Ingatestone and Fryerning

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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'Ingatestone and Fryerning', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) pp. 136-142. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)lix. N.E. (b)lx. N.W.)

Ingatestone and Fryerning form, since 1889, one civil parish with a large village 5 m. N.E. of Brentwood. The two Churches, Ingatestone Hall and Fryerning Hall, are the principal monuments.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Edmund, Ingatestone (Plate p. 135), stands on the E. side of the village. The walls are of puddingstone, flint and pebble-rubble, Roman bricks and tiles, and 15th to 17th-century brick; the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave were built late in the 11th century. At some date probably before the 16th century the chancel was enlarged; and probably in the first half of the 15th century the South Aisle was added. About the end of this century the West Tower was built, and in the second half of the 16th century the South Chapel was added, probably by Sir William Petre. The North Chapel was built early in the 17th century, by the second Lord Petre to accommodate the monument of his father (d. 1613) and his wife (d. 1624). The Organ-chamber is modern.

The W. Tower is a fine example of late 15th-century brickwork, and among the fittings the Petre monuments are noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (36½ ft. by 17½ ft.) has an E. wall of red brick in irregular Flemish bond, probably of late 17th-century date; in it is a modern window. In the N. wall opening into the N. chapel is a four-centred archway of early 17th-century date and of three chamfered orders, with modern brick jambs; further W. is a modern opening for the organ. On the S. side is a brick arcade of three bays with four-centred arches of three chamfered orders on octagonal pillars and semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases; the W. respond is partly restored. There is no chancel-arch.

The North Chapel (19 ft. by 16½ ft.) is of early 17th-century date and of red brick with diaper pattern of black bricks and the letters W P formed by black bricks in the W. gable. In the E. wall is an 18th or early 19th-century window, and the doorway in the N. wall is also modern.

The 16th-century South Chapel (32 ft. by 16½ ft.) is of brick and has in the E. wall a stone carved with the initials W.P. and A.P. and a shield carved in relief with the arms of Petre, partly obliterated. In this wall is a window of three four-centred and transomed lights under a square head. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of three and the western of two plain four-centred lights under a square head.

The Nave (42½ ft. by 16¾ ft.), has a N. wall of pudding stone with rough lacing-courses of Roman bricks and tiles and a N.W. angle of Roman bricks; in the wall are two windows, all modern except the splays which are probably of late 14th or early 15th-century date; further W. is the partly restored late 14th-century N. doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred head, and label; the label stops are defaced human heads, one apparently of a woman with braided hair of c. 1370–80. On the S. side is a 15th-century arcade of three bays with four-centred arches of two chamfered orders carried on piers each with four attached shafts and half columns as responds; all with moulded capitals and bases. E. of the arcade on the S. side is a blocked doorway to the former rood-loft; it is of clunch and has a four-centred head.

The South Aisle (14 ft. wide) is of flint and pebble-rubble intermixed with some puddingstone and Roman bricks probably from the former S. wall of the nave. In the S. wall are two windows, all modern except for the splays and the segmental-pointed rear-arch of the eastern window which are probably of the 15th century. Further W. is the 15th-century S. doorway of two chamfered orders, with a two-centred head, all modern externally. In the W. wall is a window modern externally and plastered internally.

The late 15th-century West Tower is of red brick with diaper patterns, crosses, etc., of black brick. It is of four stages externally and of three internally, with a stepped and embattled parapet having a corbel-table of trefoiled arches; at the angles are octagonal pinnacles with moulded tops. In the S.E. angle is a semi-octagonal stair-turret lighted by plain rectangular loops. The brick tower-arch is two-centred and of four orders with responds of three orders. In the S. wall is a modern doorway to the stair-turret. The W. window, partly restored, is of three four-centred lights and plain tracery under a four-centred arch; under it is the W. doorway of four chamfered orders with a four-centred arch under a square head with sunk spandrels. The third stage has in the N. and S. walls a single round-headed light of three square orders; in the W. wall is a window, partly restored, of two four-centred lights with a sunk spandrel under a four-centred arch. The bell-chamber has in each of the E., N. and W. walls a window of two round-headed lights under a four-centred head; in the S. wall is a single round-headed light.

