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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96. WALTHAM HOLY CROSS. (B.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xlix. N.E. (b)xlix. S.W. (c)xlix. S.E. (d)lviii. N.W. (e)lviii. N.E.)
Waltham Holy Cross is a large parish and small town on the left bank of the Lea, 5 m. S.W. of Epping. The Church is a monument of the first class. Part of monument (No. 16) is said to have been occupied by Foxe, the Martyrologist.
d(1). Waltham Abbey, parish church, monastic buildings, fish ponds, etc. The Parish Church of Holy Cross and St. Lawrence stands in the town. The walls are principally of ashlar with some rubble-work in the S. wall of the S. aisle, and in the E. wall of the S. chapel; most of the 12th-century dressings are of Caen stone. The roofs of the main structure are covered with slates, that of the S. chapel is tiled. The present main building (Frontispiece) formed the nave of a secular college founded by Harold and dedicated in 1060, but reconstituted by Henry II as an Augustinian Priory in 1177 and as an Abbey in 1184. The earliest surviving work appears to be the patch of rubble (Plate p. 243) in the W. wall of the South Transept, and may be a relic of Harold's church, but it is probable that only the eastern arm was completed before the Conquest, that the building proceeded slowly from E. to W., that the Nave and North and South Aisles were not finished until the middle of the 12th century. Their construction may have been begun or resumed in the reign of Henry I, whose queen was a benefactress of the College. The actual building of the nave and aisles appear to have taken place in the following order: first came the eastern bay of the N. and the two E. bays of the S. arcade. These were followed successively by the remainder of the N. and S. arcade, with four bays of the triforium on either side and two E. bays of the clearstorey. Then came the triforium from the fifth bay onwards with the S. clearstorey—the N. clearstorey being the latest part finished, c 1160. At the W. end the 14th-century alterations have obliterated the history of the 12th-century building. Shortly after the institution of the monastic foundation the whole of the eastern arm appears to have been re-built on a larger scale. C. 1315–20 the two westernmost bays of the nave were remodelled, the 12th-century West Towers, if they formed part of the completed plan, were removed, and the W. front entirely re-built. The South Chapel, with sub-vault, was added c. 1320–30. The present West Tower was built in 1556–8 from the fragments of the central tower, which is said to have fallen in 1552, but it has been repaired at various periods, and the top storey was entirely renewed in 1905. The North Vestry is modern, and the whole building has been frequently restored since the middle of the 19th century.
The church is an imposing fragment of one of the richest and most important monastic establishments in the country, and the setting out of its nave in double bays after the fashion of Jumièges, Durham, etc.—a scheme which logically demands a sexpartite vault—is to be noted.
Architectural Description—The church, so far as known, consisted of a long Presbytery with North and South Aisles, Central Tower, North and South Transepts, Nave with North and South Aisles and South Chapel, and perhaps originally with two Western Towers.
The Presbytery (54 ft. wide, including aisles) has been entirely destroyed, but the rubble foundations of the wall of the N. aisle have been traced to a distance of 165 ft. from the E. end of the present church, and a fragment of the S. wall of the S. aisle has also been observed. Allowing for a square crossing, the eastern arm was therefore at least 132 ft. in length.
The Crossing (22 ft. square) was surmounted by a central tower, which fell or was pulled down shortly after the suppression, except the western piers and arch which are incorporated in the E. wall of the present church. (Frontispiece.) The surviving semi-circular tower-arch is of three orders, the outermost plain and of square section, the other two enriched with zig-zag ornament; the E. and W. labels are both carved with billet-ornament; the piers originally had on each face a central attached shaft, flanked by two others recessed within two square orders; the E. face of the N. pier retains its shafts but the E. face of the S. pier is defaced; the shafts have moulded bases and scalloped capitals with moulded abaci. The archway is filled in with masonry, the lower part of which formed the base of the rood-screen, probably of the 14th or 15th century, but incorporating much 12th-century material; it contains the doorways which flanked the former nave-altar; they have segmental-pointed heads, and are now blocked; all the windows in the fillingabove them are modern. Of the N. tower-arch, the springing remains; the outer order is enriched with zig-zag ornament.
