Hatfield Peverel

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.

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'Hatfield Peverel', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) pp. 122-126. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol2/pp122-126 [accessed 11 April 2024]

In this section


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

Hatfield Peverel is a parish and village 3 m. S.W. of Witham. The Church and Toppinghoe Hall are the principal monuments.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew stands S.E. of the village. The walls are of flint-rubble with freestone dressings and some brickwork, but the external facing is almost entirely modern; the roofs are tiled. A secular college is said to have been founded here late in the 11th century, but early in the 12th century it was converted into a Benedictine Priory, cell to St. Albans Abbey. The Nave (parish nave and chancel) was built about the beginning of the 12th century and the remains of the Central Tower are of the same date. About the end of the 13th century the North Aisle was added, but it appears to have been widened early in the 15th century, when the two western bays of the arcade were altered or re-built. The priory was dissolved in 1536, and probably shortly after the presbytery with its chapels the transept and the central tower were pulled down; the nave, being parochial, was left standing and the W. arch of the central tower was blocked to close in the E. end. About the middle of the 16th century the South Vestry was built. The building was drastically restored in the 19th century when the South Aisle was added and the North Porch re-built. The domestic buildings of the priory, which have entirely disappeared, probably lay on the S. of the church.

Hatfield Peverel. The Parish Church of St Andrew

The church is of interest as a fragment of a small conventual church, and among the fittings the heraldic glass, the 13th-century effigy and the 15th-century bench-ends are noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Central Tower (probably about 18¾ ft. square) has been destroyed except for the W. arch, now blocked; it is of the 12th century, semi-circular and quite plain; adjoining it on the N. and S. are buttresses representing the W. responds of the N. and S. arches.

The Nave (81 ft. by 25 ft.) forms the parochial chancel and nave and is structurally undivided. In the N. wall is an arcade of five bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, resting on octagonal columns with moulded capitals and modern bases; the orders of the easternmost arch are continued down the E. respond, but the W. respond has an attached shaft with a moulded capital and base; the three easternmost arches are of late 13th-century date, but the two westernmost with the pier and respond are of the 15th century; above the first pier is a single round-headed light of c. 1100; the second pillar has a groove cut in the S.W. face for the former parochial rood-screen, and the wall above had a doorway at the loft level, now blocked but retaining its oak frame on the N. side. In the S. wall is a modern doorway and arcade of five bays; W. of the arcade is a 13th-century lancet window set high in the wall and modern externally. In the W. wall is a 12th-century doorway, much restored, and of two orders, the inner plain and the outer with cheveron ornament, the jambs have each a shaft with a scalloped capital and a moulded abacus continued round the inner order as an impost. The W. window is modern.

The North Aisle (14 ft. wide, average) has on the N. wall an early 16th-century embattled parapet of brick; in the wall are five windows, the easternmost is of two trefoiled ogee lights with a trefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and of early 14th-century date; the second window is all modern except for the 16th-century brick head and a few stones possibly of the 14th century; the third window is also modern except for the jambs, splays and rear-arch, which are probably of the 15th century; the fourth window is of two cinque-foiled lights with modern tracery in a two-centred head and of the 15th century, partly restored; the westernmost window is modern; between the third and fourth window is a semi-octagonal rood-stair turret entered by a late 15th or early 16th-century doorway with a four-centred head; the embattled capping of the turret is of 16th-century brick repaired in the 18th century and has an isolated, tabled buttress rising from the middle; between the two westernmost windows is the early 15th-century N. doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders and a moulded label. In the W. wall is a 13th-century lancet window, all modern externally.

The South Vestry is built of brick, but the E. wall is probably that of the former S. transept. The vestry is of two storeys and has in the S. wall of the ground storey a 16th-century window of three lights with moulded jambs, square head and label of brick. The upper storey has in the E. wall a similar window of two lights and in the S. wall two similar windows, one of three lights and the other of one light only.

The Roofs are modern except two tie-beams in the parish chancel; the eastern is moulded and has a hole in the middle, probably for a former lamp; the western tie-beam is moulded and has curved braces forming a four-centred arch and curved principals above it; both are of late 15th or early 16th-century date.

