Black Notley

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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'Black Notley', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) pp. 18-21. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxiv. N.W. (b)xxxiv. N.E. (c)xxv. S.W.).

Black Notley is a small parish and village 1½ m. S. of Braintree. Stanton's Farm and Black Notley Hall are the most important monuments.


a(1). Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul stands W. of the village. The walls are of flint and pebble-rubble with a few dressed stones in the E. wall; the angle-buttresses of the chancel are of 17th-century brick. The roofs are covered with tiles. The Nave was built probably in the first half of the 12th century, and the Chancel may be of the same date, but was probably re-built in the 15th or early 16th century. In the first half of the 16th century the South Porch was built, and the West Bell Turret was added probably at the same time. In 1682 angle-buttresses were added to the chancel, and in the 19th century the North Vestry and Organ Chamber was built, and the church was drastically restored.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28 ft. by 22½ ft.) has brick angle-buttresses of which one has stone panels with the date 1682 and the letters I.P. In the E. wall is a modern window. In the N. wall are a modern doorway and an archway opening into the vestry and organ-chamber; W. of these is a 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights and tracery in a square head, almost entirely restored. In the S. wall is a modern window.

The Nave (41 ft. by 22½ ft.) is not structurally divided from the chancel. In the N. wall are three windows, of which the easternmost is modern; the two western are each of a single round-headed light of early 12th-century design, but almost entirely restored. Between the two western windows is the 12th-century N. doorway, now blocked; it has a semi-circular rear-arch, but is scarcely visible externally. Between the screen and the easternmost window is the lower doorway of the former staircase to the rood-loft; it has an oak frame, possibly old, with a pointed arch in a square head; above it the four-centred arch of the upper doorway is visible, now blocked; outside is a brick loop lighting the space, and very slight indications that the turret originally projected from the wall. In the S. wall are three windows; the easternmost is of two trefoiled ogee lights and tracery in a two-centred head; the tracery and external stonework are modern, but the internal angles of the splays, which have a keeled edge-roll, and the chamfered pointed rear-arch are of the 14th century, slightly restored; the two western windows are round-headed and of the 12th century, but almost entirely restored; between them is the plain semi-circular headed S. doorway of the 12th century, very much restored; E. of the easternmost window is the E. jamb and part of the arch of a third 12th-century window. In the W. wall is a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights and vertical tracery in a four-centred head, all much restored; above it is a modern gable-light.

The West Bell-Turret is probably of early 16th-century date. It is carried on timber-framing from the floor of the church; the E. side of the framing is of three bays, of which the central bay has curved struts forming a four-centred arch; the other bays have cross-braces. The upper part or lantern of the turret is square and has curved struts on the N. and S. sides, and a pyramidal roof with an octagonal spirelet, both covered with shingles; the square lantern is covered with modern boarding.

The South Porch is modern except the roof (see below).

The Roof of the chancel has a moulded tie-beam and moulded and embattled wall-plate of late 15th or early 16th-century date, but the rest of the construction is hidden by a modern ceiling. The roof of the S. porch is of the first half of the 16th century; it has moulded N. and S. tie-beams, moulded principal rafters and purlins and chamfered common rafters, and modern wall-plates; all the main timbers have foliage stops.

Fittings—Brass Indent: (see under Monuments) Chair: In chancel—with back and seat made up of 17th-century oak panels; the back has carved arched ornament and moulded uprights, and the top rail is moulded but does not fit the back; the rest is modern. Chest: In nave—at W. end, N. side, dug-out chest, apparently of sycamore, with plain iron band-hinges. Door: In S. doorway—modern, but has on outside 12th-century semi-circular and horizontal iron strap and other ironwork, rest apparently copied from old ironwork. Glass: In chancel—in N. window, in the heads of the two lights, remains of 15th-century tabernacle-work with ruby filling. Monuments and Floor-slabs: In nave—at W. end (1) on S. side, floor-slab of Purbeck marble with remains of marginal inscription in Lombardic capitals originally filled with latten: "Sire Water de Wydenal iadis person de cest (eglise ?) gist ici Dieu de sa alme eyt merci amen," c. 1300; (2) on N. side, to James Coker, 1702, and Mary (Clopton), his wife, 1720. In churchyard—S. of nave (3) slab to Hump. Nendick of London, 1707, and Mary (Walford), his wife, afterwards widow of Capt. Thos. Kitching, 1722; (4) to John Ray, M.A., F.R.S., 1705–6, monument with square panelled pedestal surmounted by obelisk with carved shields, all restored at various periods. Painting: In nave—on inner stones of N. doorway, slight traces of colouring. Piscina: In nave—in S. wall, with cinque-foiled pointed head, chamfered and hollow-chamfered jambs with broach stops, and quatrefoil drain, partly restored, 14th-century. Plate: Includes a cover-paten of 1567, and an ornamented cup, probably of the same date, but repaired. Sedile: In chancel—in S. wall, fitted with oak frame, having an old segmental-pointed head and modern jambs, probably 14th-century. Stoup: Outside in S. wall—E. of S. doorway, rough stone basin, partly broken, in rough triangular-headed recess, probably early 16th-century.

Condition—Good, but much restored.


Homestead Moats

a(2). In field adjoining churchyard on the N.

a(3). S.E. of Wren Park Farm, 1 m. S.W. of the church, fragment only.

a(4). At Dagnetts Farm, 300 yards W. of (3).

a(5). Black Notley Hall and barn, 100 yards S. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 15th century with a central Hall, but the house has been extensively altered and enlarged at some uncertain date, and the original plan has been entirely obscured. Inside the building the lower storey has some chamfered ceiling-beams. In the upper storey are some original moulded and embattled ceiling-beams and wall-plates. In the roof are remains of three original king-post trusses; the octagonal king-posts have moulded bases and capitals and four-way struts.

