Maldon All Saints

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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'Maldon All Saints', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) pp. 170-175. British History Online [accessed 21 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. liv. N.W.)

Maldon All Saints is the westernmost of the three parishes of Maldon. The Church, Moot Hall, Vicarage and the Blue Boar Hotel are the principal monuments.


(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands on the N. side of the High Street. The walls are of flint-rubble with dressings of limestone and Purbeck marble; the roofs are tiled. The existence of a 12th-century church is evidenced by the presence of re-used material of this date in the tower. The West Tower was built about the middle of the 13th century. The S. arcade and Aisle were built c. 1330 when there appears to have been a S. porch on the site of the W. bay; this porch was pulled down and the aisle extended to its present length immediately afterwards; the Crypt or bone-hole under the aisle is also of c. 1330. The Chancel is perhaps of the 14th century but has no ancient details. The South Chapel was probably the chantry of Sir Robert Darcy founded c. 1443; the North Chapel was added shortly afterwards and there may have been a N.E. vestry of the same date but now removed. The Nave which may have had a N. aisle was entirely re-built in one span in 1728 together with the chancel-arch. The church has been considerably restored in the 19th and 20th centuries and the North Porch is modern.

The W. Tower is of very unusual triangular form and the 14th-century carved work of the S. aisle is rich and good.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (32½ ft. by 21 ft.) has a modern E. window; towards the N. end of the E. wall externally are two recesses one above the other and perhaps the lockers in a former vestry, now destroyed. The late 15th-century N. arcade is of three bays with a panel over it inscribed "Rebuilt 1800"; the two-centred arches are of two hollow-chamfered orders and spring from octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds with moulded bases and modern capitals. The mid 15th-century S. arcade is of three bays with moulded two-centred arches springing from columns, each with four attached shafts and moulded capitals and bases; the responds have attached half columns. The chancel arch is of c. 1728.

The North Chapel (33½ ft. by 17½ ft.) has an E. window all modern except the splays and rear-arch which are of late 15th-century date; S. of it is a doorway of the same date with a two-centred arch to the former vestry. In the N. wall are three late 15th-century windows, all more or less restored, and each of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label. In the W. wall is an arch of c. 1728.

Maldon. The Parish Church of All Saints.

The South Chapel (33½ ft. by 21 ft.) has a 14th-century E. window, re-set in the 15th century and of five trefoiled lights with modern tracery, external jambs and a two-centred head; the old jambs are visible on the external face; the segmental-pointed rear-arch is moulded with a label and defaced head stops; the shafted splays have moulded bases. In the S. wall are three 15th-century windows each of three cinque-foiled lights with a vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the two eastern windows have moulded jambs and some of the label stops are of the 18th century; below the middle window is a modern doorway. In the W. wall is a 15th-century two-centred arch of two moulded orders; the responds have each three grouped shafts with moulded base and capital with concave faces; the wall above stops at the level of the wall-plates and is embattled.

The Nave (62½ ft. by 37½ ft.) is entirely of c. 1728 except the South arcade, which is of c. 1330, and of four bays of which the westernmost is of rather later date than the rest; the two-centred arches are of two moulded orders with moulded labels, those of the western arch being of more elaborate section than the others; the Purbeck marble columns are each of four attached and filleted shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the E. respond and part of the E. arch are modern and the W. respond has an attached half column of stone with a carved face and foliage to the capital; above the E. respond is a recess containing the newel of the former rood-loft staircase.

The South Aisle (50 ft. by 18 ft.) is entirely of the 14th century and has the S. wall divided into four bays by buttresses each with a canopied niche, all completely restored; the middle buttress stands on a three-sided projection with a splayed top and containing the staircase to the crypt; the four windows in this wall are each of three lights, those of the easternmost window having trefoiled ogee heads with tracery partly vertical and partly flowing in a two-centred head with moulded labels; the other windows have modern mullions and tracery; all four windows have moulded internal splays carved with running foliage and flowers; between the windows, internally, are two-centred arches (Plate, p. 172) with moulded labels and cinque-foiled and sub-cusped heads and blind tracery, moulded and carved with running foliage; the westernmost blind-arch differs slightly in detail and is of rather later date than the others; below the westernmost window is the S. doorway which has a two-centred arch of two moulded orders with a label; the double shafted jambs have moulded capitals with defaced carving; below the windows, except the easternmost, is a moulded internal string-course and below this an elaborate wall-arcade standing on a stone bench; under the easternmost window are remains of former sedilia (see fittings); the first five bays of the wall-arcade have moulded and cinque-foiled ogee arches with a label mitring into the string-course; they spring from attached shafts with moulded bases and foliated capitals; the spandrels below the string-course are diapered; in the next bay, which is at a lower level, is a doorway to the crypt with moulded jambs and ogee arch and label with a small moulded niche interrupting the string-course; the next two bays are generally similar to the first five but are at a lower level and have plain spandrels; the ninth bay is of different detail and cruder workmanship than the others; at this point the E. wall of the former porch abutted and the bay was evidently inserted when this wall was removed, to join up the arcading to the E. and W. The three bays of arcading in the westernmost bay of the wall form a complete composition enclosing the S. doorway which has a modern label and finial; the flanking bays have cinque-foiled ogee heads with foliated spandrels; these bays are much restored. In the W. wall is a window with modern mullions and tracery and moulded 14th-century splays with attached shafts having moulded bases and carved capitals; the moulded rear-arch has a moulded label with head stops; below the windows is a doorway with a moulded and carved two-centred arch and double-shafted jambs, partly restored, and with moulded and carved capitals and moulded bases; internally this doorway forms the middle bay of a wall arcade flanked by two bays on each side and similar to the composition of the S. doorway and much restored.

