A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1966.
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THE ABBEY BUILDINGS. (fn. 1)
The buildings of Barking Abbey lay north-west of the parish church. (fn. 2) The abbey church and cloister were demolished in 1541–2. Some of the materials were removed to Dartford and Greenwich (Kent) for the king's use there, while others were probably used in building the outer north chapel of the parish church. The destruction of the remaining buildings was probably more gradual, but was virtually complete by 1653. (fn. 3) In 1724 the site of the church was excavated by Smart Lethieullier, who produced two plans, both inaccurate. About 1874 Joshua King, master of the Church school in Back Lane, excavated the lady chapel, which lay in his garden. (fn. 4) By that time much of the site of the church had been dug out for gravel. In 1910 Barking Urban District Council, which had bought the abbey site for use as a recreation ground, made a new road (Abbey Road) across its western side. The discovery, during this work, of the main sewer of the abbey, led to a full excavation in 1911 by (Sir) Alfred Clapham, after which the lines of missing walls were laid out in stone. (fn. 5) Nothing now remains except part of the south and east walls of the church, the foundations or lower walls of some of the buildings, and the graveyard gate, now called the Fire Bell Gate.
Little is known of the original buildings of the abbey, founded about A.D. 666. Bede's references to the 'narrowness' of the site suggests that the present site, which does not fit this description, is not the original one. The church was dedicated to St. Mary, and the nuns' graveyard lay west of it. The abbey was probably rebuilt in the 12th century, under a succession of powerful abbesses. After the rebuilding the church consisted of an aisled nave with two west towers, short transepts with apsidal chapels on their eastern sides, crossing tower, presbytery with an apsidal end, and aisles also ending in apses. The west towers, though rectangular in plan, were described in 1541 as 'round towers': possibly their upper stages were circular or octagonal. Early in the 13th century the church was extended to the east by the addition of a saints' chapel and a smaller lady chapel projecting beyond it. These extensions appear to have been completed under abbess Mabel de Boseham (1215–47) in whose time the church was dedicated. The saints' chapel probably contained the shrines of St. Ethelburga, first abbess and sister of the founder, and perhaps also those of her successors St. Hildelitha and St. Wlfhildis. Interments discovered in the lady chapel suggest that this was the chapel of Notre Dame de Salut, where several abbesses are known to have been buried. The total length of the church after these 13th-century alterations was 337 ft., which was exceeded in Essex only at Waltham Abbey.
The conventual buildings lay north of the church, with the dorter on the west of the cloister, the frater on the north, and the chapter house and infirmary on the east. They were all of the 12th century except for those north of the chapter house which dated from the 13th century, and the infirmary chapel, rebuilt in the 15th century. About half the site of the infirmary lies under the school play-ground and could not be excavated in 1911. West of the church were found traces of other buildings, the purpose of which is not clear.
The abbey precinct was bounded on the west by the Roding and on the east by a wall on Back Lane and North Street. The line of the northern boundary is not certainly known, but a map of 1653 shows that the abbey lands extended well to the north of the present London Road. (fn. 6) The southern boundary, which is quite clear on that map, ran from the Roding to Back Lane on the line of the present south wall of the churchyard. The parish church thus lay within the precinct, and the parishioners then as now, gained access to it from the east, by what is now called the Fire Bell Gate. This gate (fn. 7) is first mentioned in 1400, when the rood-loft chapel above it, then a popular place of pilgrimage, was licensed for divine services. A little later, under abbess Katherine de la Pole (1433–73) it was used as the parochial belfry before the erection of the present west tower. In 1450 there was a dispute between the abbess and Robert Osborne of Dagenhams, (fn. 8) who had a tenement in the churchyard, concerning the keeping of the keys of this gate, then called the Town Gate. The gate was rebuilt about 1460. In 1894–5 it was restored and the rood-loft chapel was re-dedicated. (fn. 9) In the east wall of the chapel is a 12th- or early-13th-century stone rood with figures of the Virgin and St. John. (fn. 10) North of the gate are remains of the former precinct wall. The present name of the gate goes back to the 18th century. (fn. 11)
The Great Gate of the abbey, also mentioned in 1450, was probably on the south-west of the precinct, near the town wharf, where the abbess had two flights of stairs. (fn. 12) There was another gate in North Street, about 350 ft. north of the Fire Bell Gate. Immediately before its demolition in 1881 (fn. 13) this consisted of a four-centred archway only, but a drawing of 1722 shows it as closely resembling the Fire Bell Gate, with two stories and battlements. The upper story was probably the chapel of St. Nicholas, which certainly lay in North Street, within the abbey. (fn. 14)
There were several chantries in the abbey. One, at the tomb of St. Ethelburga, was partly transferred, after the Dissolution, to the parish church. (fn. 15) A second was at the altar of the Resurrection in the abbey church. (fn. 16) A third, dedicated to St. Edward, was in the graveyard. (fn. 17) Thomas Sampkyn's chantry was probably in the abbey, and may have been identical with one of the preceding. In 1535 it had two priests and an income of £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 18)
Many fragments of carved stone and other finds from the abbey site are preserved in the parish church. Part of the shaft of a Saxon cross, the only relic of the pre-Conquest abbey, is in the niche in the north-east pier of the tower. A stone slab with the figure of Martin, vicar of Barking (1328) is in the chancel, and a brass to Richard Malet (1485), chaplain of Sampkyn's chantry, is in the inner north aisle. (fn. 19)
CHURCHES FOUNDED BEFORE 1830.
