An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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'Hadstock', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916), pp. 143-146. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp143-146 [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Hadstock", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916) 143-146. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp143-146.

. "Hadstock", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916). 143-146. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp143-146.

In this section

36. HADSTOCK. (B.a.)

(O.S. 6 in. iii. N.W.)

Hadstock is a parish and village about 4 m. N.N.E. of Saffron Walden, on the border of the county. The most important monument is the Church.


(1). Dwelling-house, on the south bank of the river Granta, in the extreme north of the parish (O.S. 25 in., iii. 3, field 70), north-east of the windmill, partly excavated in 1846–50; stray tiles and potsherds are still visible on the surface. (See Sectional Preface, p. xxii.)


(2). Parish Church of St. Botolph stands in the village. The walls are of flint rubble, with a little Roman brick in the walls of the tower, all much covered with plaster; the roofs are tiled, except those of the nave and S. transept, which are covered with lead. A cruciform church, of which the Nave and North Transept remain, was built about the second quarter of the 11th century; the church probably had a central tower which was pulled down at some uncertain date, or fell c. 1200, when the arch opening into the N. transept was rebuilt; the walls of the N. transept, except apparently the N. wall, were rebuilt, possibly in the 13th century or late in the 14th century, when new windows were inserted and the South Transept was rebuilt. The West Tower and North Porch were added in the 15th century. The Chancel, with the chancel-arch, was rebuilt in 1884, and is said to be on old foundations, which were found at that time. The South Vestry and Organ-chamber are modern.

A remarkable cruciform church of pre-Conquest date, with peculiar ornament. It is possibly the minster erected by Canute in 1020 to commemorate his victory over Edmund Ironside at Assandun. (Ashdon is the adjoining parish on the S.E.).

Architectural Description—The Chancel (32½ ft. by 17 ft.) is modern.

The Nave (57 ft. by 21½ ft.): the E. bay is set at a different angle from the three western bays, indicating the existence in the 11th century of a central tower, which is also suggested by an irregularity in the walling W. of the arch opening into the N. transept, and by the greater thickness, forming an external projection, of the walls above the transepts. The N. wall is much covered with plaster, but the S. wall is almost entirely exposed, and shows bands of slightly varied rubble in a rough herringbone pattern; one band below the windows has many ironstone pebbles in it. In the N. wall, is an early 13th-century arch, two-centred and of two chamfered orders, with moulded imposts; the responds stand on 11th-century plinths with moulded off-sets. Further W. is the 11th-century N. doorway (see Plate p. xxviii.) which has a roughly semi-circular head of one roll-moulded order with a moulded and carved label; the jambs each have an engaged circular shaft, and the capitals are enriched with foliated ornament; above the capitals is a roll-moulded impost carved with crude honeysuckle ornament. Over the doorway is an 11th-century window, now blocked, and further W. are two windows of the same date, all with semi-circular heads and wide internal and external splays; they are of flint rubble, without dressings, and have old wooden frames. In the S. wall, at the E. end, is a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders (see Plate p. 144); the inner order has broach-stops, the outer order a scroll-moulded label with maskstops; the arch is of the 13th century, and of slightly later date than that opening into the N. transept, but the responds are of the 11th century, and are square, each with a circular attached shaft which has a foliated capital, resembling a cushion capital in shape; each abacus has a badly formed roll-moulding at the bottom, and is square at the top, enriched with crude honeysuckle ornament; the bases are plain, and stand on high plinths with four moulded off-sets of deep projection. Further W. is the S. doorway of c. 1210, now blocked; the jambs and two-centred head are of two moulded orders with a double-chamfered label, and the jambs have each a circular attached column with a moulded base, a capital enriched with stiff-leafed foliage, and a square abacus. Above the doorway, a little towards the E., is an 11th-century window, and near the W. end of the wall is a second window of the same date, similar to those in the N. wall; between them, set lower down, is a 15th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights with a four-centred head.

Hadstock, Parish Church of St. Botolph

The North Transept (14½ ft. by 15 ft.) has walls much covered with plaster, which makes the extent and date of the rebuilding uncertain; the diagonal buttress at the N.E. angle and the windows are of late 14th-century date. The N.W. angle has long-and-short quoins. In the E. wall is a window of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental pointed head. In the N. wall is a large window of three cinquefoiled lights with elaborate tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded external label.

The South Transept (13½ ft. by 21 ft.) is entirely of late 14th-century date, where not restored. In the E. wall is a window of the same design as that of the E. window of the N. transept, but the tracery is almost entirely modern. In the S. wall is a window of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded label and head-stops; the tracery has been much restored or is modern. On the S. gable is a good 14th-century gable-cross.

