34. GREAT SAMPFORD. (C.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. x. S.W.)
Great Sampford is a parish and village about
6½ m. W.S.W. of Saffron Walden. The principal
monument is the Church.
(1). Parish Church of St. Michael (see Plate,
p. 134) stands at the S.W. corner of the village.
The walls are of flint rubble with dressings of
limestone and clunch; the roofs are covered with
tiles except the south aisle, which is slated. The
South Chapel is of late 13th-century date, but the
church was almost entirely rebuilt during the
14th century; the N. arcade of the Nave, and the
North Aisle are of c. 1320–30; the Chancel is of
c. 1340, and the South Aisle, South Porch, and West
Tower of c. 1350. A parapet was added to the S.
aisle in the 15th century. In the 16th century a
brick staircase was built inside the tower. The
church was repaired with cement in the 18th or
19th century, and the chancel was restored in
Great Sampford. Parish Church of St. Michael
The 14th-century window tracery and other
details of the chancel and S. chapel are interesting;
the 14th-century consecration crosses, and font,
and the late 16th-century cupboard are noteworthy
Architectural Description—The Chancel (46 ft.
by 18¾ ft.) is entirely of c. 1340, and is divided
into three bays by buttresses; the walls have a
deep moulded plinth. The E. window is of five
cinquefoiled lights with modern tracery under a
two-centred head, which has an external moulded
label and mask-stops; the jambs, sill and mullions
are moulded, and the internal splays have attached
shafts with moulded bases and capitals; the
moulded two-centred rear arch has a moulded
label. The N. wall has, below the windows, an
internal wall-arcade (see Plate p. 136) of eleven
bays (interrupted by a doorway); the arcade
stands on a stone bench with a moulded edge,
partly restored; the moulded and cinquefoiled
arches have moulded labels mitreing with a horizontal string-course continued round the chancel;
between the bays are clustered shafts with moulded
bases and capitals. Above the arcade are three
windows, the easternmost and westernmost each
of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the middle window is similar to the
others, but of two cinquefoiled lights; the details
of all three windows are similar to those of the E.
window. Below the third or westernmost window
and within an arch of the wall-arcade is a blocked
low-side window of a single trefoiled light with
moulded jambs, head and external label. Between
the two western windows is a doorway with richly
moulded jambs, two-centred arch and moulded
segmental-pointed rear arch. The S. wall has an
internal wall-arcade of fifteen bays, similar to that
on the N. wall, slightly restored; it is continued
as a screen-wall to the S. chapel, and the fifth bay
from the west is pierced to form a doorway; the
piscina and sedilia (see fittings) occupy the four
eastern bays. Above the arcade are two windows
similar in detail to those in the N. wall; the
eastern is of three lights with modern tracery in a
two-centred head; the western window is of two
cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a two-centred head. Further W. is a moulded two-centred arch opening into the S. chapel, with a
moulded label on each side; the lower part is
filled in with a screen-wall finished with a moulded
and embattled coping, mostly modern. W. of the
doorway the screen-wall is pierced by four quatrefoils, and above the three western quatrefoils are
arched openings, now blocked. The moulded two-centred chancel-arch has a moulded label on the
E. side; the responds are hollow-chamfered and
have attached clustered shafts with moulded
capitals and bases; each side shews traces of the
base of a former stone screen about 4¾ feet high.
The South Chapel (22 ft. by 16 ft.), has a gabled
S. wall with kneelers carved as large grotesque
animals. In the E. wall are coupled windows of
late 13th-century date, each of two-trefoiled lights
with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the two-centred rear arch is common to the two windows,
and the spandrel between them is pierced with a
sexfoil; the internal sill has been cut down,
probably for an altar and reredos. In the S. wall
is a large blocked window of c. 1340, with moulded
external jambs, two-centred head and label with
carved animal-stops; the shafted internal splays
have moulded capitals and bases. In the W. wall
is a two-centred archway of c. 1340, and of two
hollow-chamfered orders; the responds have
clustered attached shafts with moulded bases, and
capitals richly carved with foliage, grotesque
heads, etc. (see Plate p. xxxii).