The architecture of the parish church of St. Margaret, described below, suggests that it was built in or before the 13th century. It is said to have been at first a chapel, and to have been made a parish church about 1300 by abbess Anne de Vere. (fn. 20) St. Margaret's stood within the abbey precincts, and even after the 13th century was to some extent controlled by the abbey. Between 1358 and 1376 it was ordained that the vicars and parishioners should attend service every year at the abbey church on its dedication day (13 July). (fn. 21)
In 1254 the rectory of Barking was held by the abbey, and there were two vicarages, called 'Northstrete' and 'Southstrete'. (fn. 22) In the 14th century each vicarage was held by a separate incumbent: the 'northern' vicar, whose income presumably came from the Ilford area, served the parish church, while the 'southern' vicar served the abbey church. (fn. 23) At the end of the 14th century financial difficulties, caused by disastrous floods, made it impossible to maintain the southern vicar, and the abbey therefore obtained a papal licence to amalgamate the two vicarages. (fn. 24) The last southern vicar was instituted in 1393 and the last of the north in 1395: from 1398 there was a single vicar for the whole parish. The new arrangements were not made without difficulty. In 1395 the abbess was ordered to accept the judgment of the bishop with regard to the 'strife and debate' between her and the parishioners of Barking. (fn. 25) The reason for the controversy is not specified, but it was probably connected with the amalgamation. It seems to have been a condition of the amalgamation that the vicar of the consolidated benefice should provide a priest to say Mass in the abbey church. In 1414 he was refusing to discharge this obligation, and the abbey successfully appealed to Rome for an order compelling him to do so. (fn. 26)
In 1452, after several disputes between the abbess and the vicar, an award was made by the Archbishop of Canterbury: instead of a hog, a goose, a cheese, and a lamb, which the vicar had previously received from the abbess, he and his successors were to have three yards of cloth and provision every day at the convent for himself and his servant, so long as he was not litigious or contentious. He was to have no familiarity with the nuns without permission from the abbess or her deputy; at the first offence he was to forfeit his diet for a week, at the second for a month, and at the third he was to be excluded from the convent for life, unless pardoned by the abbess. He was to be satisfied with the profits of the vicarage. The corrody thus allotted was commuted in 1536 for a pension of £10 a year. The vicar had found that his duties prevented regular attendance at the usual meal times at the abbey. (fn. 27)
Before 1454 the abbey exercised, or claimed, probate jurisdiction over laymen dying within the abbey precincts and all abbey servants within the manor of Barking, but in that year the abbess surrendered the right to the Bishop of London, retaining jurisdiction only over servants dying in the convent, unmarried, and having no lands or houses outside its precincts. In 1457 the prioress and nuns protested against this decision, but evidently without success. (fn. 28) Details have survived of a few wills proved before the abbess's commissary between 1453 and 1534. (fn. 29)
The rectory and advowson of the vicarage remained in the possession of the abbey until the Dissolution, when they passed to the Crown. Most of the tithes had been alienated from the rectory before then. (fn. 30) In 1540 Henry VIII leased the rectory to Mary Blackenhall, widow, for 21 years. (fn. 31) In 1550 Edward VI granted the rectory and advowson to Robert Thomas and Andrew Salter, both of London, who in the same month sold them to Thomas Barnes, lord of Newbury. (fn. 32) In 1557 the executors of William Pownsett of Loxford bought the rectory and advowson from Barnes out of Pownsett's estate, and gave them to All Souls College, Oxford. (fn. 33) It was stipulated that All Souls should allow the vicar to have the income from the rectory on the following conditions: the vicar was to pray every Sunday for the souls of Pownsett, his parents and benefactors, and for all Christian souls, and was to keep Pownsett's obit on 8 March each year, when he was also to distribute 6s. 8d. among 20 poor people; he was to pay the college £6 13s. 4d. a year to maintain two poor scholars; and he was not to be absent for more than 80 days in any year, on pain of forfeiting £7. (fn. 34) At the next vacancy, in 1560, All Souls presented (fn. 35) but at the following vacancy, in 1583, the Crown contested the right of presentation, probably because of the 'superstitious uses' attached to the grant of 1557. (fn. 36) The College failed to present and in 1585 the Crown presented Edward Edgeworth, the chaplain of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, by lapse. (fn. 37) All Souls is said to have regained the advowson by a lawsuit, and in 1586 the grant of 1557 was confirmed by Sir John Petre, son of Pownsett's last surviving executor. (fn. 38) In 1587 Edgeworth was ejected from the vicarage, probably for his failure to pay first fruits, and All Souls presented again. (fn. 39) In 1594 Sir John Petre again confirmed the grant of 1557, omitting the injunctions relating to prayers for the dead. (fn. 40) Since then the college has continued to hold the advowson.
