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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68. MATCHING. (D.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xli. N.E. (b)xli. S.E. (c)xlii. N.W. (d)xlii. S.W.)
Matching is a parish and small village 3½ m. E. of Harlow. The Church is the principal monument and stands on a picturesque green. The marriage feast-room is an interesting survival.
a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands in the middle of the parish. The walls are of flint-rubble with stone dressings; the S. porch is timber-framed and the tower is covered with cement; the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built c. 1220 with N. and S. aisles of three bays. c. 1360–80 the South Aisle was widened, and in the 15th century the West Tower was added. In 1875 the Chancel, North Organ Chamber, South Transept, South Porch, North Aisle, and the easternmost bay of the nave and aisles were added or re-built.
Architectural Description—The Nave (41 ft. by 18 ft.) has N. and S. arcades each of four bays; the easternmost is modern, the remainder have two-centred arches of the 13th-century and of two chamfered orders springing from round columns with moulded abaci, capitals and bases; the W. responds are attached half-columns, that on the N. side partly restored.
The South Aisle (9 ft. wide) has in the E. wall a modern archway to the S. transept. In the S. wall are three windows: the easternmost is modern; the second is of c. 1360–80, partly restored, and of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery under a square head with a modern label; the westernmost is modern except for the splays and chamfered two-centred rear-arch, which are probably of the 14th century; between the middle and westernmost is the S. doorway of c. 1360, partly restored; it has continuous moulded jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label.
The 15th-century West Tower (10 ft. square) is of three diminishing stages and has a chamfered plinth and a modern parapet. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two orders, the outer moulded and continuous, the inner chamfered and springing from semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and plain chamfered bases. The W. window is all modern except the splays and chamfered two-centred rear-arch; across the N.W. angle is the doorway, with moulded jambs and two-centred head, to the stair-turret. The second stage has in the S. and W. walls a narrow pointed loop with a moulded label and partly restored. The bell-chamber has in each wall a largely restored window of two trefoiled lights under a two-centred head with a moulded label.
The Roof of the S. aisle is modern, but in the S. wall are three grotesque corbels, probably of the 14th century.
Fittings—Bells: six; 4th, 1615; 6th, 1640, both by Robert Oldfield. Brass: In N. aisle— on N. wall, of John Ballett, 1638, figures of man and wife in civil dress, with kneeling figures of two sons and six daughters, and achievement of arms. Font (Plate p. xxxii): octagonal bowl with moulded under edge and base, on each face a quatrefoil panel containing flowers, shields, etc., one shield with a cross, another with a cheveron; stem panelled with trefoiled and cinque-foiled heads to the panels; 15th-century. Painting: on S. arcade—traces of red colouring. Piscina: In S. aisle—with quatrefoil drain and trefoiled head late 14th-century. Plate: includes large cup of 1685, with trumpet-shaped stem, inscribed and dated 1686; paten of same date. Pulpit: octagonal, panelled sides, each side with three panels, the upper panels enriched with arabesque strap-ornaments and central boss, 17th-century, partly restored. Seating: In N. aisle—four 16th-century benches with moulded top-rails and panelled standards with buttresses, partly restored.
Condition—Good, much restored.
a(2). In Matching Park, 1,600 yards S.W. of the church.
a(3). At Housham Hall, 13/8 m. W. of the church.
c(4). At Gunnets Green, ¾ m. N.E. of the church.
c(5). At site of Burnt Hall, 1 m. E.N.E. of the church.
a(6). Matching Hall, house, barn, dovecot and moat, S. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W.; at the N.E. angle is an addition probably of the 18th century. On the W. front is a gable at each end, and on the E. elevation are three gables. The S. chimney-stack, now coated with cement, is probably original, and has grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building many of the chamfered ceiling-beams have moulded stops, and there is an old door of oak battens.
The early 17th-century Barn, W. of the house, is weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. The bays are divided by queen-post trusses.
The Dovecot, S.W. of the house, is built of red and black bricks on a square plan. It is probably of late 17th-century date.
The Moat is incomplete.
Condition—Of buildings, good; house much altered.
c(7). Kingstons, house and moat, 1,100 yards E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of plastered timber-framing largely refaced with modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. Inside the building one room is lined with original panelling and has over the fireplace three panels carved with lozenges.
The Moat is of irregular shape and fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, good; much altered.
c(8). Upper Hall, house and moat, 1,600 yards E.S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are of plastered timber-framing, the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 16th century on a rectangular plan; the two chimneystacks were added probably late in the 16th or in the 17th century. The E. chimney-stack has two square shafts on a stepped base. Inside the building the central room on the ground floor is lined with panelling of c. 1600 and has a wide open fireplace. In the E. room is an original window, now blocked, of four lights with diagonal mullions. In the roof is an original king-post truss.
The Moat is of irregular shape and incomplete.
Condition—Of house, fairly good.
c(9). Moat House, house and moat, at Matching Green, 1,400 yards S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are of plastered timber-framing largely refaced with modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.W. and N.E.; a modern addition makes the present plan rectangular. At the S.E. end of the S.W. front the upper storey projects and is gabled. In the base of the original chimney-stack are two pointed recesses. Inside the building a moulded ceiling-beam runs the full length of the house, the wall-plates are elaborately moulded, and some of the ceiling-joists are hollow-chamfered. The central room contains some linen-fold panelling, now painted.
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, good; much altered.
c(10). Stock Hall, house and moat, 1 m. S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the second half of the 16th century, probably on an H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S., and a small gabled staircase-wing at the back; the E. wing has been demolished, and there are modern additions at the back of the main block and W. wing. Inside the building is some panelling now covered with paper.
The Moat is double, and surrounds both house and outbuildings.
Condition—Of house and moat, good.
b(11). Taggles, house and moat, at Housham Tye, 1¼ m. S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century. The original chimney-stack has a shaft of T-shaped plan.
The Moat is double and incomplete.
Condition—Of house, good.
b(12). House, now smithy, and moat, 170 yards W. of (11). The House is similar to (11) in construction and date.
The Moat is almost complete.
Condition—Of house, good.
a(13). House, still used occasionally as the "Marriage-Feast Room" (Plate p. 48), W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 15th century on a rectangular plan.
It is noteworthy as one of the few surviving buildings of this class.
On the W. front the upper storey projects on the exposed main beams of the upper floor; these beams were formerly strengthened by curved braces. Inside the building the lower storey is partitioned into rooms; the upper storey forms a single long hall divided into four bays by rough cambered tie-beams with king-posts and curved braces. At the N. end is a little 17th-century panelling.
Condition—Good; much altered.
d(14). House, now three tenements, at S.W. end of Matching Green, 1,400 yards S.S.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 15th century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W.; a later addition makes the present plan rectangular. On the W. elevation the upper storey projects at the ends of the former wings, and there are corresponding gabled projections at each end of the E. front. Inside the building an original doorway with two-centred oak head opens from the N. wing into the probable site of the 'screens.' The main block, formerly open to the roof, has an original truss with a king-post on a stepped base.
b(15). Cottage, at Carter's Green, 1¼ m. S.W. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of plastered and weather-boarded timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century, but has modern additions at the back. The original central chimney-stack has a shaft of cruciform plan.
b(16). House, at Housham Tye, 600 yards W.N.W. of (15), is similar in construction and date to (15) but has been much altered and enlarged.
a(17). Cottage, at Newman's End, 1,000 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roofs are thatched. It was built in the second half of the 17th century, and has an original chimney-stack at the S. end.