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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109. WRITTLE. (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xliii. S.E. (b)lii. N.W. (c)lii. N.E. (d)li. S.E.(e)lii. S.W.)
Writtle is a large parish and village 2 m. W. of Chelmsford. The Church, Moor Hall and Aubyns are the principal monuments.
c(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands in the village. The walls are mostly of ragstone-rubble with some flint and ironstone; the chancel contains some Roman bricks, and the S. chapel of the nave is of 16th-century brick. The dressings are of limestone, clunch, Barnack, and a hard stone resembling purbeck; the roof of the chancel is tiled; those of the rest of the structure are covered with lead. The Nave, with its arcades and with N. and S. aisles, was built c. 1230; the Chancel is probably of the same date, as the E. quoins are apparently of the 13th century. In the first half of the 14th century the North and South Aisles were re-built, and during the same century the North and South Chapels were probably added to the chancel and the North Vestry built. In the 15th century the N. and S. chancel-arcades were altered, and perhaps reconstructed, together with the N. chapel and vestry, and the clearstorey of the nave was re-built. The North and South Porches were added c. 1400. Early in the 16th century North and South Chapels were added to the nave-aisles. The West Tower fell in 1802 and was re-built and the nave arcades partly re-built during the century, the westernmost bays being reduced in span. The chancel and chapel-arches are modern.
The chapels, probably 'chantry chapels,' N. and S. of the nave are of interest; among the fittings the monument by Nicholas Stone and the late 15th-century seating are noteworthy, and there is a long series of brasses.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (41 ft. by 18½ ft. at the E. end and 21 ft. at the W. end) has chamfered quoins at the S.E. angle. In the E. wall is a modern window. In the N. wall is an arcade of two bays, probably originally of the 14th century, but altered in the 15th century; the two-centred arches are of two hollow-chamfered orders; the circular column, probably of the 14th century, has a moulded capital and base of the 15th century, and the E. respond is semi-octagonal with moulded capital and base; the W. respond is modern. Further E. is a 14th-century doorway (Plate p. 273) to the vestry with two-centred arch and stop-moulded jambs. In the S. wall is an arcade of two bays, generally similar to that on the N.; further E. is a 15th-century window, now blocked, of three cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head; the jambs and head are moulded and the label has been cut back. The chancel-arch is modern.
The North Vestry (15 ft. by 12½ ft.) is of the 14th century, and of two storeys with an embattled parapet continued from the N. chapel and arch. The ground storey has in the E. wall a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall is a modern doorway. The upper storey has in the E. wall an early 16th-century window of two four-centred lights with sunk spandrels.
The North Chapel (24 ft. by 13 ft.) is of the 14th century, and has set in the E. wall, about 8 ft. above the floor, a length of about 5 ft. of 15th-century moulded oak plate. In the N. wall are two windows all modern except the 15th-century splays and segmental-pointed rear-arches. In the W. wall is a modern arch opening into the N. aisle.
The South Chapel (25½ ft. by 11½ ft.) is of the 14th century, and has an embattled parapet and hollow-chamfered plinth, both restored. In the E. wall is a window all modern except the 14th-century stopped hollow-chamfered splays and rear-arch. In the S. wall is a window all modern except the splays of c. 1330; they have attached shafts with much-worn moulded capitals and bases; the hollow-chamfered four-centred rear-arch is probably of the 15th century; below the window externally are the chamfered jambs and part of the two-centred arch of a low doorway; the window-sill may have been lowered, cutting off the top of the head, and the restored plinth is carried across; the doorway is probably of the 14th century, but its use is uncertain. Further E. is a modern doorway cutting into the lower part of an early 16th-century window with moulded jambs and four-centred head, now blocked. In the W. wall is a modern arch opening into the S. aisle.