The rectory of Barking was valued at £70 in 1254 and £33 6s. 8d. in 1291. (fn. 41) Mary Blackenhall, to whom it was leased in 1540, paid an annual rent of £10, which was said to be the value of the rectory when it was sold by the Crown in 1550. (fn. 42) By 1540 most of the great tithes had clearly been alienated from the rectory. Some had been detached long before. Ilford Hospital, founded in the 12th century by Adeliza, Abbess of Barking, is said to have been endowed with half the profits of the parish church of Barking, and in 1219 received a further grant of tithes from Wyfields, Claybury, Dagenhams, and some other lands. (fn. 43) In 1504 the hospital held the tithes from Eastbury, Westbury, and Loxford, and part of those from Dagenhams, Claybury, and Wyfields. (fn. 44) In 1847 it had all the tithes from 1,467 a. in the ancient parish, the great tithes from another 16 a., and the small tithes from 124 a. All these tithes were then commuted for £633. (fn. 45)
The tithes owned by the hospital were probably not the only ones alienated before 1540. A document compiled about 1500, and consisting of extracts, relating to tithes, from Barking court rolls of 1349–1469, mentions a dispute over tithes in 1450 between Ilford Hospital and the manor of Emelingbury, and to another in 1469 between the manors of Gayshams and Westbury. Other entries record the appointment of tithe collectors for the above manors, and also for Eastbury, Loxford, and Newbury. (fn. 46) All these manors were demesne tenements of the abbey and it seems likely that during the Middle Ages it became the custom for the tenant of each to enjoy the great tithes from his own district, or tithing — an area larger than the demesne tenement, but not in every case including the tenement itself. Even if this was not so before the Dissolution there is no doubt that after that time the new owners of all or most of the demesne tenements that have been mentioned were also tithe owners. This is seen most clearly from the tithe award of 1847. (fn. 47) The owners of Eastbury manor then possessed the great tithes from 1,613 a. in Eastbury tithing, which were commuted for £402. The owners of Gayshams manor held the great tithes from 2,372 a. in Gayshams tithing, and also great and small tithes from the 309 a. which comprised the demesne of the manor; the total value at commutation was £722. The owner of Newbury manor held the great tithes of 1,293 a. in Newbury tithing, and all the tithes from the 264 a. of his demesne; the total value was £300. The great tithes of 1,052 a. in Westbury tithing, valued at £95, were owned by William Murray as executor of James Cuff, who had not been the owner of Westbury manor. The owners of the Aldborough Hatch and Bunting Bridge estate held all the tithes, worth £9, from the 193 a. of their demesne, and the owner of Stone Hall manor had the great tithes, worth £35, from the 142 a. of his demesne. For most of these tithes there is evidence, going back to the 16th century, in the documents which have been quoted in the accounts of the manors. Thus, for example, tithes are mentioned among the possessions of Sir William Denham (d. 1548), owner of Eastbury, Gayshams, Stonehall, and Westbury. (fn. 48) The owners of Westbury manor were still holding tithes in 1706. (fn. 49)
In 1254 the vicarage of Barking 'Southstrete' was valued at 9 marks, and that of 'Northstrete' at 8 marks. (fn. 50) In 1291 Northstrete was valued at £5 but no figure was given for Southstrete. (fn. 51) In 1452 the vicar's gross income, given in detail, was £30 18s. 4d. (fn. 52) Personal tithes, the only kind mentioned, were worth £13 6s., and were the largest single source of income. The vicar's expenses amounted to £3 13s. 2d., including a payment of £2 to Ilford Hospital. The net value of the vicarage was thus £27 5s. 2d. In 1535 the value appears to have been £29 13s. 4d. (fn. 53) By a decree of 1561, the value of the vicarage was reduced to no more than £9 8s. 10d., and by a decree of 1592 it was fixed at £19 8s. 9d. (fn. 54) The reason for these variations is not clear. In any case the figures of 1561 and 1592 cannot have included the income from the rectory, to which the vicar was entitled under the grant of 1557. In 1650 the 'vicarage house and the small tithes thereunto belonging' were said to be worth £100 a year. (fn. 55) The average gross income of the vicarage for the three years 1829–31 was £1,428; permanent charges averaged £231, and the average net income was thus £1,197. (fn. 56) When the parish of Barking was divided in 1830 it was laid down that in future the vicar of Barking was to have the glebe and 5/9 of the tithes, and the vicar of Great Ilford the remaining 4/9. (fn. 57) This took effect in 1836, on the death of the last vicar of the ancient parish. (fn. 58) In 1847 the vicar of Barking had 7 a. glebe, great and small tithes from 746 a., and small tithes from 2,346 a., worth £822 in all. (fn. 59)
During the Middle Ages the vicars of Barking probably lodged within the abbey precincts. Later there was a vicarage house in East Street, near the Fire Bell Gate. (fn. 60) This was probably the building which in 1683 was let to two tenants, and was in need of repair. (fn. 61) Dr. Ralph Freeman, Fellow of All Souls, by his will dated 1771, left £2,000 in trust for repairing or rebuilding the vicarage. Christopher Musgrave, vicar 1762–80, spent part of this money on repairs to the existing vicarage, but in 1786 his successor, Peter Rashleigh, obtained statutory powers to use the remainder of the bequest to build a house on a new site, north of Ripple Road. This, the present vicarage, was completed in 1794. (fn. 62) During its erection Fulks House, in North Street, appears to have been used as a temporary vicarage. The old vicarage in East Street, which had a weather-boarded front and bay windows, was demolished in 1935. (fn. 63) The present house, which stands at the north end of Vicarage Drive, is a square three-story building of brown stock brick. The entrance front has a pedimented gable, and the round-headed doorway and flanking windows are set in arched recesses.