The North and South Transepts (S. transept 31½ ft. long) have been destroyed with the exception of the W. Wall and return angle of the S. wall of the S. transept, and part of the W. wall of the N. transept. The W. wall of the former S. transept has a semi-circular arch, formerly opening into the the S. aisle, but now blocked; it is set in a high semi-circular headed recess on the E. face, and is of two moulded orders with a western label carved with a triple billet ornament and remains probably of an eastern label; above the E. face of the arch is a defaced string-course, and above the recess are fragments of a second string-course marking the base of the former clearstorey. S. of the archway, the lower part of the transept wall is built of herring-bone rubble and is doubtless earlier than the rest of the masonry; above this is a semi-circular headed window, now blocked, of three orders, the outermost and innermost plain, the middle order with an edge-roll and a line of hollow zig-zag ornament; the jambs have each an attached shaft with cushion capital and restored base. Above this window, at the level of the triforium, is another window, badly damaged but apparently of similar design. Under each of these windows and above the upper window are defaced string-courses corresponding with those of the aisle and nave. At the S.W. angle are remains of a clasping buttress with a fragment of an indented string-course. The N. transept originally opened into the N. aisle by an archway similar to that of the S. transept, but the arch has been replaced by a thick ashlar wall, in which is a doorway with a wooden lintel on the E., a chamfered segmental arch on the W., and between the two a chamfered semi-circular arch of doubtful date.
The Nave (107 ft. by 25 ft.) forms and has always formed the parish chancel and nave. It is of seven bays with N. and S. arcades (Plates pp. 239, 241) of almost uniform character. The easternmost pier of the N. arcade is of circular plan but has on the N. side a pilaster, with an attached semi-circular vaulting-shaft having a scalloped capital and moulded base; the pier is carved with spiral grooves, and has a compound capital, and a grooved and chamfered abacus; the base is restored. The third and fifth piers are of similar design, except that the third is carved horizontally with zig-zag grooves, and the fifth is plain. The second and fourth piers are compound, with semi-circular responds on the E. and W. of similar radius to that of the intermediate piers, and with pilasters and attached vaulting shafts on both N. and S. sides; on the S. side these pilasters and shafts are carried up to the present ceiling, but those on the N. side end in scalloped capitals at the top of the piers; the capitals of the piers are similar to those described above, except that between the scallops of the capital of the fourth pier is a spear-leaf ornament; the moulded bases are largely restored. The semi-circular arches of the first six bays are each of two orders on the S. and of one order on the N., the outer order here being carried up to form a plain arch above the triforium; the outer order on the S. is carved with a zig-zag groove, the inner orders on each side with a zig-zag moulding; the labels are enriched with billet-ornament on their outer chamfer; the arches differ from one another only in minor details, except that the inner order of the easternmost is splayed as well as moulded. The westernmost or sixth pier has E. and W. responds of similar plan to those of the piers of the central tower, and N. and S. pilasters with attached shafts uniform with those of the second and fourth piers, but has been much restored; it was evidently intended to form part of a N.W. tower. In the 14th century or later, the arches springing from it on the E. and W. (Plate p. 241) were cut away, and the bays opened up to the top of the triforium arcade, possibly with the intention of carrying up the attached shafts of the piers to the arch of the triforium; the original springing is still visible. The S. arcade (Plates pp. 238,240) is uniform with the N. arcade, except the details of which the following are the most important: the second pier has been re-built up to the springing line, which, owing to an early settlement of the pier, is lower than the others; and the capital of the fourth pier lacks the spear-leaf ornament of the corresponding N. pier.
The triforium has an arcade of seven bays corresponding with those of the lower arcade; below it is a string-course carved with three rows of indented scale-pattern; the course is broken by the vaulting-shafts. On the N. side the E. respond is similar in plan to that of the lower arch; the capital of the middle shaft has three scallops, those of the side shafts each have two scallops, and the bases are moulded; the W. respond is similar on its S. face, but on its N. face the shaft of the outer order is omitted. The arch is of two orders, the outer plain, the inner moulded and enriched with zig-zag carving on the S. side, but plain on the N.; the label is plain and chamfered. It is probable that an inner order was originally carried by the middle shafts. The second, third and fourth bays are similar to the first, except that in the third and fourth bays the middle capitals of the responds have each only two scallops and the labels are carved with billet ornament. In the fifth bay the middle capitals have each four scallops, and in the 14th century the arch was altered; it is two-centred and of three chamfered orders, corresponding in position to the original 12th-century orders. The sixth bay is of similar detail, and was also altered in the 14th century, either before or at the same time as the lower arch was cut away. The westernmost bay was partly re-built in the same period, but the two-centred arch is of three equal chamfered orders, the innermost being carried by a plain corbel on the W. side, whilst the outermost die on to the walls; on the E. side the original 12th-century respond remains but the base of the middle shaft has been removed and the shaft finished with a pencil-point corbel; above the arch are traces of the original semi-circular arch and label. Above the first, third and fifth piers a semi-circular attached vaulting shaft rises from a grotesque corbel-face immediately above the string-course. The triforium on the S. side of the nave is generally similar to that on the N., but none of the capitals have more than three scallops, and the intermediate vaulting shafts above the third and fifth piers have pencil-point instead of grotesque corbels; the fifth bay retains its original semi-circular arch; the two westernmost bays were altered uniformly with the corresponding bays on the N. side.
