North Weald Bassett

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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'North Weald Bassett', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) pp. 197-199. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)l. N.W. (b)l. N.E. (c)l. S.W. (d)l. S.E.)

North Weald Bassett is a parish and village about 3 m. N.E. of Epping. The Church is interesting.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew (Plate p. 197) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of flint-rubble with some admixture of Roman bricks and freestone, and with dressings of limestone and clunch; the tower is of red brick and the roofs are tiled. The Nave, South Chapel and South Aisle were built c. 1330. The West Tower was added c. 1500. The Chancel was re-built in 1867, and the North Vestry and Organ Chamber added in 1889.

The Church, Plan

The W. Tower is a good example of brickwork of c. 1500 and of rather unusual height. Amongst the fittings the screen is noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Nave (53 ft. by 23½ ft.) has in the N. wall three modern windows; between the two western windows is the 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label, and now blocked. The 14th-century S. arcade is of five bays with octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds, all with moulded capitals and hollow-chamfered bases; the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders; the middle arch is narrower than the rest.

The South Chapel (20½ ft. by 14 ft.) has in the E. wall a 14th-century window, largely restored, and of three trefoiled ogee lights, with tracery in a two-centred head; the splays and rear-arch are moulded and the internal label has head-stops. In the S. wall are two 14th-century windows, partly restored, and each of two trefoiled ogee lights, with tracery in a two-centred head with moulded labels. In the W. wall, opening into the S. aisle, is a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders.

The South Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has in the S. wall a 14th-century window, largely modern, and of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head; further E. is the 14th-century S. doorway with double chamfered jambs and two-centred head with a moulded label.

The West Tower (12 ft. by 12½ ft.) is of red brick and of four stages, with an embattled parapet resting on a corbel table of small segmental arches; it is entirely of c. 1500, except for modern repairs. The two-centred brick tower-arch is of four orders, chamfered, moulded and plain; the responds have each two shafts with continuous moulded capitals and spreading bases. The W. window is modern, except for the splays and rear-arch; below it is the W. doorway with double chamfered jambs and two-centred arch of stone with a moulded brick label; across the S.W. angle is the chamfered four-centred doorway to the staircase. In both the S. and W. walls of the second stage is a single-light window with a three-centred head, and in the N. wall is a brick fireplace with a four-centred head. The third stage has in each wall a similar window to those in the second stage. The bell-chamber is undivided externally from the third stage, and has in each wall a window of two four-centred lights under a four-centred head.

The Roof of the S. chapel is gabled and has trussed rafters of uncertain date with a moulded S. wall-plate of the 14th century.

Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd by John Waylett, 1712; 5th by Anthony Bartlet, 1673. Bracket: In S. chapel—on E. wall, carved with oak-leaves, a face, moulded and crested with quatrefoils, 15th-century. Brass: In nave—on N. wall, of Walter Larder, [1606,] and Marie [Nicholls], his wife, three sons and two daughters, with figures of man and wife in civil dress, group of children, mutilated inscription and shield of arms. Chairs: In chancel—with carved back and arms, turned legs and shaped rails, late 17th-century, restored. In nave—incorporated in modern chair, sides and back and other pieces, possibly 15th-century. Chest: In S. aisle—plain with strap-hinges, possibly 16th-century. Doors: In N. doorway—of battens, with ornamental iron hinges, late 13th or early 14th-century. In tower—in doorway to turret-staircase, of studded battens with strap-hinges, probably c. 1500. Floor-slabs: In nave—(1) to Thomas Arrowsmith, vicar of the parish, 1705–6, and Margaret, his wife, 1702, with shield of arms; (2) to John Searle, 1665, and Mary, his wife, 1676. Glass: In S. chapel—in S. windows, tabernacle work in heads of lights and fragments in tracery, 14th-century; in S. aisle, in westernmost window, borders and fragments in head and tracery, mostly in situ, 14th-century; in tower, in W. window, quatrefoil of fragments, mostly 14th-century. Panelling: Incorporated in choir-stalls, also in nave and S. chapel, early 18th-century. Piscina: In S. chapel in S. wall, with trefoiled ogee head and sex-foiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: Includes cup of 1563 and plate of 1682. Screen (Plate p. 3): Between chancel and nave, of five bays, one forming entrance, side bays with form-centred traceried heads sub-divided by modern pendants, moulded posts supporting cusped and ribbed loft, close lower panels with grooved panelling, rail carved with running vine and conventional ornament and black-letter inscription, "Orate pro bono statu Thome Wyher, diacon"; the rest of the inscription is hopelessly corrupt; doors in two folds, each similar but narrower than side bays, but with traceried lower panels, early 16th-century, capitals of posts, 18th-century, cornice modern. Sedile: In S. chapel—sill of S.E. window carried down to form stepped sedile, 14th-century. Sundial: On S. side of tower—with stone slab dated 1706, part in S. aisle.

Condition—Fairly good, but large crack in W. wall of nave, and stonework badly weathered.


Homestead Moats.

b(2). S. of Weald Hall and 1,000 yards W.S.W. of the church, is of circular form.

a(3). On site of Marshalls, nearly 1½ m. W.S.W. of the church.

b(4). On site of Cawnes, 1 m. N.W. of the church.

b(5). At School Green, ½ m. S.E. of the church.

b(6). Parish Hall, house and moat, 1¼ m. N.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably c. 1600 on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending W. and S. The original central chimney-stack has six octagonal shafts.

The Moat is fragmentary.


Monuments (7–17).

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered or weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. Several of the buildings have original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces, and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.

b(7). Little Weald Hall, nearly ½ m. N. by W. of the church.

b(8). Cottage, 120 yards E. of the church.

b(9). Slough House, ½ m. E. by N. of the church.

b(10). Cottage, opposite the Talbot Inn, and ¾ m. E. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century. The upper storey projects on the E. front and also at the back. The original central chimney-stack is of cruciform plan.

b(11). House, 50 yards S.W. of (10). The upper storey projects and is gabled at both ends of the front.

d(12). House, 1,100 yards S.S.E. of the church. The original central chimney-stack has two shafts set diagonally.

d(13). Wheeler's Farm, house, ¼ m. W. of (12), has an original chimney-stack with two joined shafts, set diagonally. Inside the building the original staircase has moulded handrail and string and turned balusters. In the kitchen is a window with a moulded and dentilled cornice.

d(14). The King's Head Inn, nearly 1 m. S. of the church.

d(15). Cottage, two tenements 100 yards W.N.W. of (14), has an original chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts on a rectangular base with a moulded capping.

d(16). Cottage, three tenements S.W. of (15), was built probably in the 16th century. The upper storey projects and is gabled at both ends of the W. front; the S. gable has curved brackets.

d(17). Marshall's Farm (Plate p. 128), house nearly 1½ m. W.S.W. of the church, has an original central chimney-stack with four square shafts set diagonally on a cruciform base with a moulded capping.


b(18). Bank, probably dam, N.W. of Weald Hall, and 1,000 yards W.S.W. of the church.