gable at each end.
(7). Hyde Houses, two tenements, about ½ m.
N.E. of the church, with modern additions on the
E. and N. The original central chimney-stack has
two grouped diagonal shafts.
(8). Lower Hyde Houses, two tenements, 3/8 m.
N.N.E. of the church, with a modern addition on
the N. side.