The Nave (50 ft. by 19 ft.) has N. and S. arcades
each of four bays. The N. arcade, of c. 1320–30,
has two-centred arches of two moulded orders; the
piers are of quatrefoil plan with small rolls between
the foils and moulded bases and capitals; the E.
respond has a semi-octagonal attached shaft with a
moulded capital, partly cut away; the W. respond
has an attached half-column. The S. arcade, of
c. 1350, has two-centred arches of two chamfered
orders, resting on octagonal piers, and attached
half-columns as responds; all the capitals and
bases are moulded. The clearstorey has, at the
E. end of the S. wall, a 15th-century window,
to light the former rood-loft; it is of three cinquefoiled ogee lights under a square head.
The North Aisle (11 ft. wide) is entirely of the
14th century, and has, in the E. wall, a window
of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded external label;
below the internal sill is a moulded string-course.
In the N. wall are three windows; the eastern
and western are each of two trefoiled ogee lights
with tracery in a square head with a moulded
external label; the middle window is of two
cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred
head, under a moulded external label with one
mask-stop; all three windows have moulded
internal splays and rear arches, and the two eastern
are patched with cement; below the internal sills
is a moulded string-course. Between the two
eastern windows is the N. doorway, with moulded
jambs and two-centred arch under a chamfered
external label. In the W. wall is a window
similar to that in the E. wall, but the internal
splays and rear arch are moulded.
The South Aisle (12 ft. wide) is entirely of the
14th century, except the 15th-century embattled
parapet and the S.W. window. It has, in the
S. wall, two windows, the eastern is of three
trefoiled ogee lights and tracery under a segmental-pointed head, with a moulded external
label which has carved animal-stops; the jambs
and head are richly moulded and part of the tracery
is modern; the 15th-century western window is
of three cinquefoiled lights under a segmental-pointed head with a moulded external label which
has one carved head-stop; the jambs are moulded
and the head is apparently modern; the eastern
light is blocked by a modern buttress. Between
the windows is the S. doorway, with moulded
jambs, two-centred arch and external label with
carved head-stops. In the W. wall is a window
of two uncusped lights with a pierced spandrel in
a two-centred head under a moulded external label;
it is of uncertain date.
The West Tower (11¼ ft. square) is of four stages,
the ground stage being divided into two internal
storeys; it has right-angled buttresses, and is
entirely of c. 1350, except the 16th-century circular
staircase of brick, and the 15th-century embattled
parapet which has carved gargoyle heads on the
N. and S. sides. The two-centred tower-arch is
of two moulded orders with a moulded label on
the E. side; the outer order is continuous and
the inner rests on moulded attached shafts with
moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is
of three cinquefoiled lights with modern tracery
in a two-centred head; the external label is
moulded and has carved head-stops; the chamfered
rear arch has a moulded label with a carved head-stop. The third stage has, at the base of the
N., S. and W. walls, two cruciform loops. The
bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window, originally
of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the E. and S. windows are much
decayed, and in the N. and W. windows the tracery
has been replaced by a plain mullion carried up
to the apex. The staircase within the N.E. angle
is entirely of brick with oak treads, and has loop
lights; the three doorways have plain oak frames.
The South Porch is of c. 1350 and has a two-centred outer archway of two moulded orders with
a moulded external label; the outer order is
continuous and the inner rests on moulded and
much damaged shafts with moulded capitals. In
the E. wall is a window of two lights under a
square head; the jambs are moulded, but the
tracery has been destroyed. In the W. wall is
a similar window, much decayed and without
The Roof of the chancel is of the trussed-rafter
type with moulded wall-plates, all of the 14th
century, partly restored. The 14th-century roof
of the S. chapel is of the trussed-rafter type,
plastered on the soffit; parts of the moulded
wall-plates are exposed. The nave roof is similar
to that of the chancel, but three tie-beams have
been inserted at a later date; at the N.E. corner
is a wall-post resting on a carved grotesque wood
corbel. The 14th-century lean-to roof of the
N. aisle has curved braces at the foot of each
rafter and a moulded wall-plate. The 15th-century lean-to roof of the S. aisle is of four bays
with moulded principals and wall-posts, at the
upper ends the principals have curved braces with
pierced spandrels resting on grostesquely carved
stone corbels; the lower ends have small curved
brackets resting on wood corbels; the remains
of the upper wall-plate are embattled. The
ceiling of the tower has a richly moulded 14th-century beam, with curved braces resting on
plain wood corbels and a moulded wall-plate.