A chantry with two priests, founded by Sybil de Felton, Abbess of Barking 1393–1419, was originally in the abbey church, at the tomb of St. Ethelburga, and had an annual income of £14 13s. 4d. In 1549 this still existed, with one priest and an income of £7 6s. 8d.; presumably half the endowment had been transferred at the Dissolution to the parish church. (fn. 64) Several other chantries, said to have been in the parish church, were probably in the abbey from first to last, since they do not appear in the chantry certificates. (fn. 65)
John Gregyll, vicar 1524–60, was imprisoned for a short time in 1559 as a suspected papist. (fn. 66) In 1579 there was an assistant curate, Horton, who was accused before the archdeacon's court of being a 'disquiet parson' and of allowing children to act as godfathers and godmothers. (fn. 67) In the early 17th century Puritanism was strong in the parish. In 1616 a man was prosecuted for morris dancing on Sunday, (fn. 68) and in 1638 the archdeacon found it necessary to order that the communion table in the church should be set close to the wall, and the seats around it removed. (fn. 69) During the civil war Barking formed part of the Presbyterian classis of Becontree and Havering. (fn. 70) In 1642 the parishioners petitioned Parliament that John Bowyer might be appointed as Sunday afternoon lecturer. The vicar, Richard Hall, was accordingly ordered to allow Bowyer to officiate. (fn. 71) In 1645 charges were brought against Hall before the Committee for Plundered Ministers, and it was ordered that Peter Witham should serve the cure of Barking under Hall, who was to pay him £100 a year. Financially at least this was tantamount to sequestration, since £100 was the total income of the vicar. (fn. 72) Witham had left before the end of 1646, and Hall brought in Jeffrey Sharpe to take his place. Sharpe had already been expelled from a lectureship in London, and after further proceedings in 1646–7 the committee expelled him from Barking also, and appointed John Storer as curate, to receive £100 a year from Hall. (fn. 73) Hall died in 1649 and was succeeded by William Amys (d. 1653), and he by Jonathan Bowles. (fn. 74) In 1654, after Bowles's resignation, All Souls presented Benjamin Way, who remained vicar until 1660. (fn. 75) During the civil war and Interregnum various attempts, described below, were made to provide additional facilities for worship in the Ilford ward of the parish.
In 1660 Thomas Cartwright was presented to the vicarage by the Crown 'by lapse'. In petitioning for the living he claimed that he had been invited by the parishioners. (fn. 76) He continued to hold Barking after his appointment, in 1686, as Bishop of Chester. In 1683–6 many parishioners were presented at the archdeacon's court for absence from church. (fn. 77) In 1688 Cartwright wished to resign the living in favour of his son John but, in spite of pressure from James II, All Souls was reluctant to agree, and had not taken action before the end of the year, when the bishop, like the king, fled into exile. (fn. 78) In 1689, after Cartwright's death, the college presented its warden, Leopold Finch, to the vicarage. (fn. 79) John Chisenhale, who succeeded Finch in 1697, (fn. 80) had been curate under Cartwright, and had been ejected in 1688 for refusing to read the Declaration of Indulgence, but was reinstated in the following year. (fn. 81)
During the past century Barking has had a succession of vicars who subsequently attained high office in the church, including three diocesan bishops and three suffragans. The most notable was H. Hensley Henson (1863–1947), vicar 1888–95, chaplain of Ilford Hospital 1895–1900, and later Bishop of Hereford and of Durham. (fn. 82)
In the 18th and early 19th centuries the parish vestry sometimes elected the curate, who was known as the lecturer. Francis Morice was thus chosen in 1748 to succeed Peter Walkden, and several other appointments are recorded. (fn. 83) Isaac Peach, appointed lecturer in 1781, was removed by the vicar, Peter Rashleigh, in 1785, after complaints from the bishop and others that he was lacking in the 'weight and influence' needed to combat the disorders that were said to prevail at Barking owing to the activities of the Methodists. The vestry protested that these troubles were due not to Peach's lack of influence but to the vicar's non-residence. Peach was reinstated and remained until 1795, when the vestry itself asked for his removal. (fn. 84) The most outstanding lecturer was Oliver Lodge, grandfather of Sir Oliver Lodge the scientist, who was at Barking from 1809 until 1836, when Rashleigh's successor, Robert Liddell, became resident vicar. (fn. 85)
The church of ST. MARGARET (fn. 86) was built within the abbey precincts, to the south-east of the abbey church. (fn. 87) The present churchyard is bounded on the north by the ruins of the abbey church, and on the south by a wall, mainly of rag-stone, which was probably also the precinct boundary. There is a small length of similar wall in the north-east corner of the churchyard. South of this is the 15th-century tower gate, now called the Fire Bell Gate. (fn. 88) The western wall of the churchyard, which is of red brick, was probably erected in the 16th century, after the Dissolution.
The church consists of chancel and north chapel, south chapel with vestry to the east of it, nave with west tower, south aisle, north aisle, outer north aisle and chapel, and north porch. The walls are of flint and rag-stone rubble with some re-use of older material; the lowest stage of the tower is of Reigate stone. The chancel and part of the nave are of the early 13th century, but the church was considerably altered in the 15th century, when the tower, north and south chapels, and vestry were added. The outer north aisle and chapel appear to have been added at different periods in the 16th century. The whole interior was plastered and the windows remodelled in 1770–1, but restoration in the 19th and 20th centuries has largely removed these alterations.
A church existed on this site in the early 13th century: the chancel, the piers of the north nave arcade and part of the south aisle wall remain from that building. There are two lancet windows in each of the north and south walls of the chancel; those in the latter bear tool marks dating from about 1200, and a piscina in the same wall is supported by a shaft carved with spiral grooves. At that time the church probably had an aisled nave, crossing and transepts. The pillars of the north nave arcade survive in a much altered form, and former transepts are indicated by the large span of the eastern arches of the nave arcades, and by the set-back of the springing in the south wall of the west arch of the south chapel.
