Pages 218-220

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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61. RAYNE. (D.d.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxiv. N.E. (b)xxv. S.W.)

Rayne is a small parish and village, about 1½ m. W. of Braintree. The principal monuments are the Church and the Hall.


b (1). Parish Church of All Saints, N.E. of the village, was rebuilt in the 19th century, except the West Tower (see Plate, p. 218), which is of late 15th or early 16th-century date; the walls are of brick, with imitation dressings of cement.

The tower is a good example of brickwork of the period.

Architectural Description—The West Tower (11 ft. by 10 ft.) is of three stages, with a moulded plinth ornamented with a course of square panels; four of them contain shields—two blank, one with a lion, and one with an anchor; the other panels contain quatrefoils; between the second and third stages is an embattled string-course; the parapet is panelled and embattled, and has crocketed pinnacles at the angles. The walls have some diaper work in blue headers, chiefly in the first stage; a slight projection, which contains the W. doorway and W. window, is finished at the level of the second stage with a crow-stepped gable, now holding the clock, and surmounted by a pinnacle set diagonally. The S.E. stair-turret has a pyramidal brick capping of four stages. The tower-arch is now double, and the E. arch is modern; the four-centred W. arch is original, but covered with plaster; the responds are shafted and have moulded capitals on the E. side and are chamfered on the W. side. The W. doorway is apparently original, but has been defaced with cement; it has continuously moulded jambs and a four-centred arch in a square-headed outer order with a label. The W. window, also defaced with cement, is of three uncusped lights in a four-centred head. The N. and S. walls of the second stage have each a small single-light window with a four-centred head. In each wall of the bell-chamber is a window covered with cement, and of two transomed and uncusped lights under a four-centred head.

Fittings—Brass and Indents. Brass: In chancel—on S. wall, to Katherine (Manners), wife of Henry Capell, 1572, inscription, six shields and three lozenges of arms. Indents: In chancel— (1) of scroll; (2) of man in armour and woman in butterfly head-dress, eight scrolls and four shields, c. 1480. Niches: On each side of W. window— outside, small, with four-centred head and shafted jambs, late 15th or early 16th-century. Plate: includes cup with embossed stem and foot, 1550 to 1575, and plain cover-paten without marks. Woodwork: recently given to the church and including: In chancel—bench with high back and seat forming chest, back of bench and front of chest with rich traceried panels; on N. wall, cupboard with traceried front flanked by canopied niches with small figures of saints, carved angel on frieze. Over doorway to vestry, carved panel in low relief, probably the Death of the Virgin; priest's stall with high panelled back carved with small angels and shields, locker under seat; all probably Flemish and late 15th and 16th-century.



a (2). Site of Reynes Manor House on Chapel, Hill, about 2 m. N.N.W. of the church. Traces of foundation mounds are visible at the top of the hill and at the foot are remains of a fish-pond.


b (3). Old Hall, house, barns and moat, 1¼ m. N.W. of the church. The House is modern, except a brick chimney-stack which projects on the N.E. side, and is of late 16th-century date; it is of three stages with two octagonal shafts rebuilt at the top, and with moulded bases.

The Barn, N. of the house, is timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roof is thatched. It was built in the 17th century and is of seven bays with an aisle on the N. side. Projecting towards the S. from the E. end is another barn of the same date and construction and of five bays. Further towards the S. are two other barns which contain old timbers, re-used.

The Moat has been partly filled in on the E. and W. sides. S. of the moat are two fish-ponds.

Condition—Of house and barns, good.

b (4). Rayne Hall, house and barn, 100 yards N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed and plastered, with some brickwork; the roofs are tiled. There is some detail in the roof of the main block which may be of the 14th century, but the house was practically rebuilt early in the 16th century. Part of the house was pulled down and the remainder altered to its present form probably at the end of the 17th century. It is of half-H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.W. The S. wing is also continued towards the N.W. to form a projecting wing at the back. There are some modern additions at the back.

The buildings are interesting as they are the remains of a large house of early date, and the linen-fold panelling in the Hall deserves notice.

The S.W. Front has plain plaster panelling on the walls, and at the base of the gables of the wings is a plaster cove with wooden mouldings, all of late 17th-century date. The plain windowframes are of the same date. In the angle between the S.E. wing and the main block is an early 16th-century chimney-stack with a square plinth and three octagonal shafts with simple caps.

On the S.E. Elevation the upper storey projects, and has a 16th-century moulded bressumer and a moulded cornice below the projection, which is masked by a late 17th-century plaster cove.

The N.E. Elevation has an early 17th-century window with moulded mullions, lighting the staircase, and an early 16th-century window with moulded mullions, lighting the pantry. Projecting from the back of the main block is an early 16th-century chimney-stack with the stumps of octagonal shafts.

The N.W. Elevation has an early 16th-century window of ten lights, set in pairs, with alternate square and moulded mullions.

Interior:—The Hall in the main block has heavy moulded ceiling-beams, and above the fireplace are five brick arches with four-centred heads; the walls are lined with early 16th-century linen-fold panelling, re-set. The passage between the Hall and the garden door on the S.E. is lined with late 17th-century panelling. The drawing-room and the study in the S. wing are lined with early 17th-century panelling, re-set. The staircase is entered from the two floors by doorways with four-centred heads of early 16th-century date; the spandrels have shields charged with the anchor badge of the Capells, and the three crosslets fitchy from their arms. The staircase to the attic has solid treads of 16th-century or earlier date. In the N.W. wing, on the first floor, is a door with early 16th-century hinges, scutcheon, and ring. The roof of the back part of the same wing is continuous with that of the main block and has a king-post truss with a heavy cambered tie-beam and curved braces.