The plain trussed-rafter roof of the S. porch has
moulded and embattled wall-plates, and is of the
Fittings—Bells: five; 1st, 3rd and 4th by
William Laud, 1624; 2nd probably by Henry
Yaxley, 1684; 5th by John Hodson, 1664; bellframe, old. Brackets: In chancel—flanking the
E. window, two, square, richly moulded and
mitreing with the string-course, 14th-century, top
of S. bracket modern. In N. aisle—on E. wall,
remains, mitreing with string-course, 14th-century.
Chest: In S. chapel—of oak, with iron bands and
strap-hinges, 17th-century. Cupboard: In S.
chapel—of oak, framed and panelled, door with
moulded muntins and strap-hinges, four plain
legs, late 16th-century. Doors: In doorway
between chancel and S. chapel—of oak, with
studded battens and strap-hinges, mediæval; in
S. doorway—of oak battens on diagonal framing,
with strap-hinges, probably 16th-century. Font:
(See Plate p. xxix) with moulded octagonal bowl
probably 15th-century, stem with ogee-headed
panels, alternately trefoiled and traceried, square
chamfered base with moulded angles, 14th-century.
Gallery: In N.W. corner of tower—of oak, on
double-chamfered beams, one supported on a
curved bracket; plain post at S.E. angle, 15th
or 16th-century. Glass: In N. aisle—in N.E.
window, fragments of diapered quarries, etc.,
14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monument: In S. chapel—in S. wall, tomb recess with
moulded and segmental-pointed arch springing
from shafted jambs with foliated capitals, label
gabled and crocketed, with foliated spandrel; on
each side of the recess a small buttress with a
crocketed pinnacle, E. pinnacle destroyed, 14th-century. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to John
Burrowes, 1694, and Thomas Burrows, 1780; (2)
to James Calthorp, 1694. Niches: External—
below E. window, with moulded jambs and cinquefoiled head with moulded label, plain pedestal,
14th-century; in each of the E. and S. buttresses
of chancel—similar to that under E. window, but
with mask-stops to label, 14th-century. In S.
chapel, W. of tomb recess, pierced at back with a
low-side window, now blocked, 14th-century.
Piscina: In chancel in E. bay of S. wall-arcade
with quatrefoil drain, 14th-century. In S. chapel—
E. of tomb recess, partly blocked by modern
fireplace, with cinquefoiled head and crocketed
and gabled label, 14th-century. Plate: includes
a cup of 1562 with a cover-paten, probably of
the same date, and a secular dish of 1630 with
repoussé ornament and two handles. Screen:
Remains (see architectural description). Sedilia:
In S. wall of chancel—in three bays of the wall-arcade W. of the piscina, 14th-century. Miscellanea: In N. aisle—Bier, with plain legs and
top with moulded edge, possibly 17th-century.
On exterior of building—six Consecration Crosses,
two flanking niche under E. window, with modern
filling. On buttresses of tower—four of same
form, roughly cut. Interior—On S. wall of tower,
foiled cross, set diagonally; on W. wall of tower—
inserted foiled cross, possibly from gable. On
E. jamb of S. doorway—circle with scratches.
In N. aisle—desk of oak with sloping top of deal
and small door in front, possibly 17th-century.
Built into tower stair-turret—carved female head,
Condition—Of chancel, good; of other stonework, much decayed.