The Barn, W. of the house, is timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roof is tiled. It was built in the 15th century and is of five bays.

Condition—Of house and barn, good, house much altered.

b(6). Stanton's Farm, house, ¾ m. S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1340 with an aisled central Hall and Solar and Buttery wings at the W. and E. ends respectively. The Hall was divided into two storeys and a chimney-stack inserted, probably in the 16th century; soon after a wing running N. and S. was added at the E. end, and at some uncertain date the Solar wing and the greater part of the aisles of the Hall were destroyed. There are modern additions on the N. and S. sides of the former Hall.

The 14th-century roof-truss and the capitals of the oak columns are of exceptional interest.

The easternmost wing has a 17th-century chimney-stack.

Interior—The former Hall (34 ft. by 14 ft. without the aisles), was of two bays with the screens at the E. end and a semi-octagonal oriel projecting from the W. bay on the N. side. In the E. wall are two original doorways with two-centred arches, now blocked. The original roof-truss (Plate p. 114) between the bays is exposed in the upper storey, and rests on octagonal columns with moulded capitals; the lower parts of the columns have been cut away or buried in the later walls; the tie-beam is hollow-chamfered and is supported by curved and moulded braces springing from the columns and forming a two-centred arch; other curved and hollow-chamfered braces support the hollow-chamfered plates on which rest moulded cornices. The roof is framed round the opening to the former oriel, and has curved brackets to the tie-beam. The timbers of the main roof and of the oriel are smoke-blackened. The Buttery Wing has original exposed timber-framing, and the 17th-century wing has an open timbered ceiling.

Stanton's Farm, Black Notley


a(7). The Rectory, about 400 yards N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with a cellar and attics; the walls are timber-framed and plastered, and the roofs are covered with tiles and slate. It was built probably early in the 17th century, but early in the 18th century was completely altered on a plain rectangular plan; there are modern additions on the N. and E. sides. A few windows are of early 18th-century date. Inside the building, on the ground floor, one room has an original moulded ceiling-beam, and another a chamfered ceiling-beam. The 18th-century staircase has twisted balusters and a moulded hand-rail. There are several original doors in the house, one of which is panelled and the rest battened; all have original hinges.


c(8). Black Notley Lodge (Plate p. 270), about 1,000 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys, with cellar and attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century. There is a modern addition at the S.E. angle. The elevations have a plain plinth, a string-course between the storeys, and a moulded cornice below the parapet; at the angles are plain pilasters. The doorway on the W. front has an eared architrave, and a pediment resting on projecting brackets; above it is an arched recess of rusticated work. The N. and S. elevations have each two shaped gables. Some of the windows have original double-hung sashes. Inside the building, across the entrance hall, is a panelled archway with moulded imposts and panelled responds. The N.W. room on the ground floor has panelled walls and a moulded cornice, and the S.E. room has a panelled dado. The staircase has twisted balusters, a moulded handrail and carved brackets to the string. The landing on the first floor has a moulded cornice.


Monuments (9–17).

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. Many have original chimneystacks, wide fireplaces and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—When not specially mentioned, good or fairly good.

c(9). Cottage, on the E. side of the Braintree Road, 180 yards N. of (8), with a modern addition on the N.E. The upper storey projects and is gabled at the W. end of the S. front. The original central chimney-stack is of cross-shaped plan.

c(10). Cottage, on the W. side of the Braintree Road, 250 yards N.N.W. of (9), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending S. and W. Modern cottages adjoin it on the N.E., and there is a modern addition on the W. of the S. wing. The original chimney-stack in the S. wing has grouped diagonal shafts.


a(11). Oak Farm, house, about 750 yards W. of the church, was originally of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and S. There are modern additions on the N. side and in the angle between the wings.

a(12). Ludham Hall, farmhouse, about ¾ m. W.N.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N.; there are modern additions on the N. and E.

Baker's Lane, N. side

a(13). Cottage, now two tenements, 1,500 yards W.S.W. of the church.

a(14). Cottage, now two tenements, 500 yards S.W. of (13), was built in the 15th century, probably with a central Hall and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends; the W. wing is a modern rebuilding. The upper storey projects and is gabled at the E. end of the S. front, and has two curved brackets. The central chimney-stack has three attached shafts, set diagonally. Inside the building, on the first floor, is an original window in the E. wall; it is now blocked, but has diamond-shaped mullions. At the W. end of the house is a braced and cambered tie-beam with the mortice for a former king-post.

a(15). Fryer's Farm, house, about 1¼ m. S.W. of the church, was originally of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. There are 18th-century or modern extensions to both wings. In the W. wall of the N. wing is an original panelled door. The original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts and pilasters. Inside the building are two old doors of moulded battens.

a(16). Cottage (Plate p. 128), E. of Young's End, and 1½ m. S.W. of the church, may perhaps be the middle part of a 15th or early 16th-century house. The first floor and chimney-stack are probably of c. 1600, and there are modern additions at both ends. Inside the building, on the first floor, are two original windows, now blocked; one is of five lights with diamond-shaped mullions, and the other was of four lights, but the mullions are missing.

a(17). The Mill House, 600 yards E. of the church, has an early 18th-century addition on the W. and modern additions on the N. and E. The 18th-century addition has a mansard roof.