Fittings—Brasses: In parish chancel—(1) two shields (a) a cheveron with three roundels thereon; (b) (1) impaling quarterly 1 and 4 a griffin, 2 and 3 three fusils fessewise, indent of inscription plate, 15th-century. (2) to unnamed lady, descendant of the Bohuns, c. 1570, inscription only; (3) of John Allen, 1572, and his first wife, kneeling figure of man in civilian dress and lady with children, indents of two other wives, scroll, plate and two shields; (4) to Martha (Glascocke), wife of Edmund Aleyn, 1593. Chairs: In upper room of vestry—two, with carved backs, carved and turned legs, upholstered seats, late 17th-century. Chests: In vestry—(1) (Plate p. xxxiii) of oak, iron-bound, lid with chain fastenings, drop handles, probably 16th-century; (2) with moulded framing, two original lock plates, drop handles, probably late 17th-century. Doors: In W. doorway—modern, incorporating panels with four shields cut away at top, c. 1500. In vestry— panelled and nail studded, with iron hinges, probably early 16th-century, set in modern framing. In N. doorway—of two folds, framing only old, uncertain date, battens modern. Glass: In N. aisle—in easternmost window, fragments of tabernacle work and foliage in heads of lights and tracery, 14th and 15th-century, fragmentary panels of Flemish glass with figure subjects, probably early 17th-century; in second window, royal arms of Elizabeth with strap-work ornament, also seven shields of arms, probably early 18th-century; in third window, various, made up of panels including restored shields of arms, a true-lovers-knot with the initials R.I. the arms (Plate p. xxxvi), a chain cheveronwise between three mitres (in yellow stain only) for Evesham Abbey, 16th-century and later; in fourth window, two panels made up of fragments including a dimidiated and irradiated Tudor rose, late 15th-century, and a shield of arms with strap-work, early 17th-century. In S. aisle—in easternmost window, Flemish glass with remains of figure subjects including the Nativity and other subjects, 16th-century; in second window, similar fragments including head of large figure, a kneeling female figure, portions of figures of St. James and St. John the Baptist, 16th and 17th-century. Helms: In parish chancel—on N. wall, remains of funeral achievement, with helm and crest, sword, leathern gauntlets and spur, 16th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In parish chancel— against N. wall, (1) altar-tomb of marble with moulded slab, four cinque-foiled and three square traceried panels on south side, with three shields with rivets for former brasses; cinque-foiled panel at each end, moulded plinth, early 16th-century. In N. aisle—on sill of second window, (2) recumbent effigy of man in plain gown with hood, head on cushion supported by angels, feet on lion, hands holding heart, late 13th-century, badly mutilated. Floor-slabs: In parish chancel —(1) to Martha (Aleyn), wife of Joshua Blower, vicar of the parish, 1639. In N. aisle—(2) to John Godbold, 166[9], (3) to Daniel Coys, 1673, with achievement of arms. Niches: In nave—on N. wall above the third column, with flat arched head, uncertain date. In N. aisle—in E. splay of easternmost window, with circular head, probably 15th-century. Painting: On second column of N. arcade—crucifixion with figure of the Virgin and remains of figure of St. John, all under crocketed canopies; on W. face of column, female figure, late 14th or early 15th-century, much defaced; remains of colour also on niches, columns and some window splays. Plate: includes cup of 1628 or 1636, cup of 1639, stand-paten of 1677 and cup of 1691. Screen: in E. bay of N. arcade—not in situ, with moulded and embattled cornice, partly modern, doorway and four open bays all with trefoiled, sub-cusped and traceried heads, close lower panels, mid 15th-century. Seating: In parish chancel—three bench-ends with carved and traceried panels and popeys (Plate p. xxxviii), carved with foliage and human heads including king, queen, two bearded heads, and two female heads, late 14th-century. Staircase: re-used in stairway in vestry, several flat-shaped balusters, late 16th-century. Stoup: adjoining N. doorway—with septfoiled head and broken basin, 15th-century.

