Pages 96-98

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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In this section

25. FOXEARTH. (E.b).

(O.S. 6 in. (a)vi. N.W. (b)vi. S.W.)

Foxearth is a small parish and village on the border of Suffolk, about 3½ m. N.W. of Sudbury. The Hall and the Post Office are the principal monuments.


a (1). Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul stands on the E. side of the village. The walls are of flint rubble with stone dressings, and the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The Nave is of uncertain date, but c. 1350 a N. aisle was added and the Chancel was rebuilt. The North Aisle was rebuilt and widened c. 1450, and the North Chapel was added; the chancel-arch was possibly removed at the same time. The West Tower was added in 1862, and the church was restored and the South Porch added during the 19th century. There is said to have been a S. aisle, but no structural evidence remains.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (29 ft. by 18¼ ft.) has an E. window of c. 1350, and of three cinquefoiled ogee lights with leaf tracery in a two-centred head; the internal and external labels are chamfered. In the N. wall is a modern doorway, and further W. a two-centred arch of c. 1450 and of two hollow-chamfered orders; the responds are moulded and shafted, with moulded bases and capitals. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is of c. 1350, partly restored, and of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental-pointed head, under a chamfered label; the western window is modern, except the internal splays and hollow-chamfered rear arch, which are of the 15th century. Between the windows is a modern doorway. There is no chancel-arch, but between the chancel and nave is a chamfered and moulded beam, probably of the 15th century, which rests on curved brackets and has plastered timber-framing above it.

The North Chapel (27 ft. by 11¾ ft.) now the vestry and organ-chamber, is of the 15th century, and has an embattled parapet with crocketed pinnacles. In the E. wall is a window of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a three-centred head; the label is moulded. In the N. wall are two windows similar to that in the E. wall, but with two-centred heads; the mullions of the western window are partly restored. In the W. wall is an arch similar to that in the N. wall of the chancel, but the capitals have different mouldings.

The Nave (42¾ ft. by 18¼ ft.) has a N. arcade of c. 1350, and of four bays; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders; the columns are octagonal and the responds have attached halfcolumns; all with moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall are three windows, all modern except the internal splays and rear arches, which are of c. 1450; the two eastern windows have moulded four-centred rear arches and moulded splays with cinquefoiled heads; the western window has a moulded segmental-pointed rear arch and moulded splays; between the two western windows is the modern S. doorway.

The North Aisle (11½ ft. wide) has, in the N. wall, three windows; the eastern is modern except the splays and rear arch which are similar to the eastern windows in the nave; the two western windows are similar to those in the N. wall of the N. chapel. In the W. wall is a modern window.

The Roof of the chancel is of three bays, and probably of c. 1350; it is of the trussed-rafter type with moulded wall-plates; the brackets at the feet of the principals rest on carved headcorbels of wood, of which some are original. The lean-to roof of the N. chapel is probably of late 15th-century date; some of the rafters are moulded and the rest, with the wall-plates, are stop-chamfered. The 15th-century roof of the nave is of four bays with chamfered timbers and moulded and embattled wall-plates; the trusses have each two collar-beams, the lower supported by curved brackets springing from wall-posts. The 15th-century lean-to roof of the N. aisle has moulded main timbers; the principals have curved brackets with carved spandrels, and the feet of the wallposts are carved with foliage or faces. The roofs have all been painted.

Fittings—Bells: eight; 6th by Miles Graye, 1665. Brass: In chancel—on N. wall, to Joseph Sidey, 1605, inscription only. Chair: In chancel— with panelled back and moulded frame, carved brackets supporting upper rail of back, shaped arms with carved ends, and turned legs, early 17th-century. Piscina: In chancel—with hollow-chamfered jambs and cinquefoiled head, 15th-century, now painted, basin modern. Screen: Between chancel and nave—with close lower panels, six on each side of doorway, all with traceried heads and band of quatrefoils at base, each panel painted with figure of saint, and name: —(1) St. Barbara, (2) St. Helena, (3) St. Mary Magdalene, (4) St. Dorothy, (5) St. Apollonia, (6) The Blessed Virgin, (7) Our Lord (ihc), (8) St. Alban, (9) St. Walstan, (10) St. Felix, (11) St. Edmund, (12) St. Augustine (the Doctor), early 16th-century, paintings partly restored, upper part of screen, modern.

