Helion Bumpstead

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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, 'Helion Bumpstead', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916) pp. 155-157. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp155-157 [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Helion Bumpstead", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916) 155-157. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp155-157.

. "Helion Bumpstead", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916). 155-157. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp155-157.

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. iv. S.W.)

Helion Bumpstead is a parish and small village about 8 m. E.N.E. of Saffron Walden.


(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew stands in the village. The walls are of plastered flint rubble with dressings of limestone and clunch; the vestry, S. porch and W. tower are built of brick; the roofs are tiled. The Nave is of doubtful date, but is probably the oldest part of the building. The Chancel was apparently rebuilt about the middle of the 13th century. The S. arcade was built, and a S. aisle added about the middle of the 14th century, and c. 1400 a W. tower was probably built. The clearstorey was added early in the 16th century. It is possible that the S. aisle was destroyed and the arcade walled up at an uncertain date, but the arcade was re-opened and the South Aisle rebuilt early in the 16th century. Early in the 19th century the West Tower and part of the S. aisle were rebuilt, and the South Porch and Vestry were added.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28 ft. by 17 ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three cinquefoiled lights with modern mullions and tracery under a two-centred head; the external reveals and internal splays are moulded. At the W. end of the N. wall is a mid 13th-century lancet window, externally rebated and chamfered. In the S. wall are three windows; the two eastern are similar to that in the N. wall; the westernmost is a low-side window of mid 13th-century date, of similar detail to the others, with a two-centred head; the lower part has been blocked. Between the second and third windows is a doorway of uncertain date with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The two-centred chancel-arch is apparently of mid 13th-century date, much restored; it is of two moulded orders, and the responds have keeled shafts with moulded capitals.

The Nave (50 ft. by 21 ft.) has, in the N. wall, two modern windows with old internal splays and rear arch. Further W. is the 16th-century N. doorway, now blocked; it has hollow-chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. The S. arcade, of five bays, is of mid 14th-century date, re-cut and altered early in the 16th century; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders; the piers are octagonal, with moulded capitals and have moulded bases much defaced; the E. respond is roughly chamfered and the W. respond has a semi-octagonal attached shaft with a moulded capital and no base. The clearstorey has, on both sides, four windows of early 16th-century date, each of two uncusped lights under a four-centred head; the middle pair on each side are blocked.

The South Aisle (8½ ft. wide), was largely rebuilt early in the 19th century. In the S. wall are three windows, apparently of the 16th century, re-set and much restored in the 19th century; they are each of three uncusped lights under a four-centred head. Further W. is the 16th-century S. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch under a square head; beyond it is a plastered internal recess, possibly a blocked window. In the W. wall is a window similar to those in the S. wall, but of two lights; it has a wooden frame and mullion.

The West Tower was rebuilt in 1812, but the tower-arch is of c. 1400; it is two-centred and of four chamfered orders; the responds have semi-octagonal attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the W. half of the arch is cut off by the modern wall.

The Roof of the two W. bays of the S. aisle has moulded purlins, one principal and part of an upper wall-plate of early 16th-century date.