The Crypt (21 ft. by 14½ ft.) under the eastern part of the S. aisle is approached by the doorway above described and by a newel-staircase set in a three-sided projection; the newel has a moulded and carved capital from which spring the chamfered ribs of a stone vault with a carved foliage boss at the intersection. The crypt has a vaulted roof in four bays with segmental-pointed transverse ribs of the 14th century. In the E. wall are two windows with segmental-pointed rear-arches and probably blocked in the 15th century when the S. chapel was added. In the second bay of the S. wall is a window with a segmental-pointed rear-arch groined into the vault.

The West Tower (17 ft. average each side) is triangular on plan and of three storeys, but undivided externally. It is surmounted by a shingled hexagonal spire with small pyramidal roofs at the three angles. The 13th-century tower-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from moulded corbels. N. of it is the splay and spring of the rear-arch of a former window. The other two walls have each a 13th-century lancet window, restored externally. The second stage has in the N.E. wall a blocked doorway with a round head and of uncertain use. In both the S. and N.W. walls are small round-headed windows. Internally a number of 12th-century stones are re-set in the walls of this stage. The bell-chamber has, in the N.E. wall, remains of a coupled lancet window probably of the 13th century. The S. wall has a coupled lancet window and E. of it a single lancet window, all probably restored in the 18th century. In the N.W. wall is a two-light window, afterwards reduced in size and replaced by two brick lights with segmental-pointed heads; it is now blocked; N. of it is another blocked window probably of the 17th or 18th century.

The Roof of the S. aisle has three moulded tiebeams of early 16th-century date and with cantilever joists at the ends, of the 17th century.