The clearstorey has been much restored externally. The semi-circular-headed windows are each of three orders, the innermost square, and the two outer with zig-zag ornament; the outer order of the jambs have attached shafts with cushion capitals; the fifth and sixth windows on the N. side and the sixth on the S. have two-centred heads of the 14th century; W. of the sixth window on both sides are straight joints, which may indicate the former existence of towers. Internally, the clearstorey has a plain chamfered base-string, which is interrupted by the vaulting shafts, except above the third to sixth piers on the N. side, which are the latest work in the nave. On each side is a continuous wall-passage with a barrel-vault between the openings; the S. passage is now inaccessible, but that on the N. is approached from a stair-turret at the W. end of the N. aisle. Each window has a stilted semi-circular rear-arch carried on free columns and flanked by two small arches, forming a triple arcade towards the nave; all the shafts have scalloped capitals and moulded bases. The arches of the two easternmost bays on both sides, being the earliest part of the clearstorey, are of two orders, both with zig-zag ornament; the main arch springs from two small attached shafts with cushion capitals and square bases standing on the capitals of the main shafts; the main shafts are monoliths, octagonal in the first bay on the N. and the second bay on the S., and circular in the other two bays. Next in order of date are the remaining bays of the S. clearstorey; the detached columns are of circular plan; built in courses the E. respond has as many as seven scallops on the W. and four on the S., and other capitals towards the W. show much variation in detail; the main arches are elaborately carved with zig-zag moulding, threaded with a roll-mould, and have labels enriched with an invected pattern; the side-arches have similar zig-zag mouldings, but no labels. The fifth and sixth bays are of similar character, except that the original main arches were altered in the 14th century and are two-centred and chamfered. The westernmost bay was almost entirely altered in the 14th century, but retains the original shafted E. respond; its two arches are two-centred and moulded, and the moulding being carried continuously down the mullion and W. jamb. On the S. side all the main arches of the first six bays are stilted on small supplementary shafts like those of the two easternmost bays of the N. side; the detached shafts of the two easternmost bays are of circular plan; those of the other bays are of quatrefoil plan; the westernmost bay was completely altered in the 14th century and resembles that on the N. side, except that the E. jamb has been cut square.
In the 14th-century W. wall, now opening into the later W. tower, is the deeply-recessed W. doorway (Plate p. 243), with splayed reveals and a narrow ribbed vault between the outer and inner orders; the moulded and two-centred outer order has a label, and is carried on semi-circular attached shafts with moulded and elaborately carved foliagecapitals and restored bases and plinths. Above the arch is a gabled and crocketed head enclosing a circular quatre-foiled panel; both labels spring from modern winged-beast corbels; the moulded inner order is continuous, and is enriched with roses and expanded ball-flowers and diaper pattern. The order is flanked by attached shafts similar to those of the outer order; they support the moulded side-arches and diagonal ribs of the narrow vaulted bay between the orders; the diagonal ribs meet in a carved foliage boss; the segmental chamfered rear-arch is also carried on moulded jambs and attached shafts with moulded bases and carved foliage capitals. The doorway is flanked externally by two niches, each with a moulded head apparently trefoiled, springing from attached shafts with foliage capitals and moulded bases. Above them are moulded gable heads springing from the same inner corbels as that of the doorway; the outer half of each niche is now covered by the side walls of the W. tower. Internally, the wall above the doorway is partly concealed by the gallery, but traces are visible of the moulded bell-capitals of the shafts in the splays of the 14th-century window, which has now, except for these visible remains, been removed or blocked; they are level with the springing of the clearstorey and indicate that the apex of the arch was considerably above the present ceiling. The masonry of the blocking incorporates many 12th and 14th-century carved stones and some small scalloped capitals. Externally, a large coved recess is built into the wall; re-set in it is a late 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with traces former of vertical tracery.
