South Weald

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


, 'South Weald', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) pp. 214-218. British History Online [accessed 25 May 2024].

. "South Weald", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921) 214-218. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024,

. "South Weald", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 2, Central and South west, (London, 1921). 214-218. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024,

In this section

85. SOUTH WEALD. (D.d.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)lix. S.W. (b)lxvii. N.W. (c)lxvii. S.W.)

South Weald is a large parish adjoining Brentwood on the N.W. The Church, Weald Hall, and the Golden Fleece Inn are the principal monuments, and monuments (6) and (10) are good examples of early 18th-century work.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Peter stands in the village. The walls are of flint-rubble with bands of freestone; the tower is of ashlar; the dressings are of limestone; the roofs are tiled. The former nave, now the South Aisle, was built in the middle of the 12th century, but the S. doorway is the only remaining detail of that date. About the middle of the 13th century the former chancel, now the South Chapel, was re-built and lengthened and a N. aisle added. The N. aisle was re-built in the 15th century and the West Tower was added c. 1500. In the 19th century the church was restored, the N. aisle pulled down, a new Chancel, Nave and Organ Chamber built in its place, and the present S. aisle refaced or re-built; the South Porch also was added and the S. arcade reconstructed.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel and Nave are modern, but the westernmost window in the N. wall is mainly of the 15th century re-set; it is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded label; further. E. is a re-set doorway, partly of the 15th century, with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. Other windows have old stones re-set in the splays. The S. arcade is of six bays and of 13th-century date, reconstructed in the 19th century; the two-centred arches are of two hollow-chamfered orders; the columns are round except the fourth, which is octagonal; the E. respond has a semi-octagonal and the W. respond a half round attached column; the moulded capitals and bases are modern, except the base of the E. respond and the capitals and bases of the first and second columns.

The South Chapel and Aisle (92 ft. by 19½ ft.), the former Chancel and Nave, are without structural division. The E. window is modern. In the S. wall are five windows, all modern except for some re-used stones in the splays; between the fourth and westernmost windows is the mid 12th-century S. doorway, with a round arch of one plain and one chamfered order, with cheveron ornament and a tympanum resting on a segmental arch with three rolls attached to the soffit; the tympanum has axe-worked diapering; the jambs have each a shaft with cheveron fluting, voluted capitals, modern abaci and moulded bases.

The West Tower (13 ft. square) is of c. 1500 and of ashlar; it is of three stages with an embattled parapet and gargoyles carved with beasts' heads. The two-centred tower-arch is moulded and has moulded responds each with two attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window has been completely restored except the splays, four-centred arch, moulded label, and rear-arch; the partly restored W. doorway has moulded and shafted jambs and a moulded four-centred arch with traceried spandrels in a square head with a moulded label. The second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a window almost entirely restored. The bell-chamber has in each wall a modern window.

Fittings—Bells: six and sanctus; 2nd by Anthony Bartlet, 1664; 6th by Philip Wightman, 1692; sanctus, uninscribed. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In S. aisle—(1) to Sir Anthony Browne, 1567, Justice of the Common Pleas; and Joan (Farington), his wife, inscription, two shields of arms and marginal inscription, indents of two kneeling figures and two shields; (2) to Sir Anthony Browne, 1623, inscription only. Indents: In churchyard—(1) of inscription; (2) of four small figures, inscription plate and groups of children. Door: In tower—in doorway to staircase, of nail-studded battens with strap-hinges, 15th-century. Glass: In tower—in W. window, two panels probably Flemish, Abraham's Sacrifice, and the Queen of Sheba, late 15th-century; in tracery, figures of St. Andrew, St. John the Evangelist, St. Philip and St. Thomas, 17th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In tower—(1) to Thomas Goodwyn, vicar of the parish, 1658, plain tablet; (2) to Matthew Roberts, 1705, and others later, tablet with enrichments; (3) to Sir Henry Wright, Bart., 1663, and his son Henry, 1681, marble tablet flanked by Ionic shafts with broken pediment and achievement of arms. In churchyard—S. of tower, (4) to Edward Andrews, 1691, and Mary, his wife, 1702, and others later, granite sarcophagus with feet and scrolled top of stone. Floor-slabs: In tower— (1) to Sir Henry Wright, Bart., 1663. In churchyard— S. side, (2) to Martha (Wright), wife of Robert Sainthill, 1634, with marble shield; (3) to George Gittens, 1712; (4) to Lawrence Wright, 1657, and Mary, his wife, 1657–8, with shield of arms; (5) to William Norris, 1702, canon of Chichester; (6) to Thomas Manby, 1678–9, with shield of arms; (7) to ..... Ewens, 1694; (8) to Richard Tidall, 1691; (9) to Mary, widow of John Barrington, 1680. Plate: includes large cup of 1623, dated 1636; similar cup of 1686, dated 1636, and cover-paten of 1686. Miscellanea: Built into churchyard wall, fragment of window mullions, sills, etc., 14th or 15th century. Built into modern wall of nave, etc., worked stones of various dates.

