32. GREAT BRAXTED. (B.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxv. S.W. (b)xlv. N.W.
Great Braxted is a parish and hamlet 2½ m.
E. of Witham. The church and Tiptree Priory
are the principal monuments.
Great Braxted, the Parish Church of All Saints
b(1). Parish Church of All Saints (Plate, p. 109)
stands in Braxted Park. The walls are of septaria
mixed with flint, freestone and Roman bricks;
the dressings are of clunch and Roman bricks,
and the roofs are tiled. The Nave and the W. half
of the Chancel were built early in the 12th century
when the church probably terminated eastwards
in an apse. Early in the 13th century this apse
was removed and the chancel extended to its
present length; shortly afterwards the West
Tower was added but it is doubtful whether it
was ever completed. The South Porch was added
in the 15th century. The church was restored in
the 19th century when the North Chapel and
Vestry were added, the chancel-arch rebuilt and
the timber belfry and spire probably renewed.
The coursed rubble walling of the chancel is
Architectural Description—The Chancel (32 ft.
by 16½ ft.) has in the E. wall three 13th-century
lancet windows, almost entirely modern externally.
There is a break in the N. and S. walls of the chancel
showing the junction of the 12th and 13th-century
work; the 12th-century work shows traces of an
inward curvature at this point suggesting the
spring of a former apse; this is most apparent
in the N. wall; the 12th-century walls are of
coursed rubble and on the N. side have regular
courses of tufa and Roman tiles, two courses
being set herring-bone-wise. In the N. wall are
three windows, the two eastern are 13th-century
lancets both partly restored; the westernmost
window is of early 12th-century date and with a
round head of tufa. In the S. wall are four
windows of which the three eastern are 13th-century lancets completely restored externally;
the westernmost window is in two divisions, the
upper a lancet light and the lower a square-headed
'low-side' window, much restored externally,
both are probably of the 13th century; W. of
the second window are the external jambs of a
13th-century doorway, now blocked. E. of the
easternmost window on each side are the socket
holes for a beam formerly across the chancel. The
chancel-arch is modern.
The Nave (38 ft. by 20 ft.) has S. quoins of
Roman brick and a plastered N. wall. In the
N. wall is a modern arch and two windows, the
eastern window is of the 12th century but widened
and altered in the 17th or 18th century; the
western window is modern as is the doorway E.
of it; high in the wall a round patch probably
indicates a former round window like those in the
S. wall. In the S. wall are three completely restored
windows in the lower range, except the 14th-century splays and rear-arch of the middle window;
in the upper range are two round and sexfoiled
windows probably of the 14th century but with
modern jambs; around the eastern the jambs and
round head of a 12th-century window are indicated
internally; above the second window of the
lower range is the Roman brick head of another
12th-century window. The 14th-century S. doorway has jambs and two-centred arch of two orders,
the inner modern and the outer chamfered.
The West Tower (12 ft. by 14 ft.) rises as high as
the nave and is surmounted by a timber bellturret and spire. Between the two modern W.
buttresses is sprung a segmental-pointed arch of
which the chamfered outer order appears to be
of the 13th century. The 13th-century tower-arch
is two-centred and of one chamfered order. In
both the N. and S. walls is a 13th-century lancet
window. The W. window is modern.
The South Porch has a 15th-century outer
archway, two-centred and of two moulded orders,
the outer continuous and the inner resting on
attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases;
the label is moulded. The side walls have each a
15th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights
in a square head with a chamfered label.
The Roof of the chancel is probably of the
17th century towards the E. and of the 15th
century towards the W.; both parts are of the
trussed collar-beam type and ceiled; the W.
part has moulded wall-plates. The late 15th or
early 16th-century roof of the nave is much
restored and has three king-post trusses with
moulded and embattled tie-beams with curved
braces, traceried spandrels and half-angels at
the point of junction; the curved principals and
the central purlin are moulded. The 15th-century
roof of the S. porch has moulded and embattled
tie-beams with curved braces forming four-centred
arches, king-posts, wall-posts, moulded brackets
and carved stone corbels, two with angels and
two with faces; the wall-plates are moulded and
Fittings — Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In tower — to Robert Aylett, LL.D.,
1654, tablet with emblems of mortality and two
shields of arms. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to
Richard Milward, D.D., 1680, canon of Windsor
and rector of the parish, with shield of arms;
(2) to Anthony Carew, 1705, now covered by
pulpit. Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, large
with rebated jambs and two-centred head, slots
for wooden shelf, 13th-century. Panelling: In
chancel—dado of moulded panelling, with fluted
frieze, early 17th-century, brought from elsewhere.
