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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66. SIBLE HEDINGHAM. (E.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xi. S.W. (b)xi. S.E. (c)xvi. N.W. (d)xvi. N.E.).
Sible Hedingham is a large parish and village about 3 m. N.W. of Halstead.
d (1). Parish Church of St. Peter stands in the village. The walls are of flint and pebble rubble with some Roman tiles; the dressings are of limestone and clunch; the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The whole church was built about the middle of the 14th century, the earliest work being the Chancel, North Vestry, and a W. tower, all of c. 1340; the South Aisle of the Nave was built c. 1350, and c. 1370 the North Aisle was added. Early in the 16th century the West Tower was almost entirely rebuilt, some old material being re-used; the South Porch was added at the same time. The church was extensively restored late in the 19th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (43 ft. by 26 ft.) is of c. 1340, and has a modern E. window. In the N. wall are two windows of c. 1340, much restored, and each of two trefoiled ogee lights with flowing tracery in a two-centred head, with a moulded label. Between the windows is a doorway of c. 1340 with moulded jambs of two sunk-chamfered orders and a moulded two-centred arch. In the S. wall are two windows uniform with those in the N. wall. Between them is a doorway of c. 1340 with moulded jambs, two-centred arch, and a label. The chancel-arch of c. 1370 is two-centred and of two sunk-chamfered orders; the responds are of two chamfered orders, and the inner order has moulded capitals and bases.
The North Vestry is of c. 1340. The E. and N. walls have each a window of one light with moulded jambs, square head and label. Under the window in the E. wall is a modern doorway.
The Nave (55 ft. by 25½ ft.) has a N. arcade of four bays, of similar date and detail to the chancel-arch; the columns are octagonal and the responds have attached half-columns. The S. arcade is of four bays, and of c. 1350; it is similar to the N. arcade though the mouldings differ and the arches are of two chamfered orders. The clearstorey has, in the N. wall, three, and in the S. wall, four quatrefoiled windows, all modern, except parts of the splays and rear arches on the N., and parts of the splays on the S., which are probably of the 14th century.
The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) has, in the E. wall, a late 14th-century window of three trefoiled lights under a four-centred head, all externally modern. In the N. wall are three late 14th-century windows, each of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a four-centred head, much restored. Between the two western windows is the N. doorway, which is entirely modern except the internal splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch, of the 14th-century. In the W. wall is a late 14th-century window of two cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery under a two-centred head, and moulded label; the mullion is modern.
The South Aisle (9 ft. wide) has an embattled parapet almost completely modern, but with a late 16th-century moulded string-course of brick. In the E. wall is a window uniform with that in the E. wall of the N. aisle. In the S. wall are three mid 14th-century windows; the easternmost is of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery under a segmental head; the two western windows are each of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery under a segmental head; the two eastern windows have been restored externally with cement, and the westernmost is externally modern. Between the two western windows is the 14th-century S. doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders. In the W. wall is a window uniform with that in the W. wall of the N. aisle, but repaired externally with cement.
The West Tower (15 ft. square) is of three stages and has a moulded plinth, an embattled parapet with grotesque gargoyles and a S.W. stair-turret. It was built early in the 16th century, but incorporates some 14th-century material. The late 14th-century tower-arch is two-centred and of three orders, the two outer orders on the E. side are moulded and continuous, and the rest are chamfered; the inner order of the responds has semi-octagonal attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall is a 14th-century doorway to the stair-turret, re-set; the jambs are moulded and the arch is two-centred. The W. doorway, also re-set, is of the 14th century and has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label; the W. window is also of the 14th century, re-set and repaired with cement; it is of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a two-centred head, and has a moulded label. Above the window is a moulded octofoiled panel of the 14th century, enclosing a carved bird, possibly a hawk for Hawkwood. The second stage has, in each of the N., S. and W. walls, a loop. In the S. wall is a moulded 14th-century panel, enclosing a carved bird similar to that in the W. wall. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, an early 16th-century window of three cinquefoiled, transomed lights under a four-centred head; the window in the E. wall has been partly restored, and that in the S. wall is blocked.