Condition—Good, largely re-built.


b(2). Weald Hall, house and lodge, N.W. of the church. The House (Plate p. 215) is partly of two and partly of three storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are mostly tiled. It consists of two main blocks at right angles to each other and extending towards the E. and N. respectively; the E. block was built probably c. 1540–50 on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the E. and W. ends and apparently with a smaller wing at the N. end of the W. side; shortly afterwards the W. wing was enlarged towards the W. and S., and probably c. 1560–70 the N. block was added at the N.W. angle of this wing; the new block was of modified half H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W.; in the 18th century it was refaced and much altered, its S.W. wing was extended towards the W., and a gallery or corridor was added between its wings to the back of the main block; late in the 18th or early in the 19th century, the original E. block was refaced on its S. side and the space between the original wings on this side was enclosed to form the present great Hall.

The buildings are interesting examples of brickwork of the period, though much altered; and inside the house the 16th-century wall-painting is unusually elaborate.

The original or E. block has on the N. elevation two gabled wings; at each angle of the E. wing and at the E. angle of the W. wing, are solid octagonal turrets, each of three diminishing stages, surmounted by an octagonal pinnacle with moulded base and capping; the W. angle of the W. wing may originally have had a similar turret, but is now splayed across to the N. block; in the gable of the W. wing is an original window, partly restored, of four four-centred lights with a moulded label; below it are the straight joints of a former window on the first floor, and on the ground floor is another original window similar to that in the gable; the main block has an 18th-century parapet, and at the W. end a staircase-wing of the same period; the central chimney-stack is possibly original, and has four detached diagonal shafts with modern tops. On the E. elevation are two 16th-century projecting chimney-stacks with splayed angles and crow-stepped above the parapet; each stack has two detached octagonal shafts with moulded bases and modern tops; close to the S. angle is an octagonal turret similar to that at the N. angle, but incomplete and partly restored; S. of this is a short length of modern wall. The S. elevation is modern. The W. elevation is divided into four unequal bays by original buttresses, two of which have been partly altered and converted into chimneys; the northernmost bay has an original window of two plastered four-centred lights with a label and a doorway, probably original, but partly concealed by a modern porch which incorporates a 15th-century moulded and embattled beam with two curved brackets carved with foliage and a Tudor rose; in the second bay is a window of four similar lights, now plastered but probably original.

The N. block has an E. elevation of c. 1560, except at the S. end where a length of about 16 ft. may have formed part of the original block; at this point the 16th-century parapet is ramped down to a lower level, and part of a blocked four-centred arch may indicate a former gateway here. On the N. elevation at each end is a small 16th-century wing, one at least probably intended for a staircase; both wings have in their W. walls traces of a former doorway, and in the N. wall of the E. wing are a 16th-century four-centred window and a rectangular loop; between the wings is a small modern annexe, a 16th-century blocked doorway, and a 16th-century chimney-stack with two attached diagonal shafts. On the W. elevation are two wings; the northern has a third storey of 18th-century brickwork, and has been completely altered in detail except for two 16th-century buttresses; the S. wing has an 18th-century W. wall, and straight joints in the N. and S. walls indicate the former extent of the wing; in the N. wall are traces of former 16th-century windows; the block between the wings was refaced probably in 1716. On the S. elevation the S.E. angles of the S. wing and the projecting chimney-stack have quoins of stone, which may indicate a subsequent alteration or repair; the 15th-century chimney-stack has three diagonal shafts; E. of it is a 16th-century window of three four-centred lights, now plastered; at the E. end the wall is set back 9 ft. and contains a small four-centred window, a plastered window, of three four-centred lights, and a blocked doorway all probably of the 16th century.

Inside the building in the E. block is a 16th-century door (Plate p. 246), rehung; it is of two horizontal leaves, each hung by two ornamental hinges and divided by fillets into three vertical panels with a four-centred arch in front of the square head. In the N. block is a winding staircase of wood, probably of the 16th-century, and on the first floor are two 16th-century wide fireplaces of stone, with moulded jambs and four-centred arches under square heads; the spandrels are carved with shields and foliage. Above the fireplaces are oak overmantels made up of material brought from elsewhere; over another fireplace in the S.W. wing is an elaborate late 16th-century wall-painting (Plate p. 246), representing a defaced shield of arms, said to be Browne impaling Capell, flanked by two grotesque monsters; the field is covered with tendrils, flowers, etc.; some of the upper rooms are lined with linen-fold and other panelling, re-set.

The Lodge, known as Princess Mary's Chapel (Plate p. 270), N.W. of the house, is contemporary with the original or E. block and of similar construction. It is of rectangular plan, and has at each angle an octagonal turret similar to those of the house; the gables have each a moulded coping with an octagonal pinnacle at the apex, similar to those of the turrets. On the S. front is an original doorway with a four-centred head, flanked by two windows with similar heads and with a common moulded label which is carried across the wall above the doorway; in the upper storey is a broad original window of seven four-centred lights in a square head with a chamfered label. On the E. elevation are two original windows, now blocked, and another window of three lights much altered; above the eaves-level rises an original crow-stepped chimney-stack with modern shafts. The garden walls, running S. and E. from the lodge, are of 16th-century brick.