The North Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has in the N. wall six windows; below them are internal and external string-courses partly original, but much restored. The external course is carved with indented scale-pattern. Above it is another string-course carved with billet-ornament and carried over the windows as a label. Above this is a third string-course, now largely cut away. The easternmost window is probably of late 15th or early 16th-century date; it is of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery under a segmental-pointed head with a four-centred rear-arch. The second window is modern. The third, fourth and fifth windows are original, but largely restored; they are each of three orders, the outermost and innermost square, the middle moulded with a zig-zag hollow; the jambs have attached semi-circular shafts with cushion capitals and moulded bases. Above these windows were bullseye openings to light the triforium over the original vault, but that over the third window has been destroyed and the others blocked. Externally they are of two orders, the outer moulded and enriched with a zig-zag hollow. The sixth or westernmost window is of early 14th-century date, and of two trefoiled lights with tracery under a two-centred head; the splays have attached angle-shafts with moulded capitals and bases. E. of the easternmost window is a modern doorway opening into the N. vestry. Under the fifth window is the original N. doorway, almost entirely restored externally. The semi-circular arch is of two orders the outer with a zig-zag hollow, the inner moulded. Internally the orders are reversed, and the arch has a label carved with billet-ornament; the solid tympanum has a segmental soffit. The jambs are each of two orders, the inner moulded, and between the orders is an attached semi-circular shaft with cushion capital and moulded base. Opposite the vaulting shafts of the piers of the nave are indistinct traces of the corresponding responds on the aisle wall. W. of the N. doorway externally, set in a small recess near the ground level, is a much broken capital on a pointed corbel, probably of the 13th-century; it appears to have been used for a vaulting shaft, and is evidence of an adjoining building at this point. The W. wall is of the 14th century, and has a sloping parapet pierced with quatrefoils. At the N.W. angle are two buttresses each with a large niche, having a trefoiled head under a gable with remains of beast-finials; the jambs have attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; above the niches, the buttresses support a single octagonal turret, which is carried across the angles on trefoiled squinches; above a chamfered plinth the turret has on each of its N. and W. faces a panel with a trefoiled head and an ogee label; above these panels, it was reduced in width and panelled on every face, but the top has been destroyed. In the angle between the wall and the present tower is a buttress surmounted by a second octagonal turret of lighter construction and at a higher level; the lower panels have flat trefoiled ogee heads, but of the upper panels only the lower parts remain. A circular sex-foiled window lights the wall-passage between the two turrets; the passage is approached from below by a semi-circular stair-turret which projects into the aisle and is lighted externally by two cross-shaped and one rectangular loop.
The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has traces of the W. responds and of the spandrels of the vault, except in the western bay. The string-courses and the remainder of the 12th-century work are generally similar to that of the N. aisle. The wall contains five of the original six windows; the easternmost was blocked probably when the S. chapel was added; the arch is of simpler detail than those of the N. aisle and belongs to the first work of the nave; the second window has been destroyed by the building of the Lady Chapel, the third has been blocked by the chapel but is still visible; the fourth and fifth windows, in the fifth and six bays respectively, and the bullseye windows above them, are uniform with those of the N. aisle; W. of them is a 14th-century window also similar to the corresponding window of the N. aisle. Between the first and second windows is a large archway of early 14th-century date opening into the S. chapel; it has a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders springing from chamfered jambs with semi-octagonal shafts having moulded capitals and bases. W. of this is the 14th-century doorway of the sub-vault of the S. chapel; it is of two chamfered orders with a segmental-pointed head. Opposite the third pier is a 15th-century doorway with a four-centred head; it opened into a stair which probably led to a room over a former S. porch; traces of the opening from this room into the S. aisle are still to be seen. Between the second and third windows is the 12th-century S. doorway, almost entirely restored; it has a semi-circular arch of two orders, each enriched externally with zig-zag moulds and grooves, and a label carved with billet-ornament; internally, the outer order is plain The jambs (Plate p. 243) have each two semi-circular attached shafts with cushion capitals and moulded bases; the solid tympanum is carved on the soffit with zig-zag ornament, and is supported by double attached shafts; the capitals are elaborately carved with grotesque beasts, and the abaci are carved with foliage ornament; the abaci of the inner order are similarly enriched. The W. wall is similar to that of the N. aisle, except that it contains a doorway and a second window; this window is of the 14th century, partly restored, and is of two trefoiled lights with a foiled spandrel in a two-centred head; the splays have attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch, and a moulded label with head-stops; the S. stop appears to have been a priest, the N. stop, restored, is a woman's head.
