Moreton

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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'Moreton', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) pp. 189-190. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol2/pp189-190 [accessed 19 April 2024]

In this section

69. MORETON (D.c.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xlii. S.W. (b)li. N.W.)

Moreton is a parish and small village about 3 m. N. by W. of Chipping Ongar. The Church is the principal monument.

Ecclesiastical

b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin stands at the E. end of the village. The walls are of flint-rubble with dressings of limestone and clunch; the tower is of red brick and the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built c. 1220, and the Chancel was built or re-built c. 1240. A. S. porch was built possibly in the 15th century. The West Tower was re-built in 1787 and the church was restored in 1868–69, when the N. wall of the nave is said to have been re-built. The North Vestry and South Porch are modern.

Among the fittings the font is noteworthy.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (17 ft. by 21½ ft.) has in the E. wall three lancet windows, two below and one in the gable; the lower windows are of the 13th century; the upper one is modern externally but the splays may be old. In the N. wall are two 13th-century lancet windows with modern sills. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern is modern except the internal splays; the western window is of late 15th-century date and of one cinque-foiled light in a square head. There is no structural division between the chancel and the nave.

The Nave (50½ ft. by 21½ ft.) has in the N. wall three windows; the easternmost is a late 15th-century window with moulded jambs and label and of two cinque-foiled lights under a segmental pointed head; the two western windows are early 13th-century lancets, the sill of the westernmost being carried down lower than that of the other window; between these windows is the modern N. doorway. In the S. wall are three windows: the easternmost is of the 18th century; the second is a 13th-century lancet window, modern externally; the westernmost window is of two plain square-headed lights with a rough plastered label and is probably of the 15th century repaired in the 17th century; between the two western windows is the 18th-century S. doorway. In the W. wall is an 18th-century doorway to the tower and an inscription recording the rebuilding of the tower in 1787.

The Roof of the chancel has chamfered wall-plates and two tie-beams, one moulded and probably of the 15th century, the other chamfered and probably of the 17th century; the trussed rafters are ceiled. The 15th-century roof of the nave has three trusses, with chamfered tie-beams; the two western tiebeams have light octagonal king-posts with long struts to the tie-beam and short one-way struts to the central purlin; the eastern truss is probably of the 17th century; the trussed rafters are ceiled. The S. porch has one braced tie-beam and old rafters, probably of the 15th century, re-used.

Fittings—Bells: five; 1st by Miles Graye and William Harbert, 1627; 5th by Miles Graye, 1632. Communion Table: of oak with turned legs, late 17th-century. Font: of Purbeck marble, square bowl, sides ornamented with—E. side, four round-headed panels; N. and S. sides, four fleurs-de-lis; W. side, a crescent, disc and whorl; cylindrical stem with four detached angle shafts, late 12th-century, much defaced. Plate: includes alms-dish of 1648 with shield of arms; cup of 1663 and paten of 1663 dated 1664. Pulpit: hexagonal and modern, incorporating moulded top rail and four panels carved with arabesques, c. 1600.

Condition—Fairly good, some stone work decayed.

Secular

b(2). Homestead Moat, at Tanner's Cottage, about 1 m. N.E. of the church.

Condition—Poor.

a(3). Newhouse Farm, house, barn and moat, about 1 m. N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was re-built in the 17th century and has a modern addition at the S. end. Inside the building two rooms have original panelling.

The Barn, W. of the house, is probably of the 17th century, and is of five bays with a porch.

The Moat is incomplete.

Condition—Of house and barn, good.

a(4). Greens, house and moat, 300 yards S.E. of (3). The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roofs are thatched. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. The original chimney-stack has diagonal pilaster strips.

The Moat is incomplete.

Condition—Of house, fairly good.

b(5). Cross Lees, house, barn and moat, about 1¼ m. E.S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and faced with brickwork; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.E. and S.W. The original chimney-stack is cross-shaped on plan with a sunk panel in the base.

The Barn, S.E. of the house, is of the 17th century.

The Moat is incomplete.

Condition—Of house and barn, good.

Monuments (6–11).

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century, timber-framed and covered with plaster; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Many of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces, and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless stated.

b(6). Hill Farm, house, about ½ m. E.N.E. of the church, was built in the 15th century with a central Hall and cross-wings at each end. The Hall has been raised and a floor inserted, probably in the 16th century. The central chimney-stack is of the 17th century, and has grouped shafts set diagonally. Inside the building, the wall-posts of the former Hall roof remain on the ground floor. In the E. cross-wing is an original doorway with a four-centred head and on the first floor is the cambered and braced tie-beam and king-post of the original roof.

b(7). Upper Hall (Plate p. 111), house and barn, about 300 yards S.E. of the church. The House has modern additions at the back.

The Barn stands N.W. of the house.

b(8). Nether Hall, house and barn, about 150 yards E.S.E. of the church. The House has a modern wing at the back.

The Barn stands E. of the house.

b(9). Cottage, 100 yards S. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N.

b(10). The "Guildhall," cottage about ¼ m. W.S.W. of the church. It was built in the 15th century with a central Hall and cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The Kitchen or S. cross-wing has been demolished, and a floor inserted in the Hall. On the W. front the upper storey of the remaining cross-wing projects on a curved bracket, springing from an angle-post with a moulded capping. Inside the building, the original Hall has the two original doorways with four-centred heads, which formerly opened into the 'screens'; the room above has original moulded wall-plates, a cambered tie-beam with curved braces and a moulded king-post. In the cross-wing are two original doorways with four-centred heads, and the N.W. room has moulded ceiling-beams. On the first floor the curved braces of a roof-truss are visible.

b(11). The White Hart Inn, 30 yards N.W. of (10), was built probably in the 16th century. At the E. end the upper storey projects on curved brackets. Inside the building there is an original moulded ceiling-beam.

Condition—Being restored at time of visit.