Ingatestone, The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin and St Edmund.

The 15th-century Roof of the nave has moulded wall-plates and three tie-beams carrying octagonal king-posts with moulded capitals and bases. The 16th-century roof of the S. chapel has a moulded wall-plate and a cambered tie-beam.

Fittings—Bells: five; 3rd by Peter Hawkins, 1610; 5th by Miles Graye, 1660. Brass and Indents. Brass: In chancel—shield of arms quarterly 1 and 4, a muzzled, bear rampart 2 and 3, three fishes swimming in a border engrailed for Bernard, quartering Lilling, with indent of figure and inscription-plate, probably for Eustace Bernard, early 16th-century. Indents: In chancel —(1) and (2) of inscription-plates. Communion Table: In N. chapel—with plain legs, lower rails and top rail carved with strap-ornament, early 17th-century. Hour-glass Stand: In nave—fixed on N. wall W. of modern pulpit, of twisted wrought iron, early 18th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on S. side, (1) of Sir William Petre, Secretary of State to Henry VIII., Privy Councillor to Edward VI., Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Chancellor of the Order of the Garter, 1571–2, and Anne (Browne) his second wife; on altar-tomb (Plate p. 139), alabaster effigies of man in plate armour, head against helmet, feet against crest, and of lady with close head-dress, brocaded skirt, cloak and fur stole, feet on lozenge of arms; both effigies on a rush mattress; altar-tomb on two steps, sides divided into three panels by Doric columns of Purbeck and veined marble, each panel enriched with a shell-head and elaborate cartouche of arms; a similar panel at each end; in head of arch over tomb, ornamental ironwork supporting an alabaster oval plaque with achievement of arms surrounded by a chain with rose pendant encircled by a Garter. In N. chapel—(2) to Mary, widow of Robert, Lord Petre, 1684–5, plain grey marble altar-tomb (Plate p. 138) with panelled sides and a top of polished touch with lozenge of arms; (3) of John, Lord Petre of Writtle, 1613, Mary (Waldegrave) his wife, and Katherine, daughter of Edward Somerset, Earl of Worcester and wife of William, 2nd Lord Petre, 1624; monument erected by William, 2nd Lord Petre; elaborate wall-monument of alabaster and marble, and of three bays with plinth and canopy; against plinth kneeling figures in high relief of four daughters and eight sons; the three bays divided by black marble Corinthian columns, the centre bay with a round and the side bays with a flat arch, all with coffered soffits; in the centre bay on raised base figures of man in armour, and woman, both with fur-lined cloaks and kneeling at a prayer-desk; in side bays at a lower level kneeling figures of a woman on the N. and a man on the S., similar to those of the centre bay; behind each a shield of arms; above a panelled attic with cornice supporting obelisks and three cartouches of arms. In S. chapel—on E. wall, (4) of Robert Petre, 1593, of various marbles with kneeling figure of man in plate armour under a round arch and flanked by Corinthian columns supporting an entablature with achievement of arms; (5) of Capt. John Troughton, 1621, marble tablet with oval panel carved in very high relief with bust of man in enriched armour with diagonal sash; on each side a panelled pilaster and over all a broken pediment. Floor-slabs: In chancel— (1) to Gertrude (Tyrell), 1st wife of Sir William Petre [1541], marginal inscription in ornamental capitals; (2) to Frances, wife of James Austin, 1698, and to James Austin, 1699, with shield of arms. In N. chapel—(3) to John Petre, 1669, with shield of arms; (4) to Brigite (Pynchon), widow of William, Lord Petre, 1694, with shield of arms; (5) to Mary, daughter of Thomas, Lord Petre, 1713, with lozenge of arms. In S. chapel —(6) to Robert .......... ing (? of Amsterdam), c. 1690, partly covered by pew; (7) to Matthew Fogarty, 1702. Piscina: In S. aisle—in S. wall at E. end, of clunch, round basin, two-centred and chamfered head, 15th-century. Royal Arms: In N. chapel—on N. wall, painted panel in frame, dated 1673. Screen: Under arch to N. chapel— iron railing with plain pointed strikes and three uprights surmounted by urns, gate towards W., late 17th or early 18th-century.