The South Porch has a modern entrance archway. The E. and W. walls have each a 15th or early 16th-century window of two trefoiled lights under a four-centred head with a moulded label.
The Roof of the N. aisle has stop-chamfered rafters, possibly of the 17th century. The two western bays of the roof of the S. aisle are of early 16th-century date, and have richly moulded and carved timbers; the principals have carved pendants and curved braces with spandrels carved with the molet and two boars of the Veres, and foliage; other beams are carved with vine ornament. The early 16th-century roof of the S. porch has moulded main timbers, two bosses carved with the Bourchier knot and the Vere molet, and a carved angel at the S. end.
Fittings—Bells: eight, and a clock bell; 2nd by John Danyell, 15th century, inscribed 'Sancta Katerina ora pro nobis'; 3rd, from the Wokingham foundry, c. 1400, inscribed 'Ave Maria'; 5th by Miles Graye, 1616; clock bell, possibly 17th-century. Brasses and Indents. Indent: In chancel— of figure and inscription plate, much defaced. Chairs: In chancel—two, each with cane seat, carved back, arms and rails, probably late 17th-century. Doors: In tower—in doorway of stair-turret, plain, nail-studded, with strap hinges, probably early 16th-century; in W. doorway—of nail-studded oak battens, probably 17th-century. Font: stem with trefoiled panelled sides, possibly 15th-century, bowl and base modern. Glass: In chancel—in tracery of N.W. window, foliage, leopards' heads, and borders in yellow with ruby background, 14th-century, middle quatrefoil probably modern; in tracery of S.E. window—blue diapering, 14th-century, made up with modern glass. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monument: In S. aisle—in S. wall, said to be cenotaph of Sir John Hawkwood, 1394, tomb-recess with cinquefoiled, sub-cusped and crocketed canopy, the spandrels carved with a hawk, boar, pelican, and hunting figures; pinnacles at sides and embattled cornice with cinquefoiled panels on face of wall below; base with square cusped panels in front, each with a blank shield. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Thomas Jegon, 1669; (2) to Thomas Jegon, D.D., date defaced, 17th-century; (3) to ... (Suckling) wife of Thomas Jegon, 1670, with shield of arms. In nave—(4) to John Sparrow Summers, 1705; (5) to Henry Summers, 1713. Panelling: In S. aisle—incorporated in pew, 17th-century. Piscinæ: In chancel—with shafted jambs, cinquefoiled and sub-cusped head and two quatrefoiled drains, probably 15th-century, reworked; in S. aisle—in S. wall, sunk in part of sill of easternmost window, quatrefoiled drain, probably late 14th-century. Royal Arms: Over S. doorway—of William III., in carved and painted wood. Sedilia: In chancel—sill of S.E. window carried down to form seat, bench modern.
Condition—Good, much restored.
d (2). Hawkwoods, house, at Swan Street about 1,400 yards S.E. of the church, on the W. side of the road, is of two storeys; the walls are timberframed and plastered, and the roofs are tiled. It was built, possibly early in the 16th century, on a half-H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E., and has modern additions at the N. and S. ends.
On the E. front, the doorway and windows of the middle block are probably of c. 1700; the doorway is flanked by rough Corinthian pilasters supporting an entablature carved with a coronet, a sitting hound as a crest, wreath, etc., surmounted by a carved pediment, all of wood. The central chimney-stack is probably of early 17th-century date and has three octagonal shafts on a rectangular base.
Interior—On the ground floor, in the room N. of the central chimney, are remains of an original moulded ceiling-beam. In the room S. of the chimney is a dado of early 17th-century panelling. On the first floor are chamfered ceiling-beams, cambered tie-beams, and an old oak door of moulded battens.
