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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'Quendon', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916) pp. 211-213. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp211-213 [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section

59. QUENDON. (B.c.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xiii. N.E. (b)xiii. S.E.)

Quendon is a very small parish and village about 5½ m. S. of Saffron Walden. The principal monument is Quendon Hall.


a (1). Parish Church (dedication unknown) stands at the N. end of the village. The walls are built of flint rubble with limestone dressings, and the roofs are covered with tiles.

The Chancel and Nave with the North Aisle and a S. aisle were built in the second half of the 13th century. The chancel was rebuilt in the 16th century and at some uncertain period the S. arcade was built up and the S. aisle destroyed. The church was restored in 1861 when the S. arcade was opened out, the South Aisle was rebuilt, and the North Vestry and South Porch were added; the N. aisle was also much rebuilt.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (17 ft. by 12 ft.) with the axis inclined towards the S., has a modern E. window, with a small light above it, also modern. In the N. wall is a modern window, with a 16th-century moulded rear arch and jambs of brick. In the S. wall is a similar window. The 13th-century chancel-arch has a two-centred head of one chamfered order; it has been re-tooled, and above it is a modern window.

The Nave (42 ft. by 18½ ft.) has a 13th-century N. arcade of three bays, with round columns and half-columns as responds, all with moulded capitals and chamfered bases; the arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders. The S. arcade is uniform with the N. arcade, except that the capital of the W. respond is slightly different; the columns have been re-tooled. In the W. wall is a modern window and in the gable above is a modern bellcot.

The North Aisle (7½ ft. wide) is modern, except the W. wall, which has a 13th-century lancet window with some original stones in the splay.

The South Aisle (7½ ft. wide) is entirely modern.

The Roof of the chancel is of the 16th century and is steep pitched, with moulded principals, purlins, ridge and tie-beam at the W. end; the wall-plates are carved and moulded.

Fittings—Font: In churchyard, near S. porch, octagonal bowl with moulded lower edge and top much damaged, octagonal stem, bowl and stem of one stone, 15th-century. Monuments and Floorslabs. Monument: In chancel on N. wall, to Thomas Turner, of Newman Hall, now Quendon Hall, 1681, and Catherine (Cheeke) his second wife, 1685, white and grey marble tablet, with Ionic columns at sides and three coats of arms. Floor-slabs: In nave—at E. end, (1) to Thomas Turner, 1681, with arms; (2) to Catherine, 2nd wife of Thomas Turner, 1685, with arms. Niches: In chancel—in angles of E. wall, two, with pedestals for figures, that on N. with arched head and spiral pedestal with moulded base, that on S. with cinquefoiled head, panelled pedestal and moulded base, 16th-century. In nave—in second and third columns of N. arcade, two, small, probably for lights. Plate: includes a cup probably of 1638.

Condition—Good, much restored.


a (2). Quendon Hall, cottage, dove-house and barn, ¾ m. N. of the church. The present House is of two storeys with attics; the roof is tiled. The original timber-framed building is said to have been erected by Thomas Newman, c. 1540, on a half-H-shaped plan with shallow wings projecting towards the S. and a third wing on the N. on the site of the present kitchen. The house was re-faced with red and blue bricks, the space between the wings filled in, and other alterations were made by Thomas Turner, late in the 17th century, 1670–80. Modern alterations include the rebuilding of the kitchen wing and the addition of dining and billiard rooms.

On the S. Elevation (see Plate, p. xxiv) the main block is divided into six bays by Doric pilasters, which stand on a plinth and support a wooden eaves-cornice with carved modillions. The entrance doorway is flanked by stone Doric pilasters and surmounted by a flat moulded hood with carved brackets and a panelled soffit. The sash-windows are set in round-headed recesses and the dormer windows of the attics have gabled or segmental pediments. The remaining Elevations, where not concealed by modern additions, are of late 17th-century brickwork. The moulded base of an original 16th-century chimney-stack remains at the junction of the kitchen wing; it has three octagonal shafts. Some of the other stacks are of the 17th century and quite plain.

Interior—The ceiling of the Hall (see Plan (1)), is divided by four beams supported at their intersections on four Doric columns of wood, all of late 17th-century date; the cornice and the fireplace with enriched architrave, frieze and modillioned cornice are of the same date; the iron fire-back is ornamented with a pheon coronet and the initials R.L., and is dated 1630. The walls of the drawing-room (2) are covered with bolection-moulded panelling of c. 1700. The study (3) has two Doric columns supporting the ceiling-beam and a moulded cornice like that in the Hall. The walls of the modern dining-room (4) are covered with early 17th-century panelling brought from the first floor; the late 17th-century panelled overmantel is flanked by shallow fluted pilasters supporting an entablature. The Staircase (5) originally projected from the E. end of the house; it has square newels with moulded caps and twisted balusters of late 17th-century date, the upper part is mostly modern; the walls are covered with early and late 17th-century panelling, with a series of painted heraldic cartouches. On the first floor most of the rooms have late 17th-century wood cornices with remains of panelling, and door-frames of earlier date; the original timber-framing of the walls is exposed in several rooms, in the attics, and in the upper part of the Staircase. The attics have several early 17th-century doors of moulded battens and some of the walls have remains of 17th-century painted figures; the subjects are apparently scriptural, including Samson, two prophets (?) cherub-heads, etc.

The walls of the Forecourt are of late 17th-century brickwork with stone dressings, the gatepiers have moulded caps and ball-terminals, and in each side-wall is an arched alcove with brick pilasters at the sides and a gabled pediment. Two garden walls, E. of the house, are of the same date and character as those of the Forecourt, and the terrace steps on the N. have stone pineapple ornaments.

Quendon Hall, plan

In the grounds is a small rectangular Cottage of two storeys, built late in the 17th century of brick with a tiled roof; the additions on the E. and S. are modern but the front door is original.

The octagonal Dove-house is a brick building of the same date as the cottage, with a tiled roof surmounted by a louvred lantern, which has a lead capping and iron vane.

The Barn, now a motor-house, has some old timber-framing visible internally.

Condition—Very good.

a (3). The Rectory, on the E. side of the road, 200 yards S.W. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls of the lower storey are of brick, of the upper storey of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. The house was largely rebuilt in 1725, but some of the timbers and walls of a small 17th-century house remain inside the building.

Condition—Much altered and restored.

Monuments (4–6).

The following buildings are all of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster; the roofs are tiled or thatched. The chimney-stacks are original, and some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams and wide open fire-places.

Condition—Good, or fairly good, without exception.

Main Street, E. side

a (4). Cottage, 50 yards W. of the church. On the W. front the upper storey projects and has a band of leaf ornament at the base. On the E. side is an original door of sixteen panels, with a moulded frame, not in situ.

a (5). Manor Farm, house, about ¼ m. S.S.E. of the church, was originally rectangular on plan, but at the back low additions have been made at each end. The original part of the building stands on a plinth of thin bricks, and the plaster is partly ornamented with herring-bone pattern. On the W. front the upper storey projects.

b (6). Cottage, about 400 yards S. of (5), has a small gable in the middle of the W. front. Some original casement windows remain.


a (7). Mount, probably tumulus, in Quendon Park, ½ m. N. of the church, is about 20 ft. in diameter and 2 ft. high, with traces of an encircling ditch.