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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65. MARGARET RODING. (D.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xlii. N.E. (b)xlii. S.E.)
Margaret Roding is a small parish 8 m. W.N.W. of Chelmsford. The church is of interest.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Margaret stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of flint-rubble with dressings of limestone and clunch; the roofs are covered with slates. The Nave was built late in the 12th century. Late in the 14th century the Chancel was re-built and shortly after the chancel-arch was re-built and enlarged. The church was restored in the 19th century when the North Vestry was added and the bell-cote added or re-built.
The 12th-century S. doorway is a fairly rich example of the period.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (23 ft. by 14 ft.) has a moulded internal string-course. The three-light E. window is all modern except the internal splays, rear-arch and label, which are of late 14th or early 15th-century date. In the S. wall are two late 14th-century windows each of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head; both have been partly restored; between them is a late 14th-century doorway partly restored and with moulded jambs and two-centred arch, and with the internal string-course mitred round the three-sided rear-arch. The 15th-century chancel-arch has chamfered responds and a four-centred arch of two chamfered orders; the lower parts of the responds are of 12th-century stones re-set.
The Nave (34½ ft. by 17 ft.) has in the N. wall three 12th-century windows, each of a single round-headed light; between the two western windows is the 12th-century N. doorway with a semi-circular arch and jambs enriched with a vertical line of diaper-ornament; the tympanum is modern. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost is of the 15th century and of two cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head, partly restored; the two western windows are each 12th-century round-headed lights with three circular ornaments cut round the head; between these windows is the 12th-century S. doorway (Plate p. xxxi) of three orders; the two outer orders have shafts with scalloped capitals, chamfered abaci and moulded bases to the inner shafts; the outer shaft has zig-zag fluting and on the face of the wall adjoining are squares of diaper-ornament, the inner order has two shafts worked on the inner face; the two middle orders of the semi-circular arch have cheveron ornament and the outer order has billets and diaper-work; the tympanum with a segmental soffit has lozenge-shaped panels of diaper-work. The lower quoin stones of the S. wall have diaper-ornament partly restored. In the W. wall is an 18th-century window, and above it a round-headed light of the 12th century.
The Roof of the chancel has two 14th to early 15th-century moulded tie-beams and moulded wall-plates finished with carved bosses against the E. wall. The nave has 16th-century or early 17th-century chamfered wall-plates and earlier tie-beams with king-posts.
Fittings—Bracket: On E. wall of chancel—stone corbel, carved with head of man, 14th-century. Chest: (Plate p. xxxiii) In nave—dug-out, iron bound, with foliated iron ornament on lid, ring at each end and six locks, lid in two portions, 13th-century. Coffin-lid: In churchyard—S. of chancel, lower part only, with stem and base of cross, 13th-century. Doors: In chancel and S. doorways—on modern doors, ornamental iron hinges and straps with hatched surface and foliated ends, late 12th or early 13th-century, largely restored. Font: octagonal, panelled bowl with quatrefoils in circles, enclosing blank shields, panelled and traceried stem and moulded base, late 14th-century. Glass: In chancel—in S. windows, fragments and quarries, probably late 14th-century. Piscina: In chancel —with two-centred head and moulded label, with finial, octfoiled drain, late 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1562 and cover-paten probably of the same date. Recess: In chancel—in N. wall, with low ogee arch, foiled near the springing, moulded label with crockets, finial and stop of woman's head, late 14th-century, possibly monument of builder of chancel. Seating: In vestry— bench with back made up of moulded panelling, late 16th-century. Sedilia: In chancel—in recess of S.E. window, with three bays of obtuse trefoiled arcading on two head corbels, one a bishop, late 14th-century.
a(2). 100 yards S.E. of the church.
b(3). At Gray's Cottages, ¾ m. S.S.E. of the church.
c(4). Marks Hall, house and moat, about ½ m. S. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and faced with modern brick; the roofs are covered with tiles and slates. The house was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and E.; there are modern additions on the E. One chimney-stack on the E. side has three original octagonal shafts.
The Moat surrounds the house.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
b(5). Cottage at Pepper's Green, about 1½ m. S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roof is thatched. It was built in the 17th century.