(2). At Ivytodd's Farm, ¾ m. W.S.W. of the
(3). W. of Godd's Farm, 1 m. W.N.W. of the
(4). At Parsonage Farm, 7/8 m. N.E. of the
(5). Byeball's Farm, house and moat, ¾ m.
W.S.W. of the church. The House is of two
storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster
and weather-boarding; the roofs are tiled. It
was built early in the 17th century on a rectangular
plan, and has modern additions on the N. and
W. On the S. front the upper storey projects
and has, at the E. end, a gable with original
moulded barge-boards. The original central
chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts on a
small rectangular base; the top is modern. Inside
the building two rooms have chamfered ceilingbeams, and one room has a wide open fireplace,
partly converted into cupboards.
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, good.
(6). Godd's Farm, house and moat, nearly
1 m. W.N.W. of the church. The House is of
two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the
roof is tiled. It was built in the first half of the
17th century and is of L-shaped plan with the
wings extending towards the S. and E. The
original central chimney-stack has grouped shafts
set diagonally on a rectangular base with a moulded
capping. Inside the building two rooms have
each a chamfered ceiling-beam, and one room has
a wide open fireplace.
The Moat is rectangular, the present house
standing on the site of the N.W. arm.
Condition—Of house, good.
(7). The Howe, house and moat, nearly 1 m.
N. of the church. The House is of two storeys,
timber-framed and covered with plaster; the
roofs are tiled. The structure is modern, except
a rectangular block on the N.E. side, built in the
middle of the 17th century. It has a central
chimney-stack with four grouped shafts on a
square base with a moulded capping.
The Moat is complete.
Condition—Of house, good.
(8). Calthorp's Farm, house and moat, about
1¼ m. N.E. of the church. The House is of
two storeys, timber-framed and covered with
plaster; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the
17th century. The large chimney-stack is original,
except at the top.
The Moat is incomplete, only two sides remain.
Condition—Of house, good.
(9). House, now four tenements and a shop (see
Plate p. xxvi), 40 yards S. of the church, is
of two storeys, timber-framed and covered with
plaster; the roofs are partly tiled and partly
thatched. It was built in the 15th century with
a central Hall and Solar and Buttery wings at
the S. and N. ends. In the 17th century the
Hall was divided into two storeys and a chimney-stack inserted; a modern tenement has been
added at the back. The upper storey of the
Solar projects on the E. front. Inside the building,
the former Hall has an original roof-truss (see
P ate, p. xxxiv) with a chamfered and cambered
tie-beam, and curved chamfered braces; a moulded
oak corbel supports one of the braces; the
octagonal king-post has a moulded base and
capital with four-way struts, of which only two
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two
storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster;
the roofs are tiled or thatched. Some of the
buildings have exposed ceiling-beams, wide fireplaces and original chimney-stacks.
Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.
Main Street, W. side
(10). Cottage, two tenements, about 20 yards
N. of the church, of one storey.
(11). The Stow, house and barn, about 50 yards
N. of (10). The House is of two storeys with
attics, and was built in the second half of the 16th
century. The plan is irregular and has gabled
wings of slight projection on the E. and W. sides.
The two chimney-stacks are original, but the
shafts have been rebuilt. Inside the building, in
a room on the first floor, are moulded beams and
joists, and a large wall-plate. All the roof-timbers
are original, and there is a truss with a square
king-post set diagonally, and two curved braces
supporting the central purlin.
The Barn, adjoining the house, is of the 17th-century and of seven bays; one bay projects on
(12). The Cock Inn, 90 yards N. of (11), is of two
storeys with attics, and has modern additions at
the back. There is a gable at the N. end of the
Condition—Of attics, poor.
(13). House, two tenements, about 200 yards
N. of the church, with an 18th-century or modern
addition on the E. side. The original central
chimney-stack has diagonal shafts on a rectangular
(14). Cottage, about 100 yards S. of (13). In
front, at the S. end, the upper storey projects and is
gabled. Inside the building are three old battened
doors with strap-hinges.