The West Tower (12 ft. square) is entirely of the 15th century and is of two stages; the lower stage is of two storeys, with diagonal buttresses, and a S.E. stair-turret rising to the second storey; the moulded plinth has flint and stone checker work; the parapet is embattled. The two centred tower-arch is of two hollow-chamfered orders. In the S.E. corner is a doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head. The W. doorway has jambs and a two-centred head of two hollow-chamfered orders; the external label is moulded and has head-stops; the W. window is of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the external label has headstops. The ringing-chamber has, in the N. wall, a small trefoiled light with a square external label; in the W. wall is a quatrefoil window in a square reveal with an external label. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head.

The North Porch is entirely of the 15th century. The two-centred entrance archway is of two moulded orders, the outer order is continuous, the inner rests on semi-octagonal pilasters with moulded capitals and bases.

The Roof of the nave is plastered, but one old moulded strut is exposed on the N. side.

Fittings—Bells: five; 2nd and 5th by Richard Keene, 1700. Brackets: In S. transept—N. of E. window, moulded, 14th-century; on S. wall, high up, three, small, moulded, 14th-century. Chest: In tower—of oak, long, low, iron-bound, no lock, date uncertain. Doors: In nave—in N. doorway, of plain oak boards, with three iron straps in front, riveted through to circular wooden bars at the back, probably 11th-century; a piece of human skin, recently found under the ironwork on the door, now preserved in the Saffron Walden museum. In tower—in W. doorway, of plain oak boards, probably 13th-century, with remains of old ironwork; in bell-chamber, plain, with strap-hinges, probably 15th-century; at foot of stair turret, with strap-hinges, 15th-century. Font: square bowl with chamfered angles, circular stem, square chamfered plinth, probably late 12th or early 13th-century, much scraped and restored. Font-cover: with central post, having turned knob, supported by bracket-shaped boards, probably 17th or early 18th-century. Glass: In S. transept —in S. window, five quarries, each with sacred monogram, and two quarries, each with monogram "A. R."; all early 16th-century. Lectern: of wood, desk with carved stem enriched with a form of cable moulding, cusped and incised foot, and octagonal base, early 16th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Floor-slabs: In N. transept—to Barbary, wife of George Boucher, 1683. Niche: On porch, over outer archway. plain-plastered, with pointed head, uncertain date. Panelling: In tower—lying loose, three pieces, each with three panels, two plain and one with arabesque ornament, early 17th-century. Piscina: In S. transept—in S. wall, with moulded cinquefoiled head and circular drain, late 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1563, and cover-paten, without marks, dated 1571. Screen: Under tower arch—and lying loose in tower—remains, open upper panels with tracery, close lower panels, also traceried, one spandrel with carving of fox in habit, standing in pulpit and seizing a goose, 15th-century, in very bad condition. Seating: In nave—all the seats, plain, open, early 16th-century, many considerably restored. Stoup: In porch—W. of N. doorway, square recess with projecting nib below it, probably stoup, date uncertain, covered with plaster. Miscellanea: In tower—from ringing chamber to bell-chamber— ladder, rough, but some rungs cut in ogee form, probably 15th or 16th-century. In the churchyard—a well, known as St. Botolph's well, now covered.

Carving on Screen

Condition—Structurally sound.


Monuments (3–15).

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are all of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces, and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.

(3). The Manor House, 120 yards N.E. of the church, was built c. 1600, on a T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the N.W. end. In the 18th century an addition was made on the N.E. making the plan L-shaped. The original central chimney-stack has six octagonal shafts, modern at the top.

(4). Cottage, two tenements, 60 yards N. of the church. At the S.W. end the upper storey projects on plain brackets.

(5). Cottage, now two tenements, on the W. side of the Walden road, 200 yards S.W. of the church, with plaster panelling on the walls, ornamented with arabesques.


(6). Cottage, 60 yards N. of (5).

(7). Cottage, two tenements, N.E. of (6).

(8). Morris' Farm, house, 90 yards N. of (7), was built c. 1500, and has a modern addition at the S. end. The building consists of three bays; on the E. side the upper storey projects on small ornamental brackets. The base of the original central chimney-stack has, on the E. side, three trefoil-headed niches in terra-cotta. Inside the building, on the ground floor, the N.W. room has moulded ceiling-beams.

(9). House, on the W. side of the green and at the corner of the Linton Road, 150 yards N. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.W. and N.W. The part at the junction of the wings is probably of early 17th-century date, but the rest is a late 17th or early 18th-century addition. The upper storey of the original part formerly projected and has exposed timber-framing.

(10). The King's Head Inn, on the S.W. side of the Linton Road, N.W. of (9). The 18th-century and modern additions make the plan of irregular shape. Inside the building the staircase has some original flat balusters.

(11). House, 50 yards N.W. of (10), with a modern front and a modern addition at the S.E. end. The base of the original central chimney-stack has small sunk panels, one bears the date 1636; the square shafts are attached.

(12). Cottage, two tenements, on the N.E. side of the Linton Road, 30 yards E. of (11).


Chalky Lane, S. side

(13). Cottage, two tenements, about 470 yards E. by N. of the church.

(14). Cottage, 120 yards E. of (13).

N. side

(15). Cottage, two tenements, 80 yards W. of (14).