Condition—Fairly good, much restored.


b(2). Homestead Moat, at Mowden Hall, 1¼ m. W.S.W. of the church.

b(3). Toppinghoe Hall, house and barn, 1½m. W.N.W. of the church. The House (Plate p. 256) is of two storeys with attics; the walls are partly of brick and partly of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th century and is probably part of a larger house which was partly demolished and remodelled in the 17th century and subsequently. The W. wall is of brick and has two stone windows, one of four transomed lights and the other of three lights; the moulded brick coping of the gable has corbelled kneelers and the stump of a pinnacle at the apex.

The Barn, S.W. of the house, incorporates two gables and one side of the original house of late 16th-century date. The walls are of red brick and the roofs are tiled. The two gabled ends have each three stone windows, two of five transomed lights and one of three lights; those at the N. end have moulded labels. The N. gable has a moulded coping and the stump of a pinnacle at the apex. The S. gable is crow-stepped. On the W. side are four small, square-headed windows, now blocked, and a doorway with a four-centred head. Inside the building are some heavy ceiling-beams and four fireplaces with four-centred heads, two on the ground floor, now blocked, and two on the first floor with stop-moulded arches.

Condition—Of house, good; of barn, ruinous.

Monuments (4–27).

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

Condition—Good, or fairly good.

b(4). Crix Farm, house, 600 yards S.E. of (3), has been refaced with modern brick.

a(5). Hatfield Wick, house, about 1¼ m. N.W. of the church, has two original chimney-stacks with octagonal shafts.

a(6). Termitt's Farm, house, 1½ m. N.N.W. of the church, was built early in the 16th century with the cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. On the N. front the upper storey projects at the ends of the cross-wings.

b(7). House and Post Office, on N. side of the main road, 1,050 yards N.N.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N.

b(8). House, now two tenements, on the E. side of the road 150 yards S.E. of (7), has a S. wing perhaps of the 15th century; the main block is of the 17th century.

b(9). House opposite (8).

b(10). House, now three tenements, on N.E. side of the road 600 yards N. of the church, was built in the 15th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. On the S. front the upper storey projects at the ends of the cross-wings. Inside the building the original king-post roof-truss of the E. wing is visible.

b(11). Langley's Cottage, 160 yards S.E. of (10).

b(12). House, three tenements, 20 yards S.E. of (11).

b(13). House, two tenements, opposite (11).

b(14). Cottage, now two tenements, on W. side of the road about 400 yards E.N.E. of the church.

b(15). Lodge at Hatfield Priory, 170 yards N.N.E. of the church, was built probably about the middle of the 16th-century but has been entirely refaced externally. Inside the building is an original moulded beam with a curved brace.

b(16). Cottage, 500 yards W.N.W. of the church, has been reduced in size.

b(17). Cottage, two tenements, on N. side of road 500 yards S.S.W. of the church.

b(18). Cottage, three tenements, opposite (17).

b(19). Priory Farm, house, at Nounsley, 700 yards S. of the church, has an original central chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts.

b(20). Redrobin Farm (Plate p. 96), house, 100 yards S. of (19), was built probably in the 15th century with cross-wings at the W. and E. ends; the E. wing has been destroyed, the W. wing has a projecting upper storey. Inside the building the W. wing has an original cambered tie-beam.

b(21). Bridge Farm, house, 320 yards W. of (20), was built late in the 16th century. Inside the building is an original window of four lights with diamond-shaped mullions, now blocked. One room has an original fireplace with a four-centred arch.

b(22). Gardener's Farm, house, about 1 m. S.W. of the church, has been refaced with modern brick.

b(23). House (Plate p. 96), two tenements, about 1¾ m. S.W. of the church, has a late 16th-century E. wing but the main block is of the 18th century. The E. wing has a projecting gable with carved consoles at the ends, a moulded and dentilled bressumer and enriched barge-boards with a moulded pendant at the apex. The central chimney-stack has diagonal shafts and pilasters.

b(24). Cottage, two tenements, S. of Gray's Farm and nearly ¾ m. E.S.E. of the church.

b(25). Cottage, two tenements, about 1¼ m. E.S.E. of the church.

b(26). Cottage, 50 yards E.S.E. of (25), was built possibly in the 15th century. The roof has a central purlin with the mortice for a former king-post and a cambered tie-beam.

b(27). Sandford's Farm, house, nearly 1 m. N.E. of the church, has the lower storey of red brick. The chimney-stack at the W. end has crow-stepped offsets.