Fittings—Bells: six and sanctus; 1st to 4th by Henry Pleasant, 1707; sanctus inscribed "Johannes Snayn et Ricardus Lynn me fecit," 15th-century. Brass and Indents. Brass: In nave—shield of arms, a butcher's block-brush, indents of civilian and wife, inscription-plate, groups of children, Trinity and three other shields, late 15th-century. Indents: In N. chapel— (1) of figure of civilian and two wives with inscription-plate, early 15th-century; (2) of figures of man and wife with scrolls and inscription-plate, 16th-century. In nave—(3) of figures of man and wife and inscription-plate, 15th-century; (4) of figure of woman and inscription-plate, 15th-century; (5) of figures of civilian, three wives and children, inscription-plate, 15th-century; (6) defaced; (7) of figure of priest with inscription-plate; (8) of figures of civilian and wife with inscription-plate, late 15th-century; (9) of figures of man and wife, Trinity, two shields and marginal inscription. [See also Monuments (7).] Chairs: In chancel—two, with carved backs and legs, front rail carved with cherubs supporting a crown, late 17th-century. Chest: In N. chapel—of deal, iron-bound, with moulded lid and shaped lower rail, early 17th-century. Door: In S. doorway—with vertical moulded and nail-studded ribs, 14th-century, partly restored. Glass: In S. chapel—in middle S. window, two shields of arms with ornamental wreaths (a) azure a cheveron between three scallops or a border gules for Browne impaling argent a cheveron between three lozenges sable; (b) as 1st in (a) impaling sable on a cheveron or between three half-griffins ermine (one missing), three martlets gules for Baldry. In second window in S. wall, two shields of impaled arms, and three medallions of (a) Christ and the woman of Samaria; (b) martyrdom of St. Stephen; (c) Christ as the good shepherd, foreign, 17th-century. In nave—in W. window, shields of arms, one enclosed in a wreath, (a) arms of Henry VIII.; (b)(a) impaling the quartered coat of Seymour, early 16th-century. Inscriptions and Scratchings: On N. and S. arcades of chancel— numerous mason's marks, 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel —on E. wall (1) to John Jeffrey, 1657, black and white marble tablet with broken pediment, blank achievement and shield; (2) to Mary (Screvener), wife of John Vernon, 1647, marble wall-monument with niche containing urn and cherubs and flanked by Corinthian columns supporting a broken pediment, two shields, one blank and defaced; on S. wall (3) to Sarah (Butler), wife of John Jeffrey and widow of William Vernon, 1638, wall-monument of marble with niche containing urn flanked by Doric pilasters, supporting an entablature and broken pediment, three shields of arms. In N. chapel—on E. wall (4) of Thomas Cammocke, 1602, and Ursula (Wyrley) and Frances (Rich), his wives, marble wall-monument of three bays with kneeling figures of man and wives, divided by Corinthian columns supporting an entablature and an arch over the middle bay, three cartouches of arms and kneeling figures of children; on W. wall (5) to John Steevens, 1714, white marble tablet with cherub-head. In S. chapel—on E. wall (6) to Henry Wentworth, 1614, and Anastacy (Hall), his wife, 1638, marble tablet with Corinthian side-columns, entablature, obelisks and achievement of arms; on S. wall (7) wall-monument with a four-centred arched head with an ogee label and flanked by buttresses, in spandrels of head carved foliage and three shields of arms; (a) three cinquefoils probably for Darcy impaling a quartered coat a scutcheon of pretence; (b) Darcy quartering a fesse between three trefoils; (c) Darcy, in panel; slab with indent of kneeling man in armour, wife and children, scrolls, Trinity and two shields of arms, early 15th-century; set in buttress of S. chapel, (8) part of monument with round head enclosing a cross and with defaced inscription below. In nave—on N. wall (9) to John Steevens, 1677, convex tablet with moulded cornice and achievement of arms. Floor-slabs: In S. chapel— (1) to John Vernon, 1653, his wife, Mary, and John, their son, with achievement of arms; (2) to Thomas Haris, 1658, with achievement of arms. In S. aisle—(3) to William Backhouse, 1693, with achievement of arms. Painting: In S. aisle— in tracery panels between windows in S. wall, a crown of thorns, hour-glass and a star; on wall surface at back of wall-arcade, elaborate arabesque ornament, possibly 17th-century. Panelling: In nave—incorporated in modern seating, various panels with traceried or arched heads and moulded rail, 15th and 16th-century. Piscinae: In chancel —with moulded jambs and ogee cinque-foiled head, late 15th-century. In N. chapel—with moulded jambs and pointed arch in a square head with foliated spandrels, drain broken, late 15th-century. Plate: includes two flagons of 1705 with the arms of Dr. Plume, Archdeacon of Rochester. Royal Arms: In nave—on N. wall, Stuart arms in carved and painted wood. Sedilia: In S. aisle—recess of easternmost window carried down to form seat, at W. end much restored pier of former canopy with panelled buttresses, spring of crocketed gable and part of a vault with moulded ribs, late 14th or early 15th-century. Table: In N. chapel—with turned legs and moulded top, late 17th-century. Miscellanea: In S. chapel —on sill of S.W. window, stone corbel with angel holding shield of arms, six fleurs-de-lis for Beeleigh Abbey, also part of grotesque head, early 14th-century. In W. wall of S. aisle and in tower, various worked stones, re-used, 12th and 13th-century.


(2). Carved and Moulded Stones, on site of the former Carmelite Friary, 200 yards S.S.E. of the church. The stones are partly loose and partly built into a 17th-century wall on the E. side of the garden of the "Friary." They include part of a door-head with traceried spandrels, the square heads of several windows and fragments of others, all of the 15th century; a fragment of 14th-century tracery and a defaced head-corble and part of a moulded capital, probably of the end of the 13th century.


(3). Maldon Burg, built by Edward the Elder, is said to have stood on the N. side of the London Road on the western outskirts of the town. Old plans show the work as two con-centric rings of entrenchment, but two slight scarps in a field N. of the road are all that now remain.

Condition—Almost obliterated.

(4). The Vicarage, N.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled (Plate p. 44). It was built in the 15th century with a central block and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. Late in the 17th century an addition was made at the E. end. The S. front has been much altered and restored; the upper storey projects at the ends of the cross-wings. Inside the building the ceiling-beams and part of the timber-framing are exposed. The S.E. room has some early 17th-century panelling and an original fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with carved trefoils in the spandrels. The W. room has at the N. end an early 15th-century partition with two doorways having hollow-chamfered jambs and four-centred heads; the middle opening is a modern alteration. On the E. wall part of the original timber-framing and plaster filling has painted decoration in broad bands of red and black and ornamented with slipped trefoils and monograms of I.H.C. counter coloured, all of c. 1500 (Plate p. 246). In the kitchen are some early 17th-century turned balusters. On the first floor of the W. wing is an original fire-place with a moulded lintel and some moulded ceiling-beams. On the E. wall are painted the date and initials R.M.A. 1638, 26. The roof has original king-post trusses.