b(2). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Fryerning (Plate p. 134), stands ¾ m. N.W. of Ingatestone church. The walls are mostly of coursed lumps of puddingstone with some flint-rubble and rough lacing-courses of tiles and Roman bricks; the W. tower is of brick; the dressings are of limestone, clunch and Roman brick; the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave were built probably late in the 11th century; the West Tower was added about the end of the 15th century and the North Vestry and South Porch are modern.

The 11th-century coursed walling and the 15th-century brick W. tower are noteworthy, and amongst the fittings the elaborate late 12th-century font is of interest.

Fryerning Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (20½ ft. by 17½ ft.) has E. quoins of Roman brick. In the E. wall is a window entirely modern except for the splays and two-centred rear-arch which are probably of early 14th-century date. In the N. wall is a window also modern except for the splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch which are probably of late 14th-century date. In the S. wall are two windows, both modern except for the splays and depressed triangular rear-arches, which may be of the 15th century; between them is a late 15th-century doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label; the doorway may have been re-set in the 17th century when the wall round it was patched with brick. The chancel-arch is modern.

The Nave (44 ft. by 21 ft.), has E. quoins of Roman brick. In the N. wall are two windows; the eastern is round-headed and of the 11th century but has been much restored and possibly widened; the western is modern except for the splays and almost semi-circular rear-arch which are possibly of the 14th century; further W. is an 11th-century window, now blocked, with voussoirs of stone and jambs of Roman brick; E. of the windows the wall was thickened internally, probably in the 15th century, to enclose a rood-stair; the projection has stepped tabling; both upper and lower doorways are square-headed and restored; immediately E. of the lower doorway is a shallow recess with a four-centred head, all plastered; under the blocked window is the 11th-century N. doorway with plain jambs and semi-circular head and high semi-circular rear-arch. In the S. wall are four windows: the easternmost is modern except for the splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch which are probably of the 15th century; the others are round-headed and of the 11th century but much restored and probably widened; the S. doorway, under the third window, is uniform with the N. doorway.

The West Tower (12 ft. square) is of red brick with some rough diaper pattern in black headers; it is of three stages with an embattled parapet which projects on a corbel-table of small two-centred arches and has stepped merlons, some of which are panelled; at each angle is an octagonal pinnacle with a moulded capping, and at the N.E. angle is a semi-octagonal stair-turret. The brick tower-arch is two-centred and of three orders, the innermost chamfered; the W. window is of two restored, two-centred lights under a two-centred head. The second stage has in the N. and W. walls a rectangular loop and in the S. wall a small window with a roughly three-centred head, possibly a later enlargement of a third loop; the bell-chamber has in the N. wall a window of a single light and in each of the other walls a window of two lights, all round-headed and with a common outer order.