The 14th century South Chapel (41½ ft. by 21 ft.) has, as its E. wall, the W. wall of the former S. transept.
The S. wall is of four bays divided and flanked by three large and two intermediate small buttresses, each with a niche having a moulded trefoiled and gabled head with crockets and finial; the brackets in the larger niches are small, moulded capitals; on the S. face of the easternmost buttress is a shallow cross-shaped panel of uncertain use in a projecting frame; the parapet is moulded and carved with flowers, grotesques; etc.; in each bay is a large window of three trefoiled ogee lights with elaborate tracery in a two-centred head, the mouldings of which are carried continuously down the jambs; the moulded labels have been much damaged and partly restored; the splays have moulded angles and the two-centred hollow-chamfered rear-arch is carried on attached shafts with moulded bell-capitals and moulded octagonal bases; the rear-arches have moulded labels with human head-stops, mostly defaced; the bays are recessed below the windows for stone benches, the easternmost of which is stepped upwards as sedilia; the shafts of the splays flanking the sedilia are interrupted from their bases by moulded capitals, above which are gaps probably indicating the former position of a canopy. In the W. wall is a window of three pairs of trefoiled ogee lights, each pair with tracery and a quatrefoil in a two-centred arch with traceried spandrels under a square head; the jambs and mullions are moulded; internally there is a second plane of tracery; the tracery springs from attached shafts with moulded bases and bell-capitals; the internal label is moulded and has head-stops. The W. doorway is approached by a flight of steps, and has moulded jambs and two-centred head, enriched with square flowers and ball-flowers; in each jamb is an attached shaft with a moulded base and a bell-capital carved with foliage; the moulded label is enriched with ball-flower and has defaced head-stops. The sub-vault of the chapel is of two bays with quadripartite vaulting and chamfered ribs; in the S. wall in each bay is a pair of windows, each pair divided externally by the intermediate buttresses; they have two-centred heads and moulded labels with perished or restored head-stops; the third window is now blocked; in the W. wall is a similar single window, much restored, and further N. is a doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head.
The 16th-century West Tower (16 ft. square) is of three stages, the top stage modern. The walls are chiefly of re-used ashlar with flint chequer-work. The W. doorway (Plate p. 243) is of c. 1330–40, re-set; it has a two-centred head and is of four orders, the inner chamfered and continuous, the others moulded and carried on attached shafts with moulded bases and foliage capitals, all much damaged; the arch is enriched with square leaf-pattern, and the moulded label has defaced stops, apparently winged angels, over small head-corbels. The W. window has a two-centred head and moulded label, all probably of the 14th century slightly altered and re-set. The second stage has in the N. wall a small loop, in the S. wall a window of three trefoiled lights under a square head with a label having head-stops, and in the W. wall a window of three four-centred lights under a square head with a label, probably of the 16th century, but much restored.
Fittings—Brackets: two, in S. chapel—on E. wall, moulded, on head-corbels, 14th-century. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In N. aisle at E. end, (1) to Henry Austen, 1638, servant to the Earl of Carlisle, inscription only. In S. aisle—on S. wall, (2) commemorating benefaction of Robert Rampston, 1585, inscription only. See also Monuments. Indents: In nave—under W. bay of N. arcade, (1) of inscription-plate. In N. aisle—at E. end, (2) of abbot in mass vestments with mitre and crozier, right hand raised in benediction, gabled and trefoiled canopy and traces of marginal inscription in Lombardic characters; the part now covered by pews is said to read,. . . . M FIDELIUM DEFUNCTORUM PER DEI MISER . . . .; early 14th-century. In S. aisle—on E. wall (3) of two kneeling figures, inscription-plate and bracket with curious indent at head, including scroll, c. 1500. Chairs: In S. chapel—two, with twisted backposts, elaborately carved and pierced cresting, and carved lower rail; late 17th-century. Chests: In parish chancel—(1) hutch, front with panelled frieze and base, and three main bolection-moulded panels, flank panels enriched with moulded saltire pattern, middle panel sub-divided quarterly with alternate squares and octagons; mid 17th-century. In N. aisle—(2) hutch, front with carved frieze and three panels, each with an enriched lozenge; early 17th-century; (3) with panelled front, 17th-century. In S. chapel—(4) with front enriched with fluted muntins; carved frieze; ends panelled; late 17th-century. Coffin-lid: In N. aisle—at E. end, with raised foliated cross and stepped calvary, late 13th or early 14th-century. Doors: loose in N. aisle —(1) upper half of the leaves of a double door with two-centred head, each leaf of four narrow cinque-foiled and chamfered panels, 14th-century, formerly in W. doorway. In E. doorway of N. aisle—(2) of moulded battens, 16th-century. Font: octagonal bowl, Purbeck marble, c. 1200, probably re-cut. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In N. aisle—against N. wall, (1) to Capt. Robert Smith, 1697, altar-tomb of white marble with ornamental angles enriched with cherubs, shields of arms, etc.; in middle of S. face a sculptured panel of ship at sea, surrounded by trophies of arms, etc.; at each angle a shield of arms; black marble slab with inscription and panel carved with flaming urn. In S. aisle—against S. wall, (2) of Sir Edward Denny, 1599, and Joane (Champnon), his wife; panelled base with figures of six sons and four daughters; on the base, effigies one above the other of man in armour and woman in ruff, hood, stomacher, etc., both reclining on the left elbow; above them, a round-headed wall-arch with enriched soffit and figures in spandrels, and surmounted by a cornice with an achievement and two shields of arms; (3) said to be of Lady Elizabeth (Gray), wife of Sir Edward Greville, 1619, recumbent alabaster effigy now upright against wall, rest of monument destroyed; (4) of Thomas Colt, 1559, and Magdalen, his wife, 1591, tablet with brass kneeling figures of man and woman at prayer-desk, six sons and four daughters, shield of arms; erected 1576; (5) of Edward Stacey, 1555, and Katherine, his wife, 1565, wooden tablet with brass kneeling figures of man and wife and one son; (6) loose on top of monument (1), said to be of Henry Wollaston, J.P., 1670, marble bust in Roman costume. Floor-slabs: In parish chancel—(1) to James Travers 07. In S. aisle—at E. end, (2) to Francis Atkyns, 1640, with shield of arms, slab broken; (3) to James Raphael, 1686, "Gallus demum Scotus denuo Anglus deniq. nihil"; underneath, incised on same slab, " Here lyeth Mr. Swinfield." Painting: In S. chapel—on upper half of E. wall, a Doom, now almost completely defaced; on left, architectural scenery and figure of St. Peter, apparently wearing the papal tiara, receiving the souls; round him are traces of mitred figures, one perhaps a cardinal, possibly representing the four doctors; on right, traces of winged cherubim receiving souls, and of the flaming jaws of Hell devouring souls; on the jaws, illegible black-letter inscriptions; probably late 14th-century. Pillory: In W. tower—tall post (Plate p.258) with cross-piece supported by curved struts; each bar of crosspiece shaped to receive neck and arms; probably 17th-century. Piscina: In S. chapel—damaged quatrefoil drain, moulded jambs, head cut away; 14th-century. Plate: includes stand-paten of 1561 with two bands of engraved ornament; large cup of 1633 and large stand-paten of 1674.
Pulpit: In S. chapel, except sounding-board, which is in vestry, re-used as table-top—hexagonal, five of the sides each with two bolection-moulded panels flanked by tapering Corinthian pilasters on consoles, and containing an eared panel surmounted by a broken pediment; below the inner panel a festoon of drapery; the sixth side, now detached, formed the door and has two bolection-moulded panels, the upper with semi-octagonal head, and flanked by carved and pierced consoles; the sounding-board is enriched with a border of egg-and-dart pattern, and has sunk and bolection-moulded panels, the central panel hexagonal and containing a carved wreath; late 17th-century. Rood Beam: above second column on N. and S. sides of level of triforium arch, sawn off ends of beam flush with wall, moulded; 15th-century. Restored portions of inner faces of the two columns may indicate position of former screen. Royal Arms: In vestry—carved and painted panel, Tudor. Screen: across N. aisle from second pier—of three bays (Plate p. 3); the flanking bays each of two open trefoiled ogee panels with tracery in a square head; the middle bay forming door of three open cinque-foiled panels with vertical tracery in a square head; beneath the moulded rail plain close panels, the two northernmost pierced with small trefoiled openings; side bays mid 14th-century; middle bay re-used from another screen and partly restored, c. 1400. Sedilia: In S. chapel—see under Architectural Description. Stocks and Whipping Post: In W. tower—oak standard (Plate p. 258), elaborately carved with strapwork, and with shaped finial and the date 1598; on each side two sockets with iron clasps for arms and legs. Sundial: In second buttress W. of S. doorway of nave—stone, apparently re-set, with roughly carved dial. Tiles: Preserved in case in S. chapel, fragments of brown and yellow glazed tiles said to have been found on the site. Miscellanea: In N. aisle—loose fragment of touch with moulded edge and carved mask, mouth pierced probably for water-spout, early 16th-century, with inscription in late 17th-century characters, "Part of King Harold's Tomb, founder of the Abbey." In S. aisle—in E. wall, fragments possibly of former reredos; remains of five trefoiled panels (Plate p. 85), with gabled and crocketed heads surmounted and flanked by crocketed finials; four of the panels retain fragments of standing figures; early 14th-century. Loose in S. chapel—grotesque mask, probably from corbel; damaged grotesque dog with long drooping ears; head of small figure, probably angel; draped bust in relief, probably from corbel; 13th to 15th-centuries. Outside E. end of N. aisle— fragments of Purbeck marble shafts; two lengths of Purbeck marble moulding, probably from a tomb or shrine; all probably 13th-century.