Condition—Good, very much altered.
d (3). The Rectory, 180 yards S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and cellars; the walls are of brick, and the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1714. The front elevation is symmetrical; the wall is surmounted by a parapet, above which are five dormers. Inside the building, the original stoircase remains, and has turned balusters with a moulded hand-rail.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century, of two storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster, and have tiled or thatched roofs. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams, wide fireplaces and original chimney-stacks.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
d (4). The White Horse Inn, 120 yards S. of the church, on the W. side of the road, is of two storeys with attics and cellars. It was built in the 15th century with a Hall in the middle and cross-wings at the N.W. and S.E. ends. Early in the 17th century an upper floor and a chimney-stack were inserted in the Hall; at the back are a wing and a staircase projection of later 17th-century date, and a brick wing and another staircase projection of the 18th century. Between the projections is a modern addition. On the N.E. front the upper storey of the N.W. wing projects on curved brackets, and the upper storey of the S.E. wing originally projected, but has been under-built. On the N.W. elevation, the original timber-framing of the upper storey is exposed.
Inside the building, on the ground floor of the middle block, is a moulded ceiling-beam; the fireplace appears to have an arched lintel, now covered. In the E. corner of the same block is some 17th-century panelling with a fluted frieze. On the first floor is a cupboard with a late 16th-century panelled door, which has cock's-head hinges, and in the cupboard is visible a 16th-century window, now blocked, of three lights with moulded frame and mullions, and diamond-shaped stanchions of oak. The roofs of the two original wings are each of two bays divided by king-post trusses.
d (5). Cresswell Farm, 320 yards S. of the church, on the W. side of the road, was built probably late in the 16th century, on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E. The E. wing has a modern extension. The original central chimney-stack has six octagonal shafts, modern at the top, and the N. chimney-stack, also original, has three offsets and an octagonal shaft.
d (6). House, now two tenements, S.E. of (5), with an 18th-century wing and a small modern addition at the back. At each end of the E. front is a gable.
d (7). Cottage, now two tenements, 30 yards S. of (6), with a modern addition at the back. Some of the timber-framing at the back is exposed. Inside the building, on the ground floor, the E. room has a moulded ceiling-beam and heavy wallposts.
d (8). Cottage, two tenements, 100 yards S.S.W. of (7), has a modern extension at the N. end. Inside the building some of the beams are supported on shaped wall-posts.
d (9). Cottage, two tenements, on the E. side of the road, opposite (5), was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. The pitch of the roof has been lowered. At the S. end is a very massive original chimney-stack with four offsets.
d (10). The White Lion Inn, said to have been the old Poor House, S. of (9), was built about the end of the 15th century. The original house probably consisted of a Hall in the middle flanked by wings which showed as such only on the roofplan. On the main front the present wing and the brick addition to the main block are modern, and there are 18th-century and modern wings at the back.
Inside the building, on the ground floor, the ceiling of the original main block has a heavy moulded beam and hollow-chamfered joists; the W. ends of the joists now abut on a 17th-century. stop-chamfered beam, but originally supported a projection of the upper storey. The old rooftrusses are said to exist above the modern ceilings, and on the first floor is a doorway which is said to have a four-centred arch and carved spandrels, now concealed.
d (11). Cottage, now three tenements, 200 yards S.S.W. of (10), with modern additions on the N.W. side. Inside the building is an old moulded cupboard door.
Swan Street, W. side
d (12). House, now three tenements with shop, about 1,000 yards S.E. of the church, was built probably at the end of the 16th century, but has an 18th-century wing at the back, and modern additions at the back and at the N. and S. ends. On the E. front the original upper storey projects. The original central chimney-stack has three octagonal shafts on a rectangular base with a moulded capping. Inside the building, on the ground floor, the southernmost room has moulded ceiling-beams, and is completely lined with original panelling which has carved frieze panels; the fireplace is flanked by fluted pilasters and has an overmantel enriched with arched panels between pilasters; in the N.W. corner of the room is an original doorway with a four-centred head. The next room has moulded ceiling-beams, joists and wall-plates, and the other rooms have massive ceiling-beams and wide joists. In the upper storey is visible a cambered tie-beam with curved braces.