Tho Nave (70 ft. by 23 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of five bays with early 13th-century two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, with a moulded label on the inner face of the N. arcade and a chamfered label on the corresponding face of the S. side; the second, third and fourth arches, and E. part of the westernmost arch of the N. arcade, and the fourth arch and like part of the westernmost arch of the S. arcade, are original; the others have been re-built, the easternmost arches on both sides being widened probably when the chancel-arch was re-built, and the westernmost arches on both sides made narrower and cemented when the tower was re-built. In the N. arcade the first, second and fourth columns, part of the third column, and the E. respond are modern; in the S. arcade the second, third and fourth columns and the E. respond are modern, both W. responds have been re-set. The clearstorey has on each side three windows all modern except the splays and hollow-chamfered segmental-pointed rear-arches, which are of the 15th century; above the first column on the S. side is an almost round-headed opening, now blocked, and with remains of a label; it may be an original clearstorey window, subsequently enlarged.
The North Aisle (10½ft. wide) is of the 14th century, and has in the N. wall an early 16th-century archway with a moulded and stopped W. respond and a moulded four-centred arch partly dying on to the wall on the E. and partly corbelled out from it; the W. respond has an attached shaft with a moulded capital. Further W. are three windows; the easternmost is of three cinque-foiled lights under a four-centred head with a moulded label, all of late 15th or early 16th-century date, set in 14th-century splays.and rear-arch; the second window is of c. 1340 and of three trefoiled ogee lights with net tracery under a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; the westernmost window is modern. Between the two western windows is the N. doorway with moulded and chamfered jambs of the 13th century, re-set, and two-centred arch of the 14th century with a moulded label.
The North Nave Chapel (13 ft. by 21 ft.) is formed by connecting two buttresses by an early 16th-century wall, which contains a window all modern except the splays and four-centred rear-arch.
The South Aisle (10½ ft. wide) is of the 14th century, and has in the first bay in the S. wall an early 16th-century archway with stop-moulded responds and four-centred arch. Above the arch is an early 16th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights, much damaged, under a square head with an internal lintel of oak. Further W. are three more windows; the first is all modern, except the splays, which are of c. 1330, and have attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases and a hollow-chamfered, segmental-pointed rear-arch; the second window is all modern except the splays and chamfered two-centred rear-arch, which are plastered, but probably of the 14th century; the westernmost window is modern. E. of the archway is the turret-staircase to the rood-loft, enclosed externally in a buttressed, quadrant-shaped projection and having a tabled top. The newel stair is complete and has at the bottom a blocked looplight and a doorway with a four-centred head and a modern oak frame; at the top is a doorway partly covered by the modern arch to the S. chapel; it has chamfered jambs and two-centred arch, probably of late 14th or early 15th-century date. Between the two western windows is the S. doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two orders, the inner with rounded edge, the outer chamfered and with a slightly restored label, all of the 13th century, re-set.
The South Nave Chapel (12 ft. by 8 ft.) is of early 16th-century date and of red brick, with stone dressings and an embattled parapet. In the E. wall, externally, is a blocked modern opening, and above it a stone panel with a raised black letter inscription, all weathered away except the last words, " . . . . (chap ?) Ian of thys chyrche." In the S. wall is a window all modern except the early 16th-century splays and four-centred rear-arch. In the W. wall is an early 16th-century window, now blocked, with moulded jambs and segmental-pointed head with a moulded label.
The North Porch has old walls, but the outer archway and the windows are entirely modern.
The South Porch has an outer archway of c. 1400, with moulded two-centred arch and moulded jambs; each with three attached shafts with moulded capitals; parts of the jambs are modern. In both the E. and W. walls is a window all modern except the splays and segmental rear-arch.