Piscina: In chancel—with corbelled head and
shelf in E. jamb, round drain, 13th-century,
enlarged in the 16th century. Plate: includes a
cup of 1562, an Elizabethan cover-paten, cover-paten of 1711, a flagon of 1660 and an alms-dish
of 1646. Sedile: In chancel—plain recess with
two-centred arch, possibly 13th-century. Sundial:
On jamb of S.W. window of chancel, incised and
much worn. Miscellanea: Incorporated in modern
chancel furniture, part of 17th-century table with
c(2). Tiptree Priory (Plate, p. 234), house,
about 1½ m. E.S.E. of the church, is of three
storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are
tiled. It stands on the site of a small priory of
Austin Canons, founded in the 12th century, and
dedicated to St. Mary and St. Nicholas. The only
remaining portion of this structure is a rubble wall
extending to the E. of the existing house, but the
lay-out of the house may have followed the lines
of the N., E. and W. sides of the canons' cloister.
The house was built c. 1570 and then consisted of
a main block, lying E. and W., and of which the
western half is still standing, and probably two
wings projecting towards the S. from either end
of the main building; these wings have both been
destroyed. At the N.W. angle is a projecting
turret added c. 1600, and there are later and modern
additions at the back.
The S. Front has two ranges of four-light transomed windows with moulded labels and dressings
of plaster, five windows in each range; of these
the four easternmost of each range are original and
the other two are old windows reset, as this end
of the wall was covered by the former W. wing.
The fourth window from the E. on the ground
floor has been partly blocked and a doorway with
chamfered jambs and three-centred head inserted
in the opening. Below the westernmost window
are traces of a former doorway and the lines of
the former gabled roof of the W. wing remain on
the wall at the first floor level. Adjoining the S.E.
angle of the house and in continuation of the front
is a doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred
arch, surmounted by a moulded pediment springing
from small brackets; this feature was no doubt
the main entrance to the house before the destruction of the E. part of the main block and seems to
indicate that the Great Hall occupied the portion
The W. End is of three storeys and there are
lines indicating the original gable which has been
heightened. The main block has three windows of
similar character to those on the S. front but
of varying sizes. A joint indicates the addition of
the later turret on the N. side; this turret is semi-octagonal on plan and has three two-light windows
on the W. side, the two lower being each surmounted by a cornice.
The E. end was formerly an internal wall and
has reset in it three windows of similar character
to those on the S. front. The space to the E. of
the existing house was probably occupied by the
Great Hall and is bounded on the N. by a rubble
wall probably of mediaeval date; in it is a large
16th-century fireplace, with moulded jambs and
Inside the building the existing divisions are
probably mostly modern but the middle room on
the ground floor has a wide fireplace, partly filled
in, and to the E. of it is a long closet. The upper
windows have each an iron casement with an
The garden S. of the house is enclosed on the
E. and W. sides by brick walls, that on the W. is
bonded into the house and adjoining it a length
of 40 ft. of rebuilt wall may indicate the dimensions of the destroyed W. wing.
b(3). Cottage, two tenements, on the N. side of
the village, and 1 m. S.E. of the church, is of two
storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs
are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century,
and has an original central chimney-stack with
grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building the
ceiling-beams are exposed.
b(4). Cottage, about 1½ m. S.S.E. of the church,
is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered;
the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the
17th century and has exposed ceiling-beams.
b(5). Noaks Cross Farm, house, 1,050 yards S.E.
of the church, is of two storeys, partly timberframed and plastered and partly of brick; the
roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th
century on an L-shaped plan with the wings
extending towards the S. and W. In the N. wall
is an original window of brick with moulded
jambs and mullions and now blocked. A window
on the first floor has part of the corbels of a former
bay-window, carved with foliage. Inside the
building is a late 17th-century panelled door and
some exposed ceiling-beams.
a(6). Greenleaf Cottage, three tenements,
about 1¼ m. N.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys,
timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled.
It was built probably early in the 17th century
and has exposed ceiling-beams of that date.