d (13). The Swan Inn, S. of (12), was built in the 15th century, on a half-H-shaped plan with a Hall in the middle and wings extending towards the W. Later, probably in the 17th century, the space between the wings was filled in, and the N. wing was extended. The front has been re-faced with modern brick. Inside the building, on the ground floor, are some moulded beams and wall-plates, and chamfered beams on stop-chamfered wall-posts. N. of the central chimney-stack is an original doorway with moulded jambs, now partly cut away, and a depressed four-centred head, also moulded; near it is a curved and hollow-chamfered brace, which probably supported a former projection of the upper storey. In the room S. of the chimney-stack is some 16th-century panelling; and in the N.E. corner of the S. wing is another original doorway with a four-centred, hollow-chamfered head. On the first floor is some panelling and a panelled door of the 16th century. The roof of the N. wing is of three bays, and has a king-post truss.
Condition—The N. wing is dilapidated.
d (14). House, 300 yards S.S.E. of (13), was built, probably in the 16th century, on a T-shaped plan, with the cross-wing at the S. end. At the back are extensive 18th-century and modern additions. At the E. end of the cross-wing the upper storey originally projected, but has been under-built. On the E. front of the main block is a gabled dormer with barge-boards carved with 17th-century foliage-pattern.
d (15). Wash Farm, house, 500 yards S.S.E. of (14), was built probably c. 1500, on a half-H-shaped plan, with a Hall in the middle, and wings extending towards the W. The chimney-stack and the upper floor in the Hall were probably inserted in the first half of the 17th century. There are modern extensions at the W. end of the N.W. wing, on the W. side of the main block, and at the N. end of the house. Inside the building, the floor inserted in the original Hall has wide stop-chamfered joists. There is an early 17th-century panelled door with one original cock's-head hinge. The N.W. wing retains some of the original roof construction.
d (16). The Half Moon Inn, 100 yards S. of (15), was built probably early in the 16th century on a half-H-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the E. The S.W. wing was added in the 17th century.
d (17). Brickwall Farm, house, at Braintree Corner, 100 yards S.S.W. of (16), with a modern addition on the W. side. On the W. elevation are two gables.
d (18). Cottage, two tenements, 100 yards S.E. of (17), with a modern addition at the N. end. On the W. front, in the plaster, is the date 1682, which, though renewed, is possibly the date of the building. The original central chimney-stack is of T-shaped plan. In the original N. wall is a window with old glazing.
d (19). House, 600 yards N.N.W. of (18), with extensive 18th-century and modern additions at the back. has been partly re-faced with modern brick. The original central chimney-stack has four octagonal shafts on a square base with a moulded capping.
d (20). House, with shop and post office, 400 yards N.N.W. of (19), is of two storeys with attics. At the back is a modern addition.
d (21). Cottage, 160 yards N.N.W. of (20). Inside the building is an old door with square panels.
Road, running E. of Swan Street, N. side
d (22). House, S.E. of (21). apparently entirely rebuilt, except the chimney-stack, which has grouped diagonal shafts with a square addition of later date.
d (23). House, now three tenements, 20 yards N.E. of (22), is of two storeys with attics. It was built probably late in the 16th century on a modified H-shaped plan, with the cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. Inside the building, in the E. wing, is the four-centred head of an original doorway.
d (24). House, now three tenements, 50 yards N.E. of (23), was built on an L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the N.W. and S.W. On the N.W. side of the S.W. wing is a modern addition.
d (25). House, now two tenements. 100 yards N.E. of (24), on the S.E. side of the road, was built in the 16th century, on a modified L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.E. and S.E. A wing was added between the others in the 17th century, and a block was built on the N.E. side of the addition in the 18th century. On the N.W. front is a modern addition. At the end of the original S.E. wing are two gables, and the timberframing is partly exposed. The original central chimney-stack has a shaft with diagonal pilasters.
d (26). Cottage, now two tenements (one of them an inn), 560 yards S. of Brickwall Farm, with modern additions at the back and at the N. and S. ends, has been partly re-faced with modern brick. The original central chimney-stack has two octagonal shafts on a rectangular base.
d (27). Hole Farm, house, about ¼ m. S.W. of (26), was built on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S. On the W. side of the S. wing is a modern addition. On the W. half of the N. front the upper storey projects; the rest of the front has been re-faced with modern brick.