The exact sequence of the alterations carried out in the 15th and 16th centuries is uncertain, but they included the reconstruction of the north arcade of the nave, retaining the original columns, and the building of the north and south chapels. Later in the 15th century the south arcade was rebuilt, and this was followed, about 1500, by the addition of the west tower. The building of the tower was being planned in 1490: William Burre, who made his will in that year, left 33s. 4d. towards this work 'whenever it shall begin'. (fn. 89) Another will, proved in 1500, includes a small legacy for the same purpose. (fn. 90) Work was probably then in progress, but may have continued well into the 16th century. It seems to have included the lengthening of the aisles to flank the tower. The south vestry was apparently added late in the 15th century. Also in the 15th century the chancel arch and the two eastern arches of the nave were rebuilt; it was possibly then that the transepts were removed and a rood loft stair constructed in the length of new walling which cut off the former south transept; a few steps of this stair and the lower doorway have survived.
Early in the 16th century the outer north aisle and a north porch were added, the wall of the inner north aisle being rebuilt as an arcade. An oyster shell with the date 1501 scratched on it was found in the filling of one of the windows of the outer aisle, during restoration in 1907. Under this aisle is a small crypt or charnel house discovered in 1929, with a blocked entrance from the churchyard. The tops of the window arches of the crypt, now visible on the inside of the north wall of the outer aisle, indicate that the roof of the crypt was once two feet above its present level. East of the porch is a later patch of walling consisting of re-used 12th-century stones and containing a re-used 16th-century window. This patch may represent the position of a former north door. It is suggested that the porch originally stood here, but was reconstructed in its present position during the 16th century. The outer north chapel, forming an eastward extension of the outer aisle, is largely built of re-used 12th-century stones. It has therefore been suggested that it is of post-Dissolution date and that the material came from the demolished abbey. The arcade dividing it from the inner north chapel is supported on circular Norman piers with scalloped capitals, probably from the same source. In the north wall is a re-used 15th-century window with early Perpendicular tracery and also a blocked window of later date. The outer aisle and chapel have a continuous king-post roof of late medieval type, but differences in the design of the posts suggest that it was not all built at one time. The south chapel and inner north chapel have similar roofs, but the flat-pitched nave roof, with heavily-moulded arch-braced tie beams, is of later date. All these were revealed when the 18th-century plaster was removed in 1928.
There is an early-16th-century piscina on the east wall of the north chapel. Another, of the same period, was discovered in 1842 and was then placed on the north wall of the chancel; in 1928 it was moved to the south chapel.
In 1645 a burial vault for the Cambell family, surmounted by a small red-brick chapel, was built to the east of the inner north chapel. (fn. 91) The Cambell chapel was demolished in 1842. In 1698 new panelling, which still survives, was placed in the vestry by Robert Bertie of Beehive and Loxford, whose arms, with an inscription recording the gift, are on the west wall.
In 1769 the parish received a legacy to build a new organ. When the organ was installed the church was extensively restored, under the direction of Bamber Gascoyne of Bifrons, who is said to have been moved by the wish that God's house should be at least as handsome as his own. Heavily enriched coved ceilings were inserted in nave and chancel. All the walls and piers were encased in plaster, the capitals and bases of the piers being cut away to carry the wooden frames. The arches were thus depressed 18 in., and the piers increased 12 in. in girth. Round-headed windows were inserted, of which those in the clerestory and one in the south chapel survive, and an organ gallery was erected in front of the tower arch, which was blocked. The restoration was completed by 1771.
Most of Gascoyne's work has been removed. In 1842 the vicar, Robert Liddell, stripped the plaster from the walls, piers and arches, and after demolishing the Cambell chapel placed a new east window in the inner north chapel. In 1889 the west gallery was removed, the tower arch was unblocked, and the tower restored. Eighteenth-century doorcases have survived in the tower, the outer north aisle, and the outer north chapel. Between 1907 and 1913 some of the windows in the outer north aisle and the south aisle were reconstructed in Perpendicular style. A thorough restoration was put in hand in 1928, under the direction of C. C. Winmill. The vestry was given a new, flat roof to allow the two early-13th-century lancets in the south wall of the chancel to be re-opened. A piscina found under the plaster of the same wall was taken out and reversed, to display the Norman shaft. (fn. 92) The plaster was stripped from the roofs of the south aisle, nave, north and south chapels, and outer north aisle, leaving only the chancel and inner north aisle with their 18th-century ceilings. (fn. 93) The south chapel was dedicated as a chapel of youth, and a stained glass window commemorating the Barking fishing industry was placed there.
The elaborately-carved stone font in the south aisle dates from about 1635. (fn. 94) Its wooden cover was made in 1842 by W. G. Rogers. (fn. 95) About 1870 a new Gothic-style font was installed. The old font was subsequently used in the mission church at Creek-mouth, and in the church of The Ascension at Eastbury, but in 1928 it was restored to St. Margaret's, and the Gothic font was 'decently interred in a vault'. (fn. 96)
The pulpit, originally a three-decker, was made in 1727. In the 18th century it stood against the centre pier of the south arcade, but in 1842 it was moved to its present position by the south pier of the chancel arch, and the sounding-board was removed. At a later date the reading desk was removed and the pulpit lowered. (fn. 97)
The organ, made by Byfield & Green, was bought in 1770–1 with a legacy of £300 provided for the purpose under the will of Richard Jessup. It was rebuilt in 1855 by J. W. Walker & Sons, was moved to the south chapel in 1889, and in 1913 was again rebuilt by Walker and placed in its present position in the inner north chapel. The original case and some of the pipes have been retained. (fn. 98) The pews, which were renovated in 1842, incorporate 18th-century woodwork.