The Domestic Buildings of the abbey lay to the N. and N.E. of the existing church. The remains now consist of parts of the Cloister, a building to the E. of it, a passage at the E. end of the N. (probably Frater) range, Gatehouse, Bridge and Precinct Wall.
The Cloister (132 ft. N. to S.) lay on the N. of the monastic part of the church and is represented by short adjoining lengths of the E. and N. walls at the N.E. angle. In the E. wall are remains of two arches or doorways, the northern was segmental and the S. jamb and springers remain; the southern arch retains its S. jamb and springers of a moulded two-centred arch resting on a moulded corbel of late 12th-century date. The remaining portion of the N. wall of the cloister has lost all its facing.
Extending E. from a point just S. of the arches in the E. wall of the Cloister, is a length of late 12th-century walling, with pilaster buttresses of slight projection on its N. face and traces of a string-course; it has subsequent to the Suppression been converted into the S. wall of a building and pierced with doors and windows; this building, probably part of the Abbey House, has now been destroyed. The S. face of the wall incorporates numerous lengths of Purbeck marble shafting.
The Passage at the E. end of the N. cloister-range and continuing the E. walk of the cloister, is of late 12th-century date and of two bays. The quadripartite vault (Plate p. 242) has moulded ribs springing from single angle and triple middle shafts, each with simple water-leaf capitals and decayed bases. The doorway in the N. wall has remains of moulded jambs and adjoining it is the broken continuation of the E. wall. In the S. wall is a two-centred doorway, now blocked. On the exterior of the W. wall are traces of the start of the side walls (N. and S.) of the adjoining building, possibly the Frater.
The remaining walls on the site of the monastic buildings are of post-suppression date, and consist of a patchwork of rubble, freestone and brick.
The Gatehouse (Plate p. 243) stands about 90 yards N. of the existing church. It retains its W. and S. walls to the first floor level, and the octagonal turret at the S.W. angle. It is of late 14th-century date. In the W. wall are great and little gateways with double chamfered jambs and moulded two-centred arches with moulded labels; the label of the great gateway has angel-stops with shields, one defaced and one with France ancient, quartering England. The S. wall is built partly of unusually large red bricks, probably original, and has a doorway with a two-centred head and now blocked. In the S.W. angle is a vaulting-shaft with a moulded capital.
The Bridge (Plate p. 243), about 280 yards N.N.E. of the church, is probably of the 14th century, and retains three chamfered ribs forming three-centred arches; there are traces of three other ribs, now destroyed.
The Fish Ponds, ¼ m. N. of the church, are now dry.
The Precinct-Wall has mostly been destroyed, but a long length still stands on the E. side about 320 yards E. of the church and adjoining the road. It is of red brick and of early 16th-century date. A small amount of diapering in black brick remains, including an ornamental cross on a stepped calvary. S. of the gatehouse, on the W. side of the site, is a short length of rubble precinct-wall, probably of the 14th century, and formerly joined to the angle turret of the gatehouse.