Fittings—Bells: six; 1st by Robert Mot, 1590; bell-frame partly old. Brass and Indent. Brass: In vestry—fixed in swivel frame, of [Leonard Berners, 1563, and Mary (Gedge) his wife] male figure lost except left foot in armour and point of sword, female figure with disproportioned body, scroll; all palimpsest, male figure on part of fur-lined robe of civilian of c. 1500, and female figure on part of widow in horned head-dress of c. 1460. Indent: In S. porch—of half-figure, probably priest, and inscription-plate, 15th-century. Coffin-lids: In S. porch, fragments—(1) and (2) with remains of crosses; (3) with part of lozenge cross; all with beaded edges; 13th-century. Font: (Plate p. xxxii) square bowl with panelled sides carved with conventional foliage, two stars, whorl, crescent, four small quatrefoils, and two foliated crosses with foliage; lower edge moulded and rounded at angles to take small circular shafts, circular stem, c. 1200, base and side-shafts modern. Monuments: In churchyard—headstones S.E. of chancel, (1) to John Harris, 1693; (2) to Mary, wife of John Harris, 1699. Niche: In W. tower —under steps of turret staircase, with triangular head, all of brick, probably for lamp, late 15th-century. Piscina: In nave—in S. wall, plain round drain and rough arched head covered with cement, date uncertain. Plate: includes cup of 1700 dated 1700 and stand-paten similarly dated.

Condition—Good, windows much restored.


b(3). Ingatestone Hall (Plate p. 144), house and barn, ¾ m. S.S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, partly with attics; the walls are of brick, the roofs are tiled. It was built or re-built probably by Sir William Petre about the middle of the 16th century; an old plan shows that it included or was intended to include two courtyards divided by a block containing the Great Hall, but this block and the others enclosing the W. courtyard have been demolished. Of the three surviving ranges, that on the N. was probably built first as the original Kitchen wing; it was followed successively by the E. range, containing the Long Gallery, and the S. range. At a slightly later date, probably about the end of the 16th century, three small wings were added to the S. side of the S. range, the N. range was enlarged at the W. end of the N. side, and a stair-turret was built in the S.E. angle of the quadrangle. Early in the 18th century a small wing was added to the W. end of both N. and S. ranges, and probably in the second half of the century materials from the destroyed ranges were used in filling gaps caused by the demolitions in the surviving ranges, for the addition of a wing to the N. side of the N. range, and for the building of the present gatehouse and stables. A modern chapel on the E. side of the E. range (E. of 12, see Plan) possibly replaces an earlier chapel on the same site.

The house is an interesting, though much altered, fragment of an important 16th-century building.

Exterior—The North Range has in the S. front modern doorways and windows except for two 17th-century casement windows, each of three lights, in the upper storey; straight joints indicate the positions of a former doorway and windows, probably original. Near the W. end is a slightly projecting wing (4) now ridged from E. to W. and largely re-built, partly with old material; it probably represents the N. end of the original Great Hall range; N. of it is a 16th or early 17th-century chimney-stack with two grouped hexagonal shafts. The W. elevation has a small central wing (1) added early in the 18th century but enlarged and altered later in the same century; N. of it, in the main wall, is an original projecting chimney-stack with an embattled string-course on the W. face and the moulded bases of two octagonal shafts of which only part of one remains; N. of the chimney-stack the parapet is embattled. The N. elevation has a long central wing (6–7) of mid or late 18th-century date; W. of it the original wall forms the front of a wide wing (2–3) projecting slightly N. of the general plane of the range, and has three crow-stepped gables; the two eastern are original, but the westernmost has been largely or wholly re-built; below it is a modern bay-window. E. of the central wing, the lower storey (8–9) is masked by modern outbuildings, but the upper storey is mostly of original brick; at the E. end is a repaired or re-built crow-stepped gable. All doorways and windows are 18th-century or modern.

The East Range has a W. front of original brick. Near the S. end is an original doorway with a four-centred head; and in the upper storey are three original square-headed windows, each of five lights with brick mullions and transom; the northernmost is now blocked. All the other doorways and windows are of the 18th century or modern. The E. elevation has in the middle the modern chapel-wing (E. of 12); N. of it the main wall has in the upper storey two original windows uniform with those in the W. wall; the northernmost is now blocked. At the N. end is a small wing (10) projecting towards the E.; the lower storey is of red and black bricks of early 18th-century date, but the upper storey was added or re-built at a later date. S. of the chapel is an original projecting chimney-stack (13), re-built at the top, and further S. is an original doorway (14), now blocked, and an original square-headed window of four lights with brick mullions and transom; in the upper storey are traces of another original window till lately covered by a modern chimney-stack. Near the S. end is a small original wing (16), projecting towards the E., with restored windows and a crow-stepped gable having an octagonal pinnacle.