The Roof of the chancel has a boarded ceiling, all modern except for eighteen bosses of the 15th century, carved with foliated angles, blank shields, a mermaid, a seated grotesque figure, etc. The 15th-century ceiling of the vestry has plain chamfered beams and flat joists with a square hatchway to the upper storey. A main beam has mortices for former curved braces. The 15th-century low-pitched roof of the N. chapel has moulded principals and ridge-piece and plain rafters; the main intersections have foliated bosses, two with blank shields and one with a blank circle; against the N. wall are moulded corbels, probably of the 17th century. The 15th-century flat lean-to roof of the S. chapel is of two bays with moulded principal and central purlin; against the S. wall are three wooden corbels, one dated 1774, another dated 1710 and carved with a sunflower and foliage. The roof of the nave is partly of the 15th century, repaired at various dates; it is flat-pitched and of six bays with chamfered tie-beams, having curved braces and painted foliage bosses. The plates are of 16th or early 17th-century date, and, in the three eastern bays and the W. bay, they are dentilled; in the other bays they have strap and boss-ornament: The E. tie-beam is dated 1740, the W. tie-beam is dated 1802; the fifth tie-beam is partly dentilled; the tie-beams rest on stone corbels on which are fixed wooden angels holding organs, a shield with a cheveron, a lute, etc., one modern. The 15th-century roof of the N. aisle has stop-chamfered principals and chamfered purlin, with three 17th-century moulded corbels of wood against the N. wall carved with a heart, a shield and rose with date 1640, etc. The roof of the N. nave chapel has plain old timbers, one re-used. The 15th-century roof of the S. aisle is similar to that of the N. aisle but the original principals are stop-moulded and the purlin is double hollow-chamfered. The roof of the S. nave chapel has a flat plaster ceiling with a moulded cornice with running foliage, possibly of early 16th-century date, but painted, and perhaps modern. The W. tower has old timbers re-used in the first floor. The N. porch has a plain trussed-rafter roof, probably of c. 1400 and with modern plates. The roof of the S. porch is also of c. 1400 and has moulded wall-plates and central purlin with struts and wall-posts at the N. and S. ends, and trussed-rafters.
Fittings—Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel—on floor, (1) of man and four wives, c. 1510, man in civilian dress, long fur-trimmed gown and a belt with a purse, wives with pedimental headdresses, three with pomanders; three groups of children, indent of inscription plate; (2) of Edward Bowland, 1609, and Joan, his wife (1616); bearded man in ruff and long coat, and wife in tall, wide-brimmed hat, ruff, etc.—figures on a circular platform, inscription-plate. In S. chapel—against E.wall, (3) said to be of Thomasin (Heveningham), and wife successively of Thomas Berdefield, John Bedell, and Walter Thomas, 1513, inscription lost; figures of woman in pedimental head-dress, of two men in armour, one with part of a sword missing, and of second woman similar to the first; four shields of arms of Heveningham and of her three husbands, impaling Heveningham; (4) said to be of William Pinchon, 1592, and his wife, Rose (Redding), inscription-plate and figures of man and six sons lost, figure of woman in pointed Tudor cap and widow's hood; (5) of Constans Berners, 1524, woman in pedimental head-dress and loose flowing hair. In S. chapel—on floor, (6) to John Browne, 1617, and his two wives, Gertrude (Tyrell) and Elizabeth (Bird), inscription in marble slab almost illegible, two shields of arms, indent of rectangular plate. Between chancel and nave—below screen, (7) probably of the Bedell family, c. 1500, inscription lost, man in armour and woman in pedimental head-dress, group of six sons and two daughters, four shields of arms, two of Bedell, the others defaced quartered coats. In nave—on floor, (8) of Edward Bell, 1576, man in fur-trimmed mantle, woman in flat Tudor cap; group of three boys and one girl; one shield of arms, inscription-plate; (9) on N. wall in N. aisle in modern frame, of Edward Hunt, 1606; kneeling figures of man in fur-lined gown with ruff. Indents: In N. aisle—(1) of a figure, apparently shrouded, and inscription-plate, late 16th or 17th-century. In S. aisle—(2) of inscription-plate and two shields, and apparently of a figure now almost obliterated. In S. aisle— several other slabs, retaining rivets and traces of rivets for former brasses; indents obliterated. In churchyard—E. of S. chapel, (3) of man in armour, head resting on mantled helm, and of woman in veiled horned