Condition—Of church, good; of ruins, poor.
d(2). Homestead Moat, 200 yards E. of the church, surrounded the gardens of the Abbey House.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. Several of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
d(3). House on S. side of churchyard, 60 yards S.S.E. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century. The upper storey projects on the N. side and the chimney-stack has three diagonal shafts.
d(4). Welsh Harp Inn. E. of (3), was built in the 15th century with a cross-wing at the E. end; there are late 17th-century and modern additions on the E. side of the cross-wing. The upper storey projects on the S. front, and under the W. end is an open lych-gate to the churchyard. Inside the building a room on the ground floor has a shaped bracket to the ceiling-beam. On the first floor is an original two-light window, now blocked; the room above the lych-gate has two tie-beams and wall-plates with early 17th-century painted interlacing ornament.
d(5). Shop and House, on E. side of Market Square, 100 yards S.E. of the church. The upper storey projects on the N. and W. sides, and has a diagonal bracket (Plate p. 80) at the angle, carved with the crouching figure of a woman holding a jug; the other two brackets are carved as consoles.
d(6). Inn, next E. of (5), has a modern addition on the S. The upper storey projects on the N. side. Inside the building a room on the first floor has an original moulded wall-post.
d(7). House and Shop, on W. side of Market Square, 30 yards W. of (5), was built probably in the 16th century. The upper storey projects on the S. and E. sides and has moulded angle and wall-posts.
d(8). House on W. side of Sewardstone Street and 80 yards S. of (7). The upper storey projects in front.
d(9). House, two tenements, on E. side of Sewardstone Street, 70 yards S. of (8), was built early in the 16th century. Inside the building are some original moulded ceiling-beams and joists.
d(10). House, S. of (9), was built early in the 16th century. The upper storey projects in front on curved brackets. At the back is a late 16th-century chimney-stack with a moulded string-course. The front doorway has original moulded oak jambs and four-centred arch in a square head, with a door of moulded battens with strap-hinges. Inside the building some of the ceiling-beams have curved braces. The staircase incorporates square newels, probably of the 17th century, and there are two old battened doors. A brick cellar has recesses with four-centred heads.
d(11). House, on S. side of Church Street, 50 yards S. of the church, was built late in the 16th century and has a 17th-century wing at the back. The N. front has an original moulded and carved fascia, and a carriage entry has a moulded frame to the outer archway. Inside the building one room has some late 17th-century panelling.
d(12). House, W. of (11). The upper storey projects in front.
d(13). House, on N. side of Romeland and 100 yards N.W. of the church, has a late 17th or early 18th-century panelled chimney-stack.
d(14). House, on S. side of High Street and 100 yards W. of the church, is perhaps part of an early 16th-century house. At the E. end is an open cart-way, the beams of which have original curved and moulded brackets.
d(15). Greene Almshouses, 400 yards W.S.W. of the church, have been entirely re-built. Incorporated in the front is a square stone panel, dated 1626, with English verses in praise of charity.
d(16). House on W. side of Sewardstone Road, S. of Sun Street, forms one building with the ancient portion of Foxe's House, S. of it. It was built late in the 16th century and has an early 17th-century addition on the S., now part of Foxe's House. There are modern additions on the N.E. and S.E. The upper storey of the original block projects on the E. front and has a moulded bressumer. On the S. is an original chimney-stack with three octagonal shafts with moulded bases. At the back is a 17th-century chimney-stack with three shafts set diagonally. Inside the building, in the back wall, is an original stone fireplace with stop-moulded jambs and depressed straight-sided arch; the spandrels are carved with foliage and0,00,03,12| 1969 2017 13 38 shields; above the head is a frieze of ogee-shaped panels, each with a carved rose; one shield and one panel have the added initials I.V.
b(17). Holyfield Farm, house, 1¼m. N. of the church, was built probably c. 1600, and has a later addition on the W. side. Inside the building is some original panelling and two battened doors.
b(18). Stubbingshall Farm, house, 400 yards N. of (17), was built probably in the 16th century and has a cross-wing at the E. end. A former W. wing has been destroyed.
b(19). Holyfield Hall Farm, house, 1,100 yards N.N.E. of (18), is of two storeys with attics. It was built c. 1700, and has brick walls with a plain band between the storeys and a moulded eaves-cornice. The chimney-stack has diagonal shafts at each end. Inside the building is some original panelling and an early 18th-century staircase with moulded strings and turned balusters.
a(20). Harold's Park Farm, house, about 3 m. N.E. of the church, has been re-built, except the S. wing, which is perhaps of the 16th century.
c(21). Lodge Farm, house, 2¾ m. E.N.E. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the W. end.
e(22). Cottage, at corner of Woodgreen Lane and Skillet Hill, nearly 1½ m. S.E. of (21), has an original chimney-stack with two diagonal shafts.
e(23). Cottage, about ¼ m. N. of High Beech Church, has an original central chimney-stack, cross-shaped on plan.