In 1746 the parish vestry resolved that the six old bells of the church should be recast as eight. This work was started by Robert Catlin, who made at least three bells in the same year, and was later continued by Lester & Pack. Of the present eight bells five were recast by Warner & Sons between 1871 and 1878, two are by Lester & Pack (1753 and 1758), and the others by C. & G. Mears (1846). (fn. 99)
The church has some fine 17th-century plate, given by the Bertie family. A cup, paten, and flagon are of 1680, and bear the Bertie arms. The flagon was one of a pair given by Robert Bertie in 1681: its fellow was recast in 1870 as a cup and paten. An almsdish of about 1672 was also given by Robert Bertie. A 17th-century paten, probably foreign, was given in 1677 by Alice Bertie. (fn. 100)
The church contains a monumental slab, a brass, and other objects from the abbey. (fn. 101) In the outer north chapel is part of a black marble slab, probably of the early 12th century, with the marginal inscription: [M]AVRICII. EPI. LVNDONENSIS. ALGIVE. ABBE. BE. . . . (fn. 102) This may have come from the abbey but, unlike most of the abbey remains in the church, it has been there at least since the 18th century. (fn. 103) There are many other sepulchral monuments, which, with others now lost, have been fully described in print. (fn. 104) On the chancel floor are three brasses: a priest, about 1480, in academic robes; Thomas and Alice Broke (1493), which is a palimpsest of Thomas and Lucy Peacock (1442); (fn. 105) and John and Elizabeth Tedcastell (1596). On the south wall of the chancel, in a recess with a 16th-century moulded brick arch, is a tablet to Elizabeth Hobart (1590), beside which is a fine marble monument with relief carving to Sir Charles Montagu of Cranbrook (1625). On the north wall is a tablet to Francis Fuller of Beehive and Loxford (1636). In the outer north aisle is the altar tomb of William Pownsett of Loxford (1553/4). Impressive 18th-century monuments reflect the presence of many wealthy local residents at this period. In the outer north chapel is one to a sea-captain, John Bennett (1706), with portrait bust and carved ships, probably by Edward Stanton. (fn. 106) In the outer north aisle are monuments to John Bamber of Bifrons (1753), attributed to Roubiliac, and to Sir Crisp Gascoyne (1761), attributed to Sir Henry Cheere. An elaborate monument to Sir Orlando Humphreys (1737), lord of the manor of Barking, is in the south aisle, and in the inner north aisle is a tablet to Sir Charles Raymond of Valentines (1788) with funeral helm above. Other monuments commemorate the families of Fanshawe and Bertie.
The leper hospital of St. Mary and St. Thomas, Ilford, has already been treated in this History. (fn. 107) It was founded early in the 12th century by Adeliza, Abbess of Barking, for lepers and other poor men, and until the Dissolution remained under the control of the abbey. It still survives as a set of almshouses for men and women. In 1566 the hospital and its estate were on lease from the Crown to Henry Fanshawe. Before his death in 1568 he apparently conveyed this lease to his nephew Thomas Fanshawe of Dagenhams (d. 1601) who in 1572 acquired the freehold by Crown grant. (fn. 108) The ownership of the hospital remained in the Fanshawe family until 1668. It then passed through several hands before becoming, in 1705, the property of Christopher Waldron, whose widow sold it in 1739 to Sir Crisp Gascoyne. (fn. 109) It subsequently descended through the Gascoynes of Bifrons to the Cecils, Marquesses of Salisbury, in whom the patronage of the hospital has remained. During the Middle Ages the hospital chapel was probably used for public worship by the people of Ilford, and in the Crown grant of 1572 to Thomas Fanshawe it was stipulated that he and his heirs should appoint a master, who was to conduct services in the chapel every Sunday, or provide a suitable person to do so. It was not then required that the master should be in holy orders, and after 1572 the office was usually held by a layman. How far successive masters, in the 16th and 17th centuries, met their obligation of arranging for services in the chapel is not clear, but the chapel was probably used regularly and continuously for public worship from 1572. Marriages, baptisms, and burials were taking place there from the early 17th century. (fn. 110)
During the Civil War the endowments of the hospital were sequestrated by Parliament because the master, Richard Fanshawe, was a royalist, and in 1646 the Committee for Plundered Ministers ordered that £50 from the tithes of the hospital should be allotted to augment the poor benefice of Pattiswick, and that the remainder of the tithes, 'not exceeding £50', should be paid to a lecturer or lecturers in the hospital chapel, to which the inhabitants of Ilford habitually resorted. John Wells was appointed lecturer, being succeeded in 1648 by George Cooke and in 1651 by Thomas Walton. (fn. 111)
At the parochial inquisition of 1650 it was stated that the Ilford lecturer preached every Sunday afternoon, and received £40–£50 from the tithes. The jurors recommended that Great Ilford, together with part of Little Ilford, should be made a separate parish, and that the hospital chapel, or another building to be erected, should become the parish church. They also recommended that another new parish should be formed at Barkingside, and that Little Ilford church should be pulled down, and rebuilt near Little Gearies, to serve this new parish. (fn. 112) Soon after this a chapel was built at Barkingside by the local inhabitants. (fn. 113) It was evidently intended that the minister of this chapel should be supported from the endowments of Ilford Hospital, but it is doubtful whether this was ever done. The hospital's tithes had proved insufficient to meet the combined needs of Ilford and Pattiswick, and in 1651 it was decided that the minister of Pattiswick should receive £40 in lieu of all arrears, the residue of the arrears being paid to Thomas Walton. (fn. 114) About this time Richard Wilcox was appointed master of the hospital, and in 1651–3 applied for a discharge of the sequestration. In 1653 John Reading secured the mastership, and in 1654 obtained a discharge, with full control of the hospital income. (fn. 115) The arrangement of 1646 was thus terminated. Thomas Walton left Ilford in or before 1654, (fn. 116) and no other lecturer seems to have been appointed at that time.