d (28). House, at the S.W. end of the green, 850 yards W. of (27), was built in the 15th century, and has a modern addition on the W. side. Originally there was probably a wing at the S. end. On the E. front, at the N. end, the upper storey projects and is gabled. Inside the building, on the ground floor, two of the joists are supported by chamfered braces, and there is an old door with strap-hinges. Re-used in the modern stairs are some late 16th-century flat balusters. In the cross-ridged roof, at the N. end, is an original king-post truss.
d (29). Southey Green Farm, house, 400 yards N.N.W. of (28), is of two storeys with attics. It was built on a modified L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the N.E. and N.W., and with a slightly projecting cross-wing at the end of the N.E. wing. The additions on the S.W. side and in the N.E. angle are modern. Inside the building is an old door with strap-hinges.
d (30). Baker's Farm, house, 800 yards N.E. of (29), is of two storeys with attics. It was built probably in the second half of the 16th century. The additions on the N. and W. sides of the house are modern. At each end of the S. front is a gable, and on the N. elevation are four gables. The original W. chimney-stack has three octagonal shafts with moulded and spurred caps, on a rectangular base with a moulded capping; the original S.E. stack is similar to the other, but the base has a carved string-course. Inside the building, on the ground floor, is a panelled and nail-studded door with elaborate strap-hinges, and three other original doors also retain their strap-hinges. Two doorways have original two-centred heads, one of them with engrailed edges. The E. staircase is of late 17th or early 18th-century date, and has twisted balusters, moulded hand-rail and square moulded newels.
d (31). Cottage, two tenements, at Cobbs Farm, 500 yards N.N.E. of (30), with a modern addition at the back.
d (32). Fenner's Farm, house, about 1,100 yards N.W. of Southey Green Farm (29), was built early in the 17th century, and extended towards the S. later in the same century. The additions at the back and at the S. end are modern.
c (33). Cottage, two tenements, 1,500 yards W.N.W. of (32), with a modern addition at the W. end.
c (34). Shelley's Farm, house, nearly 2 m. W. of the church.
c (35). Redhouse Farm, house and barn, 350 yards N.E. of (34). Inside the House are some shaped wall-posts and stop-chamfered ceiling-joists.
The Barn is of six bays.
a (36). Birdgreen Farm, house, 600 yards N.N.W. of (34).
a (37). Gormansy's Farm, house, ½ m. N.E. of (36).
a (38). Kentish Farm, house and barn, 600 yards N. of (37). The House was built probably c. 1500, the plan of the upper storey then forming a half-H, with the wings extending towards the S., but the W. wing has been demolished. At the E. end of the S. front the upper storey projects and is gabled, and there is a corresponding gable at the E. end of the N. elevation. Inside the building are shaped wall-posts, and in the wing is a blocked window, probably original, of two lights with ovolo-moulded mullions. The roof of the wing retains an original king-post truss.
The Barn, W. of the house, is weather-boarded and of four bays, with a modern porch on the E. side. It is of the same date as the house. The roof retains an original king-post truss.
b (39). Washlands Farm, house, 600 yards N.W. of the church, was built on an irregular T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S. end. The N. wing was extended or partly rebuilt in the 19th century. In the middle of the S. elevation is a gable. Inside the building, at the W. end of the cross-wing, is visible an original window, now blocked, with three diamond-shaped mullions. In the same wing is a late 17th-century door.
b (40). Prayor's Farm, house, 100 yards N.W. of the church, was built possibly in 1678, the date carved on a moulded wall-post inside the building. On the N.E. side the additions are modern.
b (41). The Sugar Loaves Inn, about ¼ m. E.N.E. of the church, on the Braintree Road, was built probably c. 1600, but the original plan is doubtful. On the S.W. side and at the N.W. end are modern additions. The original base of the S. chimney-stack has stepped offsets. Inside the original building, on the ground floor, are shaped wall-posts and an original four-centred door-head. On the first floor, at the bend of the stairs, is an original doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred head.
a (42). Homestead Moat at Bloom's Farm, 1½ m. N.W. of the church.