Ingatestone Hall

The South Range has on the N. front the original brick walling except at the W. end, where it adjoined the former Great Hall. In the lower storey is one original square-headed window of five lights with brick mullions and transom; E. of it is an original doorway with moulded brick four-centred head and a modern inner order; it opened into former 'screens' at the W. end of "My Lord's chamber" (19); further W. a modern window occupies the site of another original doorway. In the upper storey are two original windows, of five and four lights respectively, with brick mullions and transom, partly restored. In the angle between the E. and S. ranges is an octagonal stair-turret (18) of 16th-century date but slightly later than the ranges; the original work is surmounted by a moulded string-course, above which is a modern storey; one window of a single light and two windows each of two lights are original, partly restored. The W. elevation of the range has a small central wing (25) almost entirely of early 18th-century red and black bricks but apparently built partly on the remains of a 16th-century wall of which a small length remains on the N.; the parapet is stepped and embattled; in the N. wall are a doorway and window of early 18th-century date, now blocked, and in the S. wall is a similar doorway, also blocked. Partly N. of and partly behind this wing, the range ends in an original crow-stepped gable with a modern pinnacle, and further S. is an original projecting chimney-stack (to 24) with two conjoined octagonal shafts having moulded bases; the stack has at some period been enlarged; S. of it the wall has an embattled parapet. N. of the wing in the main wall is an original window and a modern window partly cut in the blocking of a larger and possibly earlier window opening. On the S. elevation are three wings projecting towards the S., all of slightly later date than the main wall; the easternmost (17) has a crow stepped gable with an octagonal pinnacle having a pyramidal head; the middle wing (22) is similar but retains in the upper storey traces of an original window; the wall between these wings has a central projecting chimney-stack, re-built at the top; next W. is an original brick doorway with a four-centred head; the westernmost wing (23 and 24) has two original crow-stepped gables, the eastern with the stump of an octagonal pinnacle; below each gable an original window in each storey has been partly blocked and altered for modern frames; in the E. wall of the wing is an original doorway, now partly blocked, with a four-centred head; between the two western wings the main wall is masked by modern outbuildings. All the windows in this range are said to occupy the site of original openings.

Interior—In the North Range the N.W. room on the first floor (above 2) is lined with original oak panelling, probably re-set; it includes medallions carved with grotesque heads, with shields carved with the arms of Sir William Petre, and a rail carved with the Petre motto. The room next E. (above 3) retains original king-post roof-trusses and central purlin. In the easternmost rooms of the range is much late 16th or early 17th-century panelling (8–9), and some mid or late 17th-century tapestry, probably Dutch; one of the rooms on the ground floor (9) has an original stone fireplace with a moulded four-centred head.

In the East Range the Long Gallery (above 11–13) has in the E. wall an original fireplace with moulded jambs and a flat four-centred head. Three of the windows retain original glass with the arms and motto of Sir William Petre surrounded by foliage, grotesque half-figures, etc. (Plate p. xxxvii). Above the 18th-century ceiling is the original roof with wind-braced side purlins.