In the 18th century, if not before, the office of chaplain to the hospital seems to have become a regular appointment. In 1781 it was augmented by Queen Anne's Bounty and converted into a perpetual curacy. (fn. 117) No ecclesiastical district was then, or later, assigned to the chapel. In c. 1768 the chaplain was receiving a stipend of £14, with house and subscriptions. (fn. 118) In 1829–31 the average annual income of the curate was £100. (fn. 119)
The hospital stands on the south side of High Road, behind a high brick wall. The chapel, which dates from the 14th century, but was largely rebuilt in 1889, is flanked on the north-west by the almshouses and on the north-east by the chaplain's house, all of which were rebuilt in 1927. (fn. 120)
The chapel of ST. MARY AND ST. THOMAS OF CANTERBURY consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, Lady chapel, and vestry, north porch, and organ chamber, and choir vestries west of the nave. (fn. 121) The first reference to the hospital chapel occurs in a document drawn up between 1184 and 1202. (fn. 122) The original building was no doubt erected soon after the foundation of the hospital. Until 1889 the chapel consisted of only nave, chancel, and porch. It was apparently rebuilt early in the 14th century. The outer archway of the porch, two windows in the nave, and the heads of two others re-set in the south aisle, all date from that period, though much restored. The north and south windows of the chancel probably date from the late 14th or early 15th century, and the east window from the early 15th. In 1782 the chapel was restored by Bamber Gascoyne, patron of the hospital. About the same time a west gallery was added by Mark Gibbard, a bricklayer and plasterer, at his own expense, for the use of him and his tenants 'dwelling in houses built or to be built' on Gascoyne's estate. In 1765–6 Gibbard had taken part of the hospital estate on a building lease, and in 1771 had become tenant of the whole estate in Ilford. The gallery is first mentioned in a lease issued to his widow in 1789. (fn. 123) An engraving of 1816 shows the congregation seated in box pews, facing the gallery, in front of which was the pulpit. The roofs of nave and chancel were ceiled with plaster. (fn. 124) These features, apart from the gallery, were almost certainly the work of Gascoyne, who had previously restored the parish church of Barking in a similar style, described above. In 1889, during the incumbency of Arthur Ingleby, the nave was lengthened, the south aisle, vestry, and Lady chapel were added, and the plaster ceilings replaced by boards. (fn. 125) The cloister was also built to the east of the hospital chapel, linking it with the chaplain's house. The gallery, pulpit, and box pews were removed and a new rose window inserted at the west end of the nave. The old western bell-turret was removed and a new one erected above the east end of the nave. The Lady chapel subsequently went out of use, but in 1922 it was restored as a war memorial. The choir vestries were added in 1935. Beneath the nave is a sealed vault. This was last opened in 1956–7, when the coffins in it, dating from the 19th century, were recorded and photographed. (fn. 126)
In the north window of the chancel are panels of 16th- and 17th-century glass, the subjects of which include the arms, badge and merchant's mark of Sir John Gresham (d. 1556). These were formerly in the east window and were moved to their present position in 1885. They are said to have come from a house in Aldborough Hatch: this is not unlikely, since the Greshams had property in that area in the 16th century. (fn. 127) The panels have been in the chapel at least since the 18th century. (fn. 128) The glass in the south window of the chancel, which also dates from the 16th and 17th centuries, contains biblical figure subjects, and coats of arms, one of which is inscribed 'Van der Balck 1550'. These panels, which were placed in the chapel in 1892, are said to have been previously in All Saints church, Epping. (fn. 129) The glass in the west windows of the south aisle and the west window of the nave was made in 1891 by Morris & Co., to the designs of Burne-Jones. (fn. 130)
In the south wall of the chancel is a monument to John Smythe (d. 1475), Master of the Hospital, consisting of an effigy of a priest under a canopy. This was erected when the chapel was being restored in 1889. It is said to have been copied from the monument of Henry Marney, Lord Marney (d. 1523), in Layer Marney church. (fn. 133) The pilasters on the south face of the Smythe monument and the panelled back of the tomb, now set in the south aisle at the west end, are thought to be of the early 16th century: if so, they were presumably brought to Ilford from elsewhere. The original monument to John Smythe had apparently disappeared before 1796, but copies of his brass have survived, (fn. 134) and the inscription on it has been reproduced on the present monument.
In 1560 the hospital buildings comprised, in addition to the chapel, the 'beadmen's chambers' [almshouses], 'chief house', and the 'priest's lodging'. (fn. 135) The almshouses, then as later, were probably north of the chapel, forming with it three sides of a quadrangle. (fn. 136) In 1959–60 foundations were excavated in the courtyard in which were found a 16th-century chamber pot containing a witchbottle. (fn. 137) The almshouses were rebuilt in 1719 at the expense of Mrs. Waldron. (fn. 138) They were single-story cottages of brick. (fn. 139) When the chapel was restored in 1889 a new house was built for the chaplain at the north end of the eastern block of almshouses. (fn. 140) In 1927, to permit road-widening, all the buildings except the chapel were demolished. A new chaplain's house was built on the east of the courtyard, and the almshouses as a two-story block on the west.
The location of the priest's lodging, or chaplain's house, mentioned in 1560, is not known. The building may have been identical with a tenement called Stoffolds, which occurs in 1401, 1490, and 1580, and which probably lay east of the chapel and almshouses, (fn. 141) near the site of the present chaplain's house.
