37. HALSTEAD RURAL. (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xvi. S.E. (b)xvii. S.W. (c)xxv. N.E.
Halstead Rural is a civil parish surrounding the
urban parish of Halstead. The principal monuments are Stanstead Hall, Gladfen Hall, and
b (1). Stanstead Hall, house, foundations, barn
and moat nearly 1½ m. S.S.E. of Halstead parish
church (see Plate, p. xxiv). The House is of two
storeys with attics and cellar, and the walls are of
brick with imitation dressings of plaster; the roofs
are tiled. It was built early in the 16th century,
and is part of a larger building, of which only a long
rectangular range remains; originally there was a
wing at the W. end of the N. front. At the W. end
of the house, and at the W. end of the S. side, are
The N. Front has a plinth of moulded brick, two
string-courses dividing the storeys, and three
curvilinear gables. On each floor the original
windows are of brick, covered with plaster, partly
modern, and of two and three lights, with moulded
jambs and four-centred arches under square heads
with moulded labels; on the first floor the windows
have transoms. The doorway has 16th-century
jambs of moulded clunch, a four-centred arch with
a modern keystone, and an original door with
moulded fillets, all re-set; W. of it are traces of an
original doorway, now blocked; at the W. end of
the front are two original doorways with four-centred arches, now blocked, which opened into
the former wing. On the S. Elevation are three
original projecting chimney-stacks with octagonal
shafts; between the two western stacks is an
original gard-robe, now a staircase; re-set in the
gable is a 16th-century window of three lights with
four-centred heads. W. of the modern wing and
partly covered by it is a similar original window.
The E. End of the main block has at each angle an
octagonal turret with modern tops and finials;
the curvilinear gable between the turrets is modern.
The W. End has apparently been rebuilt.
Interior.—On the ground floor the room at the
E. end of the main block, probably the kitchen,
has two original fireplaces side by side, each with
a four-centred head and stop-chamfered jambs.
The next room has exposed beams in the ceiling
and in two of the walls; the modern fireplace is
flanked by early 16th-century moulded posts, said
to have been brought from Norwich; there is an
original panelled door leading to the cellar stairs.
The entrance-hall has heavy ceiling-beams and is
lined with late 16th or early 17th-century panelling
brought from a room on the first floor; a cupboard
door has late 16th-century cock's-head hinges;
two windows in the N. wall have eleven original
quarries with flower and foliage-designs; they were
found in the S.W. window on the first floor when it
was unblocked. In the room W. of the hall, in the
E. partition wall, are traces of an original doorway,
now blocked. On the first floor, in the staircase
wing, is an original doorway with a four-centred
head; and another original doorway has moulded
jambs and a four-centred arch in a square head
with sunk spandrels; in it is an original battened
door. The E. room has a dado of late 16th or
early 17th-century panelling, said to have been
brought from the destroyed wing.
Foundations, N. of the house, indicate the former
existence of the N. wing, and, further towards the
E., of a small building of uncertain date with thick
walls of flint and pebble rubble. A number of
worked stones have been dug up near the house;
they include a stone of a 15th or early 16th-century
window jamb, pieces of chamfered mullions and
sills, and the Purbeck marble capital of a small
shaft of late 13th-century date. The stones are
now lying loose on the ground N.W. of the house.
The Barn, S. of the house, is of eleven bays with
aisles. The walls are timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roof is tiled. It was built probably
in the 15th century. In the roof are original
king-post trusses somewhat damaged and restored.
The Moat is complete, and has remains of brick
revetments; there are also remains of a bridge on
the E. side.
Condition—Of house and barn, good.
d (2). Clavering's Farm, house, and moat,
2½ m. S. of the parish church. The House is of
two storeys; the walls are of plastered timberframing; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably
in the 17th century, but was much altered in
the 18th or 19th century. Inside the building,
one room has exposed ceiling-beams, and the
doorway to the staircase has a door of original
The Moat is complete.