In the South Range, in the easternmost room (19), known as "My Lord's chamber," is visible the original external plinth of the W. wall of the E. range, to which the S. range was added; in the S. wall of this room is an original fireplace, largely re-built, and a ceiling-beam further W. retains the mortices for the former 'screen.' The octagonal stair-turret (18), entered from this room, has a partly original stair of central-newel type opening on to the first floor through an original oak doorway with moulded jambs and a four-centred arch under a square head. The room next W. (20) has in the S. wall a small original window, blocked externally. A room further W. (21) has in the N. wall an original doorway, now blocked, with a four-centred head and a rear-arch facing N.; it opened into the former Great Hall. Nearly opposite to it, in the original S. wall of the range, is a wide fireplace reduced and fitted with a re-used stone fireplace (Plate p. 247) of late 16th or early 17th-century date; it has carved and moulded jambs and fluted pilasters carrying an elaborately enriched lintel with a central lion's face and grotesque figures carved in relief. The middle S. wing (22) has at its S. end a narrow compartment, possibly a hiding-place, entered only from the first floor by a trap-door; the inner wall of this compartment is of 17th-century bricks. In the S.E. room on the first floor (over 17) is an original stone fireplace with moulded jambs and flat four-centred head.

Fragments of other original stone fireplaces have been discovered in various parts of the building during recent restorations.

The Barn (Plate, p. 144), 100 yards N.W. of the house, is of two storeys and of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th century with a porch on the E. side. At the N. and S. ends are crow-stepped gables. In the W. wall is one, in the N., E. and S. walls two windows with chamfered jambs and four-centred heads; the inner doorway of the porch has similar jambs and head, the outer doorway has been re-built. The roof is of four bays divided by queen-post trusses.

Condition—Of house, good, much altered; of barn, good.

b(4). Fryerning Hall, 100 yards N.E. of Fryerning church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century but has a late 17th-century kitchen wing and several modern additions at the back. On the S. front the upper storey projects and is gabled at the W. end. Inside the building two fireplaces have original moulded oak lintels and there is some refixed linen-fold panelling. The staircase has flat wavy balusters and a moulded hand-rail of the 17th century. On the first floor the W. wing of the house has an original king-post truss in the roof and one room has some 17th-century panelling and a moulded cornice.


Monuments (4–11).

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. Several of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good.

a(5). Cottage, two tenements, by the ford at Greenstreet, and nearly ¾ m. W.S.W. of Fryerning church, has an original chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts.

High Street, S. E. side

b(6). Crown Inn, 300 yards S.W. of Ingatestone church, was built probably in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.W. and S.E. There is a 17th-century staircase-wing and a modern addition at the back. Inside the building is an original window with a moulded frame.

b(7). Bell Inn, 100 yards N.E. of (6), was built in the 16th century and there is a 17th-century wing at the back. The upper storey projects in front and at both ends of the original block but has been under-built at the S.W. end; it has an original moulded bressumer, partly restored. The central chimney-stack has four detached, diagonal shafts. Inside the building one room has original moulded ceiling-beams.

b(8). House and shop, 30 yards N.E. of (7), has a central chimney-stack with flat pilasters; the S. chimney-stack has two diagonal shafts. Inside the building the roof has heavy cambered tie-beams.

b(9). House, now two tenements, 130 yards N.E. of (8), was built probably in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings projecting towards the S.W. and S.E. The upper storey projects in front and at the S.W. end of the main block with a diagonal bracket at the angle.

b(10). House, now two tenements, N.E. of (9), has the plaster in front ornamented with two rose sprays. The original chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.

b(11). Ray Farm, house, 600 yards N.E. of Ingatestone church was built late in the 16th century but has extensive 18th-century and modern additions on the N. and E. The original central chimney-stack is of cross-shaped plan and set diagonally. Inside the building one room has moulded ceiling-beams and there is an original window of three lights with diamond shaped mullions and now blocked.


b(12). Moore's Ditch, nearly 1 m. N. of Fryerning church. The work consists of a ditch, 6 to 7 ft. deep, the earth being thrown outwards and forming a bank on each side of the ditch. It is first apparent as the south boundary of Stoneymore Wood. It is then obliterated for a short distance by houses and re-appears on the Common a few yards east of the road, where it bends towards the E., and continues to within a short distance of Box Wood. The total length of the ditch is about 650 yards.

Condition—Fairly good, but denuded by gravel workings.