Condition—Good, much restored.


a (2). Foxearth Hall and moat, 400 yards W.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed and rough-cast; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the second half of the 15th century on a rectangular plan with a central Hall, a Buttery at the N. end and a Solar at the S. end. In the 16th century the Hall was divided into storeys, and a wing was added projecting E. from the original Buttery. There is a later addition at the N. end. On the W. front, at the S. end the upper storey projects and is gabled, and the 16th-century central chimney-stack of the main block has four attached octagonal shafts on a square base.

Interior—On the ground floor the former Solar has original moulded ceiling-beams and heavy shaped posts. The former Hall has one chamfered ceiling-beam, and the former Buttery has an open timber ceiling. The staircase is original, but has been covered by modern work; the staircase to the attics has solid oak steps. On the first floor the roof of the former Hall is visible and is of three bays with smoke-blackened timbers and king-post trusses; the tie-beams are cambered and the braced king-posts have two-way struts. The roof of the former Solar and of the 16th-century E. wing have exposed and cambered tie-beams. One old door is of moulded and nail-studded battens, and several modern doors incorporate linen-fold panelling.

The Moat still surrounds the house.

Condition—Of house and moat, good.

a (3). West End Hall and moat, about 1,000 yards N.N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the second half of the 16th century, and has 18th-century or modern additions on the E. side. The original central chimney-stack has a panelled base and four octagonal shafts with moulded bases.

The Moat is incomplete and dry.

Condition—Of house, good.

Monuments (4–12).

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 original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.

Main Street, N.E. side

a (4). Cottage, two tenements and post office, 300 yards W.N.W. of the church, was built in the 15th century, probably on a half H-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the E.; the S.E. wing has been destroyed. Early in the 16th century a fireplace was inserted in the middle of the Hall, and c. 1600 the Hall was divided into two storeys.

The early 16th-century fireplace is noteworthy.

Interior—On the first floor, in the former Hall, the upper part of the 16th-century fireplace has a moulded and embattled cresting with panelled merlons; below it are sunk trefoil-headed panels with blind tracery enriched with carved roses; all probably of plastered brickwork. S. of the chimney-stack is an original roof-truss with a cambered tie-beam, octagonal king-post with moulded capital and base, and four-way struts.

a (5). Cottage, three tenements, 100 yards W. of the church, was built late in the 16th century, and has modern additions at the E. and W. ends. The original central chimney-stack has two trefoil-headed panels in the base, and a modern shaft.

a (6). Cottage, three tenements, on the N. side of the turning to Belchamp Walter, 130 yards S.S.W. of (5). It has an 18th-century wing at the E. end and a modern addition at the back. The original central chimney-stack has three grouped diagonal shafts.

S.W. side

a (7). Cottage, now two tenements, 140 yards S.W. of the church, was built in the second quarter of the 16th century. The N. front and the back each have a gable at the E. end. The original central chimney-stack has four octagonal shafts, modern at the top. Inside the building, on the ground floor, the W. room has an original moulded ceiling-beam and joists. The E. room has a beam with moulded casing of early 18th-century date. On the first floor, the E. room has an original moulded ceiling-beam.

a (8). Cottage, three tenements, 40 yards E. of (7), with a modern extension at the E. end.

b (9). Eyston Lodge, now two tenements, about 1½ m. S.W. of the church. It has an 18th-century wing on the N. side, making the plan T-shaped. The roof of the main block is hipped at the ends. Inside the building, the rooms on the ground floor of the main block have open timber ceilings with original moulded joists.

a (10). Cottage, now three tenements, ½ m. W. of the church; it has an 18th-century addition at the N. end and another on the W. side.

a (11). Constable's Farm, house, nearly ¾ m. N. of the church. The upper storey projects and is gabled at both the N. and S. ends of the house; at the S. end the gable also projects, and both the projections have original carved bressumers with carved voluted brackets or consoles. At the N. end the upper storey has an original moulded bressumer with shaped brackets. Inside the building, on the ground floor, the N. room has an original moulded ceiling-beam.

a (12). Cottage, two tenements, 300 yards S.E. of (11). Inside the building is one original moulded beam, not in situ.

Condition—Bad. Pulled down since visit.