Fittings—Bells: six, and clock-bell; 3rd by Miles Graye, 1647; 5th by Miles Graye, no date; 6th by Miles Graye, 1641. Brasses and Indents. Indent: In S. porch—in slab forming threshold, of inscription plate, four shields, and possibly figure, much defaced. Chest: In tower—plain, oak, iron-bound, with three locks, probably late 16th-century. Consecration Cross: On N.E. buttress of nave, incised cross formy. Door: In S. doorway —modern, incorporating two traceried panels and two ogee-headed panels with crockets of late 15th-century date. Font: octagonal, bowl and stem with cusped panels, much worn, 15th-century. Gallery: In nave—at W. end, modern, incorporating nine large open panels and several smaller ones, late 15th-century date. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) [to Devereux Tallakarne, 1627, and Mary (Steward) his wife], tablet with terminal figures, entablature and obelisks, three shields and defaced inscriptions; (2) to William Gardner, 1667, and Margaret his wife, 1683, marble tablet with Ionic pilasters, cleft pediment, and shield of arms. Floor-slab: In chancel—to William Sharpe, 1692. Piscina: In chancel—with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, hexagonal drain, probably 13th-century. Plate: includes cup of c. 1600, stand-paten dated 1699, and small cover-paten of uncertain date. Pulpit: modern, octagonal, incorporating seven traceried panels with embattled sills, cusped heads and foliated spandrels, late 15th-century date. Sedile: In chancel—sill of S.E. window carried down to form seat. Seating: In nave—modern clerk's desk incorporating two traceried panels with cusped and sub-cusped heads and carved and foliated spandrels, late 15th-century date. In nave—at W. end, two modern benches incorporating panelled and embattled posts and remains of benches, late 15th-century date. In gallery, modern bench with back made up of panelling, with moulded rails and muntins, and carved frieze, 17th-century. In S. aisle—at W. end, modern pew incorporating a small piece of 17th-century panelling. In S. aisle and vestry, two carved oak benches made up of early 17th-century material, with turned legs, fluted rails and carved brackets.

Condition—Fairly good; much altered.


Homestead Moats.

(2). At Helions, 800 yards S.W. of the church.

(3). At Horseham Hall, 1¼ m. N.N.E. of the church.

(4). Boblow, house and moat, ¾ m. S. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; it was built in the second half of the 16th century. At the N. end there are modern additions. At each end is an original chimney-stack, containing a small original window lighting the attics; the N. stack has two, and the S. stack three octagonal shafts.

Interior—On the ground floor, a room, now divided by a modern partition, has an original fluted frieze or wall-plate of wood, flat ceiling-joists, and a fireplace with an original carved overmantel. In the S. room are wall-posts and wall-plates, now covered with paper, and an original fireplace flanked by columns supporting a frieze carved with running foliage, and a pediment. On the first floor are two original square-headed fireplaces of stone, one flanked by semi-octagonal, and the other by semi-circular columns.

The remains of the Moat are of irregular shape.

Condition—Of house, good.

Monuments (5–11).

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. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams, wide fireplaces and original chimney-stacks.

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

(5). Moss's Farm, house, 150 yards N.W. of the church. It is now of irregular L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the E. and N., but the original plan is uncertain. At the E. end of the E. wing the upper storey projects.

(6). The Marquis of Granby Inn, 100 yards N.W. of the church, was built probably c. 1600, and has modern additions. The original block has been partly re-faced.

(7). Cottage, now six tenements, 100 yards E. of the church, on the E. side of the road, is of two storeys with attics, and is partly weather-boarded. It has a small wing at the back.


(8). House, 800 yards N.E. of the church, on the N.W. side of the Haverhill Road, is of two storeys with attics, and is partly weather-boarded. It was built apparently early in the 17th century, but later, though possibly in the same century, a cross-wing was added at the N.W. end. The original chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.


(9). Parsonage Farm (see Plate, p. xxvii.), house, now four tenements, ¾ m. N.E. of the church, on the N. side of the Haverhill Road, was built in the second half of the 16th century, on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N., and with a staircase projection between the wings. In the 17th century another wing was added on the N. side of the E. wing, making the plan half-H-shaped. The E. end of the E. wing has been re-faced with modern brick. On the western part of the S. front at the E. end of the E. wing, and on the E. side of the 17th-century wing, the upper storey projects. The original central chimney-stack has three octagonal shafts, and the W. stack has three circular shafts, all with moulded bases. Inside the building, on the ground floor, is an original fireplace, much defaced, with a moulded mantelshelf and pilasters with moulded capital and bases.


(10). House, 400 yards E. of (9), was built on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. The original chimney-stack in the W. wing has a square base with sunk panels on two sides; it has four octagonal shafts, with moulded bases, modern at the top. Inside the building, in the W. wing, is a door made up of early 17th-century panelling, set sideways; the panels have an incised design.

(11). Ivytodd Farm, house, 1,150 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. The original chimney-stack is double; one part has grouped diagonal shafts, the other has been rebuilt as a square chimney; between the two parts is a small gable.