The 'chief house' of 1560 was no doubt identical with the 'master's house' or 'hospital house' mentioned in later records. (fn. 142) This was a large building south-south-east of the hospital chapel. (fn. 143) In and after the 18th century, although it remained the property of the hospital, it was usually leased for other purposes. From about 1737 to 1787 it was the Green Man Inn, (fn. 144) and in 1844 it was a school. (fn. 145) It was demolished in 1905. At that time it had an 18th-century brick front, but the irregular shape of the rear suggests older features. (fn. 146)
The excavations of 1959–60 in the hospital courtyard revealed, in the topsoil, quantities of sherds of the so-called Metropolitan pottery of the 17th century. (fn. 147) This collection was of some importance in connexion with the then recently-discovered kiln sites at Harlow. (fn. 148) Below the 16th-century level already mentioned was found a stratum of occupation associated with the foundations of the chapel, which produced a few fragments of pottery of the 12th–13th centuries. This, however, was not the lowest archaeological level. In the southern half of the courtyard a gravelly stratum was uncovered, apparently the infilling of a shallow pit. In this area, arranged in two lines, heads to the west, were 22 human skeletons and 3 detached skulls without bodies. The head of one body usually lay between the feet of the next. This level is cut by the north wall of the chapel and appears to antedate the original 12th-century building. Many of the bodies showed signs of violent death, since parts were dismembered or missing and some had apparently been struck by sharp weapons. Apart from the remains of three spear-points no artefacts were found with the burials, and the only clue to date is their stratified position.
A chapel in Hainault Forest, about which little is known, existed during the 15th century. In 1438 the king granted William Stafford, chaplain, land at Hainault as the site for a chapel to be dedicated to Our Lord, St. Mary the Virgin, St. John the Evangelist, and All Saints. (fn. 149) This chapel was probably identical with the hermitage of Hainault, granted by Edward IV to John Rychard in 1461. (fn. 150) It gave its name to Chapel (or East) Hainault Walk and to Chapel Lodge, both in the Forest. (fn. 151)
It has already been stated above that the parochial inquisition of 1650 suggested that a new parish should be formed at Barkingside, and that Little Ilford church should be rebuilt there. A modified version of this scheme was soon carried out. Little Ilford church was not moved, but a new chapel was built at Barkingside by the local inhabitants, and in 1653 this was given Parliamentary sanction, Joachim Matthews and John Brewster being appointed trustees. (fn. 152) Matthews was owner of Gobions, in Romford, and Brewster of Wyfields in Barking. Both were M.P.'s and members of the Essex County Committee. (fn. 153) Edward Kighley is said to have been appointed minister, but to have been ejected, probably in 1660. (fn. 154) He was later pastor of a dissenting congregation in Aldborough Hatch. (fn. 155) From the first there was difficulty over the maintenance of the Barkingside chapel. Those who had built it evidently hoped to secure an endowment from the tithes of Ilford Hospital, and in 1655 complained to the government that John Reading, master of the hospital, had seized the maintenance to his own use. (fn. 156) There is no evidence concerning the result of this appeal. In 1661 the people of Hainault Walk, in Ilford ward, petitioned the Restoration government for the right to have a chapel-of-ease there. (fn. 157) There is little doubt that they were trying to ensure the survival of the existing chapel, under the new regime, rather than to establish another one. In 1665 53 a. land in Hainault Forest were placed in trust for the maintenance of a curate to officiate in the chapel in West Hainault Walk. (fn. 158) In 1670 the trustees, who included the vicar of Barking, and Robert Bertie, received a Crown grant of 1½ a. land with a chapel, a small house, and 50 a. additional land, with power to inclose and improve the premises for the maintenance of a curate approved by the bishop. (fn. 159) No curate was appointed, however. A dispute arose, concerning the patronage, between the Crown, the bishop, and the lord of the manor, Sir Thomas Fanshawe, and the chapel was allowed to fall into decay. (fn. 160) In 1741 the Crown resumed possession of its endowment, Fencepiece Farm, Barkingside. (fn. 161) The exact site of the chapel is not known. A writer of 1863 states that it stood on an inclosure opposite the Maypole Inn at Barkingside. (fn. 162) This would fit Chapel Piece, which in 1844 was opposite the inn to the east. (fn. 163) If so, the chapel was at or near the present junction of Fencepiece Road and Forest Road, on the north side of Fulwell Cross roundabout. It is possible, however, that it was about 200 yds. north-west of the inn, where lay Chapel Field and Chapel Corner. (fn. 164) The building was apparently still standing in 1687. (fn. 165)
By her will, dated 1746, Frances Bladen left £20 a year, charged on her Aldborough Hatch estate, for a clergyman to officiate in her chapel there. (fn. 166) This chapel may previously have been used by the Presbyterian congregation at Aldborough Hatch. Lysons (1796) implies that Mrs. Bladen's endowment had met the religious needs of the district, and he names the chaplain. (fn. 167) When the Aldborough Hatch estate was put up for sale in 1802 it was stipulated that the purchaser should continue the payment of £20. (fn. 168) The chapel was left standing when Aldborough House was demolished about 1808, and passed with the estate to the Crown in 1828. Services were continued there until 1863, when the church of St. Peter, Aldborough Hatch, was built. (fn. 169) In 1861 £20 was still being paid to the chaplain, £3 3s. to the clerk, £2 2s. to a pew-opener, and £3 for other chapel purposes. (fn. 170) The former chapel, now a fowl house, still stands.