(15). House, three tenements and Post Office,
20 yards E. of the church, was built late in the 16th
or early in the 17th century, on an H-shaped plan
with the cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. Later
in the 17th century a block was added at the
E. end of the S. wing. Two original chimney-stacks have grouped diagonal shafts on rectangular
bases with moulded cappings. Inside the building,
on the ground floor, a room has a moulded ceiling-beam. The upper part of the staircase, which
is in the main block, has a square newel, moulded
rails and twisted and turned balusters, all of the
second half of the 17th century.
(16). House, now a shop, about 60 yards S.E. of
the church, with later additions on the E. side.
(17). Cottage, about 80 yards E. of the church on
the N. side of the road.
(18). Cottage, about 10 yards E. of (17).
(19). Cottage, immediately E. of (18).
(20). Cottage, two tenements, about 200 yards
E.N.E. of (19), partly weather-boarded, with a
modern addition on the N. side.
(21). Cottage, two tenements, about 325 yards
E. of the church on the S. side of the road, partly
(22). Cottage, about 20 yards E. of (21), partly
(23). Cottage, two tenements, about 550 yards
N.E. of the church, on the W. side of the road, with
a modern extension at the E. end.
(24). Cottage, N. of (23), partly weather-boarded.
(25). White House, 650 yards N.N.W. of the
church, is of two storeys, with attics and cellar,
and is of irregular T-shaped plan, with the cross-wing at the N.W. end. The N.W. elevation has
three gabled dormers, each with a pendant
which has remains of shaped and pierced ends.
The original central chimney-stack has grouped
square shafts on a square base with a moulded
capping; on one side is a raised heart, said to
have contained a date. Inside the building, there
are several old richly moulded and panelled doors,
and one studded battened door with strap-hinges.
There are two original fireplaces with chamfered
jambs and three-centred arches; one fireplace has
a moulded shelf, above which is a band of plaster,
ornamented with small birds, snails, wyverns,
heads, etc. The N.E. staircase is of the second
half of the 17th century, and has square newels
with moulded ball-tops, moulded pendants, richly
moulded hand-rail, and twisted and turned balusters, many of which are missing; the plastered
soffit of the stairs has moulded carriers.
(26). Cottage, now storehouse, about 25 yards
E. of (25).
(27). Cottage, two tenements, about 25 yards
E. of (26), partly weather-boarded.
(28). Cottage, two tenements, about ¾ m. N.W.
of the church.
(29). Free Roberts Farm, house and barns, about
¾ m. N. of the church. The House is of T-shaped
plan with the cross-wing at the S.W. end, and has
a gable at the S.E. end of the S.W. front. The
original central chimney-stack has two attached
shafts set diagonally. The two Barns are partly
Condition—Of barns, poor.
(30). Joscelyn's Farm, house, about 1 m. N.N.E.
of the church.
(31). Cabbages Farm, house, 150 yards N. of
(32). Hill Farm, house, ¼ m. S. of the church, was
originally of L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the S.E. and N.E. There are
modern additions on the N.E. side. The gable
at the N.W. end of the S.W. front projects, and
has a moulded bressumer apparently not in
situ. The original central chimney-stack has
grouped shafts set diagonally, with small coped
pilasters at the angles and modern tops. Inside
the building a small cupboard has an original
(33). Gifford's Farm, house, about 1 m. W.S.W.
of the church, is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.E. end, and has a later addition at
the N.E. end, and a modern addition of stone at
the N.W. end. The original chimney-stack, partly
rebuilt, has four attached shafts set diagonally on
a rectangular base, which has plastered panels on
two sides, one bearing the date 1626.
(34). Tindon End, house and moat, nearly 1¾ m.
S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys
with attics. It was built probably in 1684, and
was originally of L-shaped plan with the wings
extending towards the W. There are extensive
modern additions at the N. and S. ends, and on the
W. side. At each end of the S.E. front is a gable.
Inside the building is an oak panel with the date
In the Garden are several worked stones, including moulded capitals and bases, jamb-stones,
etc., of the 16th century.
The Moat is incomplete.