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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'Farnham', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 1, North West, (London, 1916) pp. 84-86. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol1/pp84-86 [accessed 21 April 2024]

In this section

23. FARNHAM. (A.d.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxii. N.W. (b)xxii. N.E. (c)xxii. S.W.)

Farnham is an agricultural parish about 2 m. N. of Bishop's Stortford. There is no village; Hazel End is the most considerable hamlet, and has, in an orchard, a derelict Nonconformist graveyard of the 18th century.


b (1). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, on the W. side of Hassobury Park, was entirely rebuilt in 1859, but retains from the old church the following:—

Fittings—Bells: six; 1st, 1618; 4th, 1615; 5th, 1625; all three by Miles Graye. Communion Table: In vestry—with turned legs and carved upper rails, early 17th-century. Glass: In organ-chamber—in E. window, figure of St. Basil the Great, as an archbishop, in mitre and cope, holding a cross, round the head of figure original border; at the sides small Renaissance capitals; below figure inscription in black-letter, early 17th-century, probably Flemish, set in modern glass, in a wooden frame, and said to have been brought from Ghent by a former rector. At rectory—leaded panel made up of fragments of tabernacle work, 15th-century. Monument: In tower—in ground stage, on N. wall, tablet of slate, to Henry Lilley, Rouge Dragon, 1638; in second stage, alabaster segmental pediment and base of tablet, each with a coat of arms, both loose, but part-of same monument. Plate: includes cup with cover of 1612, of secular origin, cup and cover with repoussé work, baluster stem, handle of cover in form of a coiled serpent, formerly gilt.

Condition—Good, rebuilt.


a (2). Walker's Manor House, now a farmhouse, with barn, outbuildings and moat, 680 yards W.S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics and cellar; the walls are partly of brick and partly timber-framed and covered with plaster; the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1560 on a T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the W. end. Early in the 17th century a staircase wing was added at the back, a small gabled wing at the N. end, and a cupboard wing at the S. end of the cross-wing. On the W. front the ground storey was faced with brick at the same time. The building has been much altered at various dates, and the chimney-stack of the kitchen is possibly of c. 1700.

The late 16th and early 17th-century panelling is noteworthy.

The original plan was of the usual form with a Great Hall, now the dining-room, in the middle; a passage now represents the Screens at the N. end, entered through a projecting porch; the Solar wing at the S. end is now the drawing-room, and the kitchen at the N. end is the present breakfast-room. The wing at the back is occupied by the present kitchen and store-rooms.

The W. Front has, at each end, a gable; in the middle is a moulded bressumer at the level of the first floor, which originally projected but has been under-built with modern brick; the rest of the ground floor is of 17th-century brick. The gabled porch is of two storeys; it has an arched outer doorway and two arched recesses in the side walls; above the doorway is an original window of four lights with moulded oak mullions. At the S. End is an original chimney-stack, repaired at the top; the two octagonal shafts have moulded caps and bases; the projecting cupboard wing has a 17th-century casement window. The E. Elevation has a projecting bay, now carried up to the roof; on the ground floor the original window lighting the drawing-room has moulded oak mullions and transom; N. of the gabled staircase wing is an original chimney-stack with blue diapering and modern shafts. The N. Elevation has on the N. side of the back wing a large brick chimney-stack of c. 1700, and at the end of the main block an original stack, uniform with that at the S. end, but unrestored. The small projecting wing is gabled and has a moulded oak barge-board.

Interior—On the ground floor the dining-room has a panelled dado made up of early 17th-century woodwork. The drawing-room has an original moulded oak door frame; the walls are panelled to the ceiling with 16th and 17th-century oak, and on each side of the fireplace is a fluted pilaster with a capital of combined Doric and Ionic form; the recess of the modern window has Jacobean panelling. The breakfast-room is lined with painted panelling, which has a carved frieze and a small cupboard beside the fireplace, with a 'gate' of turned balusters. The wing at the back retains the original shaped wall-posts on the S. side, and on the first floor one cambered tie-beam with curved braces is exposed. The staircase to the cellar has an original door. On the first floor the bedroom over the drawing-room has two original battened doors, and the walls are lined with panelling, divided into bays by pilasters similar to those in the drawing-room. The attic room has an original nail-studded door and an original blocked fireplace with a four-centred brick head. A considerable amount of panelling has been re-used in other parts of the house.