(5). Moot Hall, 50 yards S.E. of the church, is of three storeys; the walls are of red brick and the roofs are covered with lead. It was built in the 15th century and has a semi-octagonal stair-turret at the N.E. angle and a small annexe at the N.W. angle. It was much altered and most of the existing windows inserted late in the 19th century.

The building is interesting from its unusual character which partakes of that of a defensive tower. (Plate p. 177.)

The S. front has no ancient features and the parapet is of the 18th century. On the W. side in the third storey is an original cruciform loop, now blocked. Above the annexe is a bell-turret with five modern bells. Inside the building the main room on the ground floor has original moulded ceiling-beams and plates; the room in the annexe has similar wall-plates and an original doorway with a four-centred head. Below this room is a vaulted cellar. The second storey, now a police court, has some 17th-century panelling in the annexe, a window of old bricks and a blocked loop. The third floor, now the council chamber, has late 17th and early 18th-century furniture and some old portraits.


Monuments (6–17).

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. Several of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.

High Street, N. side

(6). House and shop (No. 29), E. of (5), was built probably early in the 16th century, but has a modern front.

(7). House and shop (No. 33), 15 yards W. of (5), was built probably early in the 17th century, but has a modern brick front. Inside the building a room on the ground floor has a dado of early 17th-century panelling. A room on the first floor is said to be lined with similar panelling, but most of it is concealed; the uncovered part has a carved frieze with conventional foliage.

(8). House and shop (No. 7), 100 yards W.S.W. of the church, was built early in the 16th century. Late in the 17th century the N.E. part was largely re-built. The upper storey projects in front. Inside the building is an original window with diamond-shaped mullions and now blocked.

S. side

(9). House, now two tenements and shops (Nos. 4 and 6), 130 yards W.S.W. of the church, was built c. 1500 with a cross-wing at the W. end and a second wing projecting at the back. The space between the wings was filled in late in the 17th century. On the N. front the upper storey of the cross-wing projects. Inside the building is a 16th-century beam with a carved soffit and blocked windows with diamond-shaped mullions. The roof has original king-post trusses.

(10). House and shop (No. 10), 20 yards E.N.E. of (9), was built early in the 17th century, but has been much altered. The upper storey projects in front (Plate p. 45).

(11). House and shop (Nos. 16 and 18), 20 yards E.N.E. of (10), was built probably early in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the N.E. end.

There are late 17th-century and modern reconstructions at the back. The upper storey projects at the front end of the cross-wing (Plate p. 45).

(12). House (No. 20), N.E. of (11), was built probably in the 15th century, and has a projecting storey in front (Plate p. 45).

Condition—Roofless and ruinous.

(13). House and shop (No. 22), N.E. of (12). The back part of the house is of the 15th century; the front part was added or re-built in the 16th century. Inside the building the original block has moulded ceiling-beams and joists and an original roof with king-post trusses. In the middle wall is an original window with moulded mullions and now blocked.

(14). King's Head Hotel, 40 yards S. of the church, was built in the 17th century or perhaps earlier, but has been completely altered and has various modern additions.

(15). House and shop, No. 1 Coach Lane, 60 yards W. of the church, was built early in the 17th century but has been much altered.

(16). Blue Boar Hotel, W. of the church. One bay of building at the back of the S. end of the main block is probably of 14th-century date and to this was added in the 15th century a long wing extending towards the W. Probably in the 16th century the main block was re-built and early in the 17th century it was extended towards the N. The main block has a modern front towards the street. The 15th-century wing has a projecting upper storey on the N. side with exposed timber-framing. Inside the building, in the main block, is some early 17th-century panelling. A room S. of the entrance archway has moulded ceiling-beams. The lower bay at the back of this room is the earliest part of the house, and the partition on the W. side has two 14th-century doorways with chamfered jambs and pronounced ogee heads. On the first floor this partition is continued and in it are three similar but lower openings, that in the middle with the head recently raised to form a doorway; it is possible that this partition formed the 'screen' at the end of a hall of one storey. The head of the partition is moulded and supports a king-post and central purlin; the adjoining portions of the side walls have moulded wall-plates. The roof of the 15th-century wing has moulded tie-beams and moulded and rebated king-posts with stopped bases and four-way struts.

Condition—Being altered at time of visit.

(17). House, on the E. side of Silver Street, 30 yards N. of the church, was built late in the 16th century and has a N.E. wing of early and late 17th-century date. The 17th-century chimney-stack has two attached diagonal shafts. Inside the building a room on the first floor has a stone fireplace with moulded jambs, segmental arch and a frieze carved with roses of various forms; the spandrels have small splayed shields. A similar fire-place (Plate p. 247) has recently been removed to Beeleigh Abbey. The staircase incorporates some late 17th-century turned balusters.