8. BOXTED. (D.b.)
(O S. 6 in. (a)xviii. N.E. (b)xviii. S.E. (c)xix. N.W.
Boxted is a parish on the right bank of the
Stour and 5 m. N. of Colchester. The church is
a(1). Parish Church of St. Peter (Plate,
p. xxviii) stands in the N. part of the parish. The
walls are of mixed rubble, with some Roman brick
and much iron pudding-stone in the tower; the
upper part of the tower is of brick; the dressings are
of limestone and the roofs are tiled. The Chancel
and Nave are of mid 12th-century date and the West
Tower was built perhaps rather later in the same
century. In the 14th century the lateral walls of
the nave were pierced with arches, but these were
left in a rough state; the North and South Aisles
were added at the same time. About 1500 the
chancel was largely rebuilt, and in the 16th
century the upper part of the tower was rebuilt
and a stage added; the South Porch is perhaps of
the same century. The church was much altered
in the 17th and 18th centuries, and has been
restored in modern times when the S. porch was
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (24 ft.
by 17½ ft.) has the stump of an early 16th-century
gable-cross and a modern E. window. In the
N. wall are two windows of c. 1500, partly restored,
each of two cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery
in a four-centred head with a moulded label and
head-stops. In the S. wall are two windows uniform
with those in the N. wall, and between them is a
doorway of the same date, with moulded jambs,
two-centred arch and a label. The mid 12th-century chancel arch is semi-circular and of two
orders, the outer roll-moulded and the inner plain;
the responds are plain with chamfered imposts;
the former side shafts or outer order have been
removed and the N. respond has been partly cut
The Nave (41 ft. by 20 ft.) has in the E. wall
above the chancel-arch two 14th or 15th-century
windows, each of one trefoiled light; below them
is the line of the former steep-pitched roof of the
nave. The N. and S. arcades are probably of the
14th century and each have rough pointed arches
cut through the wall, three on the N. and four on
the S. side; on the N. side there are responds,
but on the S. the arches die on to the end walls.
The clearstorey has on the N. side two, and on
the S. three, windows of uncertain date and with
roughly cut rounded heads; below the windows
on the N. side are traces in the plaster of two
semi-circular rear-arches, probably of 12th-century
windows. Above the S. clearstorey is a gabled
dormer of timber, probably of the 18th century,
but much restored. On the N. side of the W. tower
are the Roman brick quoins of the 12th-century
The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) is of the 14th
century and has a partly restored E. window of
three pointed lights with plain spandrels in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two windows,
each of a single pointed light; further W. is the
N. doorway, with moulded jambs and two-centred
arch; it is now partly blocked and converted into
a window. W. of the doorway are traces, externally, of another window. In the W. wall is an
18th-century or modern window.
The South Aisle (8½ ft. wide) is of the 14th
century, and has in the E. wall a window, perhaps
originally of several lights but with all except one
converted into a square-headed two-light window;
the remaining light is trefoiled and blocked internally; the rear-arch is moulded and dies on to the
arcade wall. In the S. wall are three windows,
the eastern is of wood and set in a gabled head of
timber; the moulded lintel is dated 1604, but the
window has been much restored; the other two
windows are each of one cinquefoiled light, badly
formed, and are of the 14th century, but much
altered; the rear-arch of the eastern window is
moulded; between them is the S. doorway with
jambs of two moulded orders and a modern head.
In the W. wall is a window of one cinquefoiled
light, partly restored.
The West Tower (13½ ft. by 12½ ft.) is of four
stages internally, with an embattled brick parapet;
the top stage is also of brick and of the 16th
century; the lower part is of late 12th-century date.
In the E. wall of the ground stage is a rough
pointed doorway of brick and of 16th-century date.
It is set in the blocking of the former two-centred
tower-arch which appears in the second stage,
and is of rough rubble retaining parts of the
boarding of the original centering; it is probably
of late 12th-century date. The W. window is of
the 14th century, and of two trefoiled lights with
a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the S. wall
is a 12th-century single-light window of Roman
brick with a round head, and now blocked. The
second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls
a single-light window, probably of late 12th-century date; two of them are now blocked.
The third stage (the early bell-chamber) has in
the E., N. and W. walls a pair of late 12th-century
pointed windows, all now blocked; the S. wall
was rebuilt in the 16th century. The bell-chamber
has in each wall a reset 14th-century window,
each formerly of two cinquefoiled lights in a
two-centred head with a moulded label and
The Roof of the nave is of late 14th-century
date, and of four bays with king-post trusses,
moulded wall-plates and tie-beams and king-posts
with moulded capitals and bases. The roof of the
S. porch incorporates some old timbers.
Fittings—Bells: two, 1st by Thomas Gardiner,
1714. Chest: In N. aisle—iron-bound, with two
locks, 17th-century. Door: In tower stair-turret—of oak battens with strap-hinges, probably
17th-century. Glass: In chancel—in tracery of
S. windows, fragments of ruby and blue glass, 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments:
In chancel—on S. wall, (1) to Elizabeth (Maidstone),
wife of Nathaniel Bacon, 1628, marble tablet with a
double arch and figures of an angel, skeleton, and
shield of arms; "dedicated to ye memory of God's
great favour in her dere love, N.B." In churchyard
—(2) to Anne, wife of Thomas Goodall, 1714,
head-stone with skull and cross-bones. Floorslabs: In chancel—(1) to John Maidstone, 1672;
(2) to Mrs. Mary Havers, 1679, Maidstone Havers,
her son, 1687, and Anne, daughter of John Maidstone, 1698; (3) to John Maidstone, 1666, and
Dorothy (Maidstone), widow of Timothy Felton,
1717; (4) to Anne, daughter of John Maidstone,
1692; (5) to Robert Maidstone, 1684. In nave—
(6) to Alexander Carr, 1681, and John Marr, 1683,
servants of Awbrey, Earl of Oxford, with shields
of arms. In tower—(7) part of slab with moulded
edge, mediaeval. Niche: In nave—in E. wall,
S. of chancel-arch, tall plastered niche with round
head, probably early 16th-century. Piscina:
In chancel—with moulded jambs, cinquefoiled
head and square drain, 15th-century. Sedile:
In chancel—sill of S.E. window, carried down
to form seat.
c(2). Rivers Hall, house and moat, nearly
¾ m. E. of the church. The House is of two storeys,
timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled.
It was rebuilt probably in the 18th century and
has some ornamental plaster-work at the back,
dated 1713. One of the windows at the back has
the scratched date 1713. Inside the building
some rooms have original deal panelling.
The Moat surrounds the house.
Condition—Of house, good.
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. Many of the buildings
have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceilingbeams.
Condition—Good, or fairly good.
a(3). Cottage, 50 yards N.E. of the church,
has been almost entirely rebuilt.
a(4). Almshouses, 50 yards S.E. of the church,
have exposed timber-framing at the N. end.
a(5). Hill Farm, house, about ½ m. S.E. of the
church, was built probably late in the 16th century
with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends.
a(6). Cottage, on W. side of road, ¼ m. S.S.W.
b(7). Cottage, 300 yards S. of (6).
b(8). Cottage, on S. side of road, nearly ½ m.
S.W. of (7), has been refronted with brick.
b(9). Barrett's Farm, house, 600 yards W. of (8),
was built probably in the 16th century.
d(10). Cottage, on S. side of road, 1¼ m. S.S.E. of
c(11). Mill Basins, between Cophedge and
Ash Woods and ¾ m. E. of the church. Two basins,
a dam between them and a strong outer dam
at the N.E. end.