Condition—Of house and lodge, good; much altered.

a(3). Moat House, house and moat at Pilgrim's Hatch, about 1½ m. N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century and has a modern addition at the back. The original chimney-stack at the W. end has two diagonal shafts.

The Moat partly surrounds the house.

Condition—Of house, good.

b(4). Moat House, house and moat at Brook Street, ¾ m. S.S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the first half of the 16th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends, but these are now covered by one roof. On the N. front the upper storey projects. The E. chimney-stack has diagonal shafts of the 17th century. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams and an original window, now blocked and with moulded mullions. Two original doorways with four-centred heads and some late 16th-century panelling also remain. On the first floor is an original fireplace with moulded jambs and four-centred arch of brick.

The Moat is fragmentary and dry.

Condition—Of house, good.

b(5). Golden Fleece Inn, house (Plate p. 110), and barn, 100 yards W.N.W. of (4). The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 15th century with a central Hall and crosswings at the E. and W. ends. The wings were extended to the N. in the 16th-century and there is a 17th-century addition between them. On the S. front the upper storey projects at the ends of the cross-wings and the E. wing has a moulded bressumer. Two chimney-stacks have grouped diagonal shafts of the 17th century.

Interior—The former Hall, now divided into two storeys, has original moulded wall-posts on the N. side dividing it into four bays; one post has a moulded corbel. The 'screens' were at the E. end and there is an original doorway with a four-centred head and sunk spandrels at the N. end and now blocked. The early 17th-century main staircase has square newels and heavy turned balusters. The roof of the Hall is original but cut up by modern partitions; it has moulded plates, wall-posts and hammer-beams with curved braces; the collars are also supported by curved braces springing from the hammer-beams and forming four-centred arches.

The E. or Kitchen wing has in the front room, original moulded posts and ceiling-beam, and in the room above an original hammer-beam roof with curved braces and moulded collar-braces forming a two-centred arch. There is also an original doorway with moulded jambs, four-centred arch and sunk spandrels, and a door of 16th-century panelling.

The W. or Solar wing has an original roof with cambered and chamfered tie-beam, curved brace, stunted and moulded king-post and four-way struts.

The Barn, W. of the house, is of 16th-century and of five bays with queen-post trusses to the roof.

Condition—Of house, good.

b(6). Brook House (Plate p. 270) 150 yards S.W. of (5), is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1700, and has a symmetrical S. front with a brick band between the storeys, a modillioned eaves-cornice of wood, and three gabled dormers in the roof. The doorway has a hood with carved consoles. The end gables have ogee-shaped parapets. Inside the building the original staircase has close strings, turned balusters, and square newels with round heads and moulded pendants.


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 and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

b(7). Bull Inn, 120 yards S.W. of (6), has been much altered.

b(8). Putwell Farm, house nearly ¾ m. W.S.W. of (7), has an original central chimney-stack with diagonal shafts. On the N. front the upper storey projects.

c(9). Boyles Cottages, 1¾ m. S.S.E. of the church.

b(10). Tower Arms Inn (Plate p. 48), 70 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick. It was built in 1704 and has a symmetrically arranged N. front with a brick band between the storeys, modillioned eaves-cornice returned along the sides of the house, two pedimented dormers in the roof, and a central doorway with moulded architrave carved consoles and pediment. Above the pediment is a moulded panel with the date and initials 1704 A.L.L.A. Inside the building several rooms have original panelling and cornices. The staircase has close strings and balusters, alternately turned and twisted.

b(11). House, 100 yards S.W. of (10). The upper storey projects on the E. front.

a(12). Frieze Hall, 1¼ m. N.W. of the church, consists of two blocks of slightly different dates.

Pilgrim's Hatch

a(13). Rose and Crown Inn, about 1¼ m. N.N.E. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.E. and S.W. The original chimney-stack is cross-shaped and set diagonally.

a(14). Black Horse Inn, 130 yards N.W. of (13), was built probably in the 16th century with crosswings at the N. and S. ends. The upper storey projected at the end of the N. cross-wing but has been under-built.

a(15). House, now Post Office and two tenements, 60 yards N.W. of (14), has modern additions on the W. side.

a(16). House, 180 yards N. of (15), has an original chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts.

a(17). House, at Crow Green, nearly ½ m. N.E. of (16), was built late in the 15th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The upper storey projects at the ends of the wings on the S. front. Inside the building are original moulded ceiling-beams and one beam with a panelled soffit. The doorways from the staircase in the W. wing are original and have four-centred heads. The roof of the same wing has part of the original trusses, with curved braces, king-posts and four-way struts.



b(18). South Weald Camp (Plateau Fort), stands on high ground partly within the eastern boundary of Weald Park. The work is approximately circular in shape and encloses about seven acres. The existing defences consist, on the east side, of a rampart and steep scarp, and on the west side of a partly natural scarp. The external ditch, if it ever existed, has been destroyed and the northern section of the defences have almost disappeared. The position of the entrance is doubtful.