Condition—Of house, good.
a (3). Gladfen Hall, about 1½ m. S.S.W. of
the parish church, is of two storeys; the walls are
of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It
was built late in the 16th century, apparently on a
rectangular plan with a small staircase wing in the
middle of the E. side. Early in the 17th century
a rectangular block was added at the E. end, but
it has been reduced in size and has modern
additions on the N. side, at the E. end, and at the
W. end of the S. side. The original chimney-stack
has two hexagonal shafts with square caps and
moulded bases on a rectangular base with a
moulded capping. Inside the building in both the
old blocks are chamfered ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, except the original chimney-stack, which is to be rebuilt.
b (4). Bluebridge House, and outbuilding,
1 m. S.E. of the parish church. The House is of
two storeys with attics and cellars; the walls are
partly of brick and partly of plastered timberframing; the roofs are tiled. The present structure, built in 1714, incorporates the remains of a
building apparently of early 17th-century date.
The porch is probably of the 18th century, and
there are modern additions on the E. side and at
the S. end.
The W. Front is of red and blue brick, and is
divided by narrow brick pilasters into three bays,
the middle bay being about half the width of the
side bays. There is a plain string-course between
the storeys, and a modern cornice. Over the
porch is a panel bearing the arms of the Butchers'
Company carved in relief, the date 1714, and the
name John Morley. The windows have early
18th-century sash-frames nearly flush with the
The N. and S. Elevations, also of brick, have
each two modern gables. In the middle of the
S. elevation is an early 18th-century doorway with
a moulded wooden hood surmounted by a pediment.
The E. Elevation is almost entirely of plastered
timber-framing of the 17th century.
Interior—The N.W. room on the ground floor
has two intersecting ceiling-beams and a cornice
which is returned round them; the walls are
covered with early 18th-century painted deal
panelling. Another room is lined with early 17th-century panelling re-set, and a cupboard near the
central chimney-stack has an early 17th-century
panelled door. The staircase is of early 18th-century date; it has widely spaced twisted balusters
with a moulded handrail and string; some of the
balusters are missing and the newels appear to be
modern. On both floors the rooms E. of the
central chimney-stack are apparently of the 17th
century, and have chamfered ceiling-beams.
Under the S.W. room on the ground floor is a
cellar, also probably part of the earlier building.
On the first floor are two 17th-century panelled
doors, one with original hinges; and in a cupboard
is some panelling of the same date. Preserved in
the house are six panels made up of fragments of
stained glass of various dates, including:—shields
or cartouches of the arms of Winthorp impaling
Clopton (differenced); Symonds; Symonds impaling Elliott and Symonds impaling Quarles; all
early 17th-century; also crowned Tudor rose, and
crowned fleur de lis, both with the initials E.R.,
late 16th-century; another fragment with arms;
also fragments of figures, including that of St.
Paul, late 15th-century.
The low brick Wall dividing the front garden
from the road was built probably in 1714. It is
surmounted by a fine wrought-iron railing, and in
the middle is an iron gate with the initials J. M.
(John Morley). Flanking the steps at the entrance
are two carved marble consoles, said to be of
The Outbuilding, S.W. of the house, is of two
storeys with attics; the walls are of red brick with
some diaper work in purple brick. It was built
probably in 1714.
Condition—Of house, outbuilding and wall, good.
The following monuments, if not 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 exposed ceiling-beams, wide fireplaces and
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
b (5). Dungeon Farm, house, 800 yards S.E. of
Stanstead Hall, is of half-H-shaped plan with the
wings extending towards the S. The middle block
was built in the 15th century and apparently
consisted of a large Hall; the wings were added
in the 16th century, and in the 17th century a
chimney-stack and partitions were inserted in the
The 17th-century open fireplace, with fine
wrought-iron crane and hook is of interest.
On the S. and W. Elevations is some modern
weather-boarding and brick. Inside the building,
on the ground floor, the 17th-century chimney
retains the wide open fireplace with the original
ornamental crane and hook of wrought iron. In the
W. wall of the W. wing is a 16th-century window,
now blocked, of five lights with diamond-shaped
mullions. On the first floor are two 17th-century
d (6). Cottage, now three tenements, ½ m. S.S.W.
of Stanstead Hall, with a modern addition at the
N.E. end. At the S.W. end the upper storey
projects and is supported by exposed joists.
d (7). House, now four tenements, on the W. side
of the road, ¾ m. S.S.W. of Stanstead Hall, was
built late in the 16th century, on a rectangular plan
with a small projection at the N. end of the W. side.
