Little Canfield

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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'Little Canfield', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) pp. 153-154. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxiii. S.E. (b)xxxii. N.E.)

Little Canfield is a small parish and village on Stane Street, 2½ m. W. of Great Dunmow.


a(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands in the W. of the parish, 400 yards S. of the main road. The walls are probably of rubble, now covered with cement; the dressings are mostly of limestone; the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built in the 12th century, and the Chancel is probably of the 14th century. The North Vestry, with vault, was built in 1757, and the North-West Tower was added in 1856. The South Porch also is entirely modern, and the whole building was restored during the 19th century.

The 13th-century chest and 14th-century rood-screen are of interest.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (23 ft. by 21 ft.) is modern in all details; the present windows are possibly copies of 14th-century originals. The Nave (47 ft. by 23 ft.) has in the N. wall two windows, both of the 14th century, much restored; the eastern is of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a two-centred head; the western is of four trefoiled ogee lights with net tracery in a square head; further W. is the modern tower-arch. In the S. wall are two windows uniform with those in the N. wall; W. of them is the 12th-century S. doorway, largely restored; the semi-circular arch is of three orders, the middle one moulded, the others modern; the jambs have each a detached shaft with cushion capital and base. In the W. wall are two modern windows.

Fittings—Bells: four; 2nd and 4th by Robert Oldfield, 1617. Brasses: In chancel—on floor, (1) of Ann (Wiseman), wife, first of Wm. Fytche, afterwards of Raphe Pudsey, 1593, figure of woman, smaller figure of man below in civilian dress, and two shields of arms above; (2) of Wm. Fytche, 1578, and his first wife, Elizabeth, and second wife, Ann, figure of man missing, on each side figure of a woman; below, two plates with small figures, one of two sons and three daughters, the other of four sons, four shields of arms and indent of a fifth. Chests: In nave—(1) with front and sides each of a plain slab of oak framed into broad styles, which are pierced on the inner sides with a semicircle containing a ball projection (one broken off) and spanned by a thin baluster with ball terminals (Plate p. xxxiii); probably 13th-century. In vestry—(2) incised on the front with three lozenge-patterns and circles, 17th-century. Glass: In nave—in N.E. and S.E. windows, fragments, partly in situ, including a crescent, foliage, borders and a canopy-head, 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In churchyard— (1) to John Wyatt, 1692, plain headstone; (2) to Prudence, widow of John Wyatt, 1714, headstone; (3) to Richard Wyatt, 1696, headstone. Floor-slab: In nave—to Thomas Rode, 1657, with shield of arms. Plate: includes [on loan at the Victoria and Albert museum], a secular dish of 1634 with a shield of arms in the middle, enriched panels and two scallop shells as handles; also a caudle cup of 1675 with repousse ornament and an enriched handle. Screen: Under chancel-arch— oak rood-screen of five bays of which the two on each side of the central entrance are each of four lights with intersecting and cusped tracery, plain close lower panels, moulded and embattled cornice, all probably of the 14th century.

Condition—Good, much restored.


Homestead Moats.

a(2). At the Rectory, ½ m. E. of the church.

b(3). At Hodings, ¾ m. S.E. of the church.

a(4). Stone Hall, house, in Easton Park, nearly 1 m N.N.E. of the church is of one storey with attics. It has been re-built but incorporates two 14th-century windows of stone, each of two trefoiled ogee lights under a segmental head, and the central chimney-stack is of 17th-century brick. Inside the building is an old door of studded battens, and much 17th-century panelling re-set. In the windows are a few fragments of old glass. A re-used roof-truss, with two wall-posts and a cambered collar-beam, is probably of 15th or 16th-century date.


a(5). House, now tenements, on N. side of Stane Street, ¼ m. N. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century and is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the W. end and a small gabled staircase-wing in the S.E. angle; there was probably a second cross-wing at the E. end; at the back are modern additions. On the S. front the upper storey of the cross-wing projects. Inside the building, are shaped wall-posts and cambered tie-beams.


a(6). Warren Yard, house, on the S. side of Stane Street, ½ m. N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E; at the N. end and at the back are modern extensions. Inside the building are an original wide open fireplace and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(7). Newlands, house, about 1 m. S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 16th century on a modified H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the N. and S. ends and a small gabled staircase-wing at the back of the main block; at the back are modern additions. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams.



a(8). Mound, of doubtful antiquity, on N. side of Stane Street, 600 yards N.E. of the church, standing on high ground. It is bowl-shaped and has slight traces of a ditch. Its diameter at the base is 70 ft., and its height is about 7 ft.

Condition—Fairly good, planted with trees.