The Barn, S.W. of the house, is possibly of late 16th-century date; it is of eight bays, with narrow aisles; the walls are timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roof is thatched.

The Outbuilding, N.W. of the house, is probably of the 17th century, and the Cart-shed, of five bays with an open front, may be of late 17th century date.

The Moat is wide and rectangular with a cross arm; the house occupies the S. half of the site enclosed; the S. part of the work is obliterated.

Condition—Of house, fairly good, two chimney stacks are insecure; of outbuildings, fairly good; of moat, incomplete.

Monuments (3–19).

The following buildings, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century, and of two storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster or weather-boarding; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Many of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good, without exception.

b (3). Earlsbury Farm, house, now two tenements, with barn, 820 yards S.W. of the church. The House was built on a rectangular plan c. 1600, and a wing of irregular shape was added at the back, probably late in the 17th century, making the plan L-shaped. At the S.W. end of the original block the upper storey projects on two curved brackets.

The Barn, N.W. of the house, is probably of c. 1600. The middle part fell down a few years ago, the two ends are now standing; both have aisles.

a (4). Cottage, now three tenements, at Levels Green, 200 yards W. of (3), is T-shaped on plan with the cross-wing at the N.E. end. The S.E. chimney-stack is set diagonally.

b (5). Globe Farm, house, 400 yards W. of the church; is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N.; they are apparently of slightly different date, and there is a modern extension on the N. end.

Farnham Green, N. side

a (6). Cottage, 1,400 yards W.N.W. of the church, has a half-hipped gable at the N.W. end. The original central chimney-stack has diagonal pilasters on each face and stands on a rectangular base.

a (7). Cottage, two tenements, 370 yards N. of (6). The roof is brought down low at the back.

S. side

a (8). Barns, two, at Farnham Hall, 580 yards S.S.W. of (7). The barn N. of the house is of three bays, and that W. of the house is of three and a half bays; both have aisles.

a (9). Shawwood Cottages, 390 yards W. of (8). The 17th-century building is of red brick, with a chamfered plinth and a band formed by two over-sailing courses between the storeys. In front is an original doorway, now blocked, and above it is a blocked window. At each end are 18th-century or modern additions.

b (10). Panelling, at Bournehill Cottage, 500 yards S. of the church; is of the 17th century and forms a partition; probably taken from the former church.

Hazel End, W. side

b (11). Lower Farm, house and barn, nearly 1 m. E.S.E. of the church. The House has a small modern addition at the N. end, and the roof is carried down low at the back. The original central chimney-stack has rectangular pilasters, and the chimney-stack at the N. end has stepped brickwork and two octagonal shafts, restored at the top. Inside the building one partition is made up of early 17th-century panelling with some carved work.

The Barn, near the house, is of the 17th century.

b (12). Cottage, two tenements, 40 yards S.W. of (11) has been much altered. Inside the building is some early 17th-century panelling, said to have come from the former church. There is also some moulded panelling of c. 1700.

b (13). Upper Farm, house and barn, 70 yards E. of (12). The House is possibly of late 16th-century date. The plan is L-shaped with the wings extending towards the W. and S. In front there is a gable at each end and the upper storey projects.

The Barn, S. of the house, is of five bays with an aisle on the S. side.

b (14). The Three Horse Shoes Inn, 70 yards S.E. of (13) has been entirely restored outside, and has three dormer windows in front.

E. side

b (15). Cottage, now three tenements, 100 yards N. of (14), has a hipped roof carried down low at the back.

b (16). Cottage, N. of (15), with a modern addition at the back. The timber construction is exposed in the upper storey.

b (17). Cottage, N. of (16). The roof is carried down low at the N. end.

b (18). Cottage, two tenements, 140 yards N. of (17), with a hipped roof.

b (19). Barns, two, and Outbuilding N.W. of Hassobury House, ¼ m. N.E. of the church. One barn is of six bays with aisles and two porches on the E. side. The second barn is smaller than the other, and has a porch on the S. side. The outbuilding, S.E. of the barns, is built of red brick and has a modern cupola.

c (20). Wickham Hall, 1¼ m. S.S.W. of the church, is partly in this parish and partly in Bishop's Stortford. For description see Inventory of Hertfordshire.