At the back are modern additions. On the E.
front are three projecting gables supported by two
shaped brackets and a bressumer with remains
of a moulded fascia; the gables have original
moulded barge-boards; at the apex of the middle
gable is a much weathered pendant. Inside the
building, in the W. wall, of the first floor, is an
original window, with a moulded mullion, now
blocked. In the S. tenement is an original door,
and in the middle tenement a piece of old panelling,
d (8). Rivenshall Farm, house, 200 yards W. of
(7), was built early in the 16th century on an
L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards
the W. and N. On the N. side and at the W. end
of the W. wing are modern additions. The two
original chimney-stacks have attached octagonal
shafts. On the E. elevation are two 17th-century
windows each of three transomed lights with metal
casements. Inside the building, on the ground
floor, in the S.W. room one of the ceiling-beams
is supported by an octagonal wall-post standing
on a stone base; the octagonal capital and base
are moulded, the top member of the capital has
been nailed on and does not appear to be original;
in the W. wall is an original window, now blocked,
of six lights with moulded jambs and mullions;
the fireplace is original and has chamfered jambs
and a three-centred arch under a square head.
Under the W. staircase is a cupboard with a 17th-century door. On the first floor, in the W. room
is an original window, now blocked, of similar
detail to the blocked window on the ground floor.
d (9). Pitt's Farm, cottage, at Burton's Green,
¾ m. S.E. of (8), with a modern addition at the E.
c (10). Plaistow Green Farm, cottage, at Plaistow
Green, ¼ m. S.W. of (3), is of two storeys with
cellars. It was built early in the 16th century; at
the S.W. end is a 17th-century chimney-stack
and at the back is a modern addition. On the
N.W. front the upper storey projects, and has
curved brackets. Inside the building, on the
ground floor, one side of the S.W. room has an
original moulded wall-plate. In the S.E. wall of
the N.E. room is an original doorway, with a
four-centred head, now blocked; in the N.E.
wall are two small original recesses with four-centred heads.
c (11). Simnel's Farm, house, 800 yards W.S.W.
of (10), is of two storeys with attics. The original
plan has been obscured by 18th and 19th-century
a (12). Highwood's Farm, house, 1¼ m. N.N.W.
of (11), was built c. 1600 on a T-shaped plan
with the cross-wing at the N.E. end; there are
extensive 18th-century and modern additions on
the S.E. and N.W. sides.
b (13). Snowden Fen, house, now two tenements,
½ m. E. of the parish church, has been re-fronted
with modern brick.
The Colchester Road, S.W. side
b (14). The King's Head Inn, ½ m. E.S.E. of the
parish church. The S.W. corner, probably originally the kitchen, is of one storey.
b (15). Brickbarn Farm, house, now two tenements, and barn, ¼ m. S.E. of (14). The House
is of two storeys with cellar and attics. It was
built early in the 17th century, on a rectangular
plan with a slight projection at the N.W. end of the
N.E. front; later in the same century a wing
was built at the N.W. end of the S.W. side. In
the 18th century another wing was added at the
S.E. end of the same side, and has modern additions.
The projection on the N.E. front is gabled. The
original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal
shafts partly rebuilt.
Inside the building, on the ground floor, the E.
room has original moulded ceiling-beams. There
are two original panelled doors; one of them was
formerly external, and has six panels surmounted
by an ogee-headed panel in a square head; the
two fine wrought-iron hinges have heads of
fleur de lis form. Near the staircase in the
S.E. tenement is a piece of original panelling;
at the head of the staircase is an original window,
of three lights with moulded mullions, now
blocked. At the head of the staircase to the
attic is a similar window of two lights, also
The Barn, N.W. of the house, is of red and blue
brick, built early in the 18th century. It is of five
bays, and the middle bay projects towards the
S.W. The walls have a plinth, and slightly
projecting pilasters at the angles and along the
side walls marking the bays. Inside the building
the tie-beams are supported by wall-posts resting
Condition—Some cracks in the walls of the barn.