The Garden, S.E. of the house, has a 16th-century brick wall dividing it from the churchyard. In the wall is a doorway with a four-centred arch.

The Barn, S.W. of the house, is timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roof is tiled. Seven bays of the building are probably of the 16th century, and the roof-trusses are of the queen-post type.

Condition—Fairly good.

b (5). House, now three tenements, on the N. side of the Stane Street, 660 yards W.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are timber-framed and plastered, with some brickwork; the roofs are tiled. The house was built probably late in the 15th century, and was then of the usual mediæval type with the Hall in the middle and cross-wings containing the Buttery and Solar at the E. and W. ends. Late in the 16th or early in the 17th century the large chimney-stack was built at the E. end of the Hall, and probably at the same time the Hall was divided into two storeys. Late in the 17th century the Buttery wing was extended towards the N. and another wing added at the back, making the plan F-shaped.

On the S. Front the upper storey projects at each end, and is gabled at the E. end. The late 16th-century central chimney-stack has four octagonal shafts with modern caps. On the E. Elevation the timber-framing is partly exposed.

Interior—The Hall is now divided into rooms, and contains a late 16th-century staircase, not in situ, with turned balusters, and square newels which have square shaped terminals. The first floor has exposed ceiling-beams and, in the W. wall, a blocked doorway with a four-centred head. There are four 17th-century battened doors panelled on one side, with their original furniture. The Buttery wing has an original open roof with a king-post truss; the braces of the tie-beam are curved and there is a central purlin. The Solar wing has, on the ground floor, an original moulded ceiling-beam with curved braces and heavy wall-posts.


Monuments (6–21).

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

Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.

Stane Street, N. side

b (6). House, now Post Office, 80 yards E. of (5), is of two storeys with attics and a small cellar. The middle part of the house was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century. It was extended towards the E. and W. in the 18th century; the addition on the N. is modern.

b (7). House, 180 yards E. of (6), is of two storeys with attics and a cellar. It was originally built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century, but was extensively enlarged in the 18th century. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal pilasters.

b (8). House, 50 yards E. of (7), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. The house was much altered in the 18th century, and there are several modern additions.

b (9). The Swan Inn, 100 yards E. of (8), was originally of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the W. end. Various 18th-century and modern additions have made the plan H-shaped. Inside the building, the S. room of the original cross-wing has a late 17th-century cupboard with panelled doors and a dentilled cornice.

b (10.) House, now two tenements, 150 yards W.S.W. of the church, was built probably early in the 16th century, but was much altered early in the 17th century, when a floor was inserted in the Hall. The original plan consisted of a Hall with a Solar and Buttery on the E. and W. sides. The upper storey projects, and is gabled at each end of the S.E. front; in the middle is a third gable, probably of the 17th century; the projections have curved brackets. In the upper floor of the Solar is a projecting window with shaped brackets or consoles and a dentilled pediment over it. The early 17th-century central chimney-stack has three grouped shafts set diagonally.

Interior—The original Hall was of two bays and a half, and there are remains of two king-post trusses with cambered tie-beams and curved braces.

b (11). Cottage, two tenements, 100 yards W.N.W. of (10), was built probably early in the 18th century; the addition at the S.E. end is modern.

b (12). Cottage, 40 yards N. of (11), was built probably c. 1600, and has at the E. end a late 17th-century chimney-stack. At the W. end the cottage adjoins some modern cottages. The original central chimney-stack is set diagonally.

b (13). Cottage, now two tenements, 440 yards W.N.W. of (12), is of L-shaped plan.

b (14). Kings Farm, house and barn, 100 yards N.W. of (13). The House was built probably early in the 17th century, and has a late 17th-century addition on the N.W., making the plan L-shaped.

The Barn, N.E. of the house, is of five bays with two projecting porches.

Duck End Green, S. side:—

b (15). Cottage, two tenements, 430 yards W. of (14), with a modern addition at the N. end.

N. side:-

b (16). Cottage, two tenements, 90 yards N.W. of (15). The S. tenement was built early in the 17th century, and the N. tenement added late in the same or early in the 18th century. There are also small modern additions.

b (17). Cottage, ¾ m. W.N.W. of the church and 360 yards W. of (16).

b (18). Pound Farm, house, 270 yards N. of (17), was built probably late in the 16th century, and is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. The original central chimney-stack has octagonal shafts.

b (19). Cottage, now two tenements, 100 yards N.W. of (18), was built probably early in the 18th century.

a (20). Pudney Farm, house, 2½ m. N.N.W. of the church, was built c. 1600, and c. 1700 an extension was made towards the N.W. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal pilasters and a dentilled base. Inside the building, an original ledged door remains, and on the first floor is an original fireplace with a four-centred head, now partly blocked.

b (21). Rayne Lodge, ¾ m. E. of the church, is of two storeys with a cellar. The walls are partly of brick. It was built c. 1600, and additions were made on the N. and E. probably late in the 17th century. On the S. is a modern extension, and the present plan is of irregular T-shape; the cross-wing includes the original building at the W. end. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal shafts and pilasters on a rectangular base with a moulded capping.