head-dress, four children, inscription and two shields; top of slab missing, 15th-century; by N. porch, (4) and (5) slabs with traces of indents. Chest: In N. aisle—framed, of plain oak with three plain straps, 16th or 17th-century. Communion Table: modern, incorporating re-used front rail with jewelled ornament in "broken" frames, mid or late 17th-century. Door: In doorway between chancel and N. vestry (Plate p. 273)—with vertical battens and horizontal framing, nail-studded, hinges buried between front and back battens, front divided by applied mouldings into five bays; distorted twisted ring scutcheon with a human-face plate; probably 14th-century. Font: probably of Barnack stone, square slightly tapering bowl, at each angle an attached shaft with moulded base and scalloped capital with grooved abacus, 12th-century, much weathered. Glass: In N. aisle—in second window fragments of yellow and brown-line foliage, 15th-century. In vestry window —oval cartouche with arms of William of Wykeham, with initials W.W., motto, and date 1619; partly restored. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—(1) said to be to Richard Weston, Justice of the Common Pleas, 1572, altar-tomb (Plate p. 273), of Purbeck marble with moulded top edges; the front has three moulded and cusped lozenge panels, each enclosing a brass shield of arms, moulded plinth and chamfered base; (2) to Edward Pinchon and Dorothea (Weston), undated, mural monument (Plate p. 273), by Nicholas Stone, c. 1625; two panelled pilasters carved in relief with trophies of agricultural implements, and supporting an entablature and a broken pediment. Between the pilasters and rising through the pediment, is an allegorical winged female reaper standing under a sun on a rock amidst gilded sheaves of wheat; the figure probably formerly held a scythe. Outside each pilaster is the seated figure of a mourning angel wearing a reaper's wide-brimmed hat, gilded; beneath the shelf below the figures, etc., a winnowing fan containing an inscribed panel surrounded by drapery; under the basket is a spade bearing a coat of arms; (3) of Edward Eliott, 1595, and Jane (Gedge), his wife; panel (Plate p. 273) flanked by panelled pilasters, supporting a moulded entablature surmounted by a cartouche of arms and two urns. Shelf below pilasters supports a detached obelisk on each side; shield of arms below shelf; above shelf, figures in high relief of man in armour, wife, four sons, and six daughters, all kneeling at a central desk. Above middle column of N. arcade—(4) to Elizabeth (Brooke), wife of Anthony Knight bridge, 1658, mural tablet with scroll-work and achievement of arms. In churchyard—(5) to Jonas (?) Oddin, 1648. Floor-slabs : In chancel—(1) to John, son of Edward Pyncheon, 1654; to Edward, his son, 1672; to Ann his wife, with shield of arms; (2) name defaced, 1700; (3) to Anne (Gurdon), wife of John Comyns, 1705, with shield of arms; (4) to John Adams, 1711, with shield of arms; (5) to William Wiseman, 1657, and his wife, Elizabeth (Darcy), with shield of arms; (6) to John Clarke, 1706, with shield of arms; (7) to John Malcher, 1691; (8) to Godfrey Thacker, 1703, with shield of arms; (9) partly under screen, to Elizabeth Frere, 1711, with shield of arms; (10) to Richard Comyns, date hidden by organ. In S. chapel— (11) to . . . . . . . e, wife of Anthony Knightbridge, 1658; (12) name hidden, 1700, with shield of arms; (13) to Elizabeth (Pordage), wife of John Petre, date obliterated, 17th-century, with shield of arms; (14) to John Petre, 1690, with shield of arms; (15) in nave, to Dorothy (Throckmorton, afterwards Hurst), wife of John Petre, 1714, In S. aisle—(16) to William Whitebread,. 1661, and Bridget (Greenwood), his wife, with shield of arms; (17) to William Skrimsher, 1709. Niche: In N. nave chapel—E. of window, tall, shallow recess, probably the back of a former image-niche. Paintings : On N. face of N. arcade, except easternmost arch, on outer order of arch slanting bands of terra-cotta colour and white with stars, now black, possibly formerly gold, also on S. face of fourth bay of S. arcade, probably 13th-century. Panelling : In tower—on S. wall, dado of early 17th-century panelling, from nave; similar panelling, now in the vicarage, is said to have come from the church. In nave and aisles, late 17th-century dado with raised panels and friezes. Piscina: In chancel—quatrefoil drain in round bracket with stiff-leaf foliage, all early 13th-century, re-set in a modern recess. Seating : In N. chapel—three seats with moulded sides and shoulders; on fronts are square pillars with moulded bases, middle strings and moulded and embattled capitals; on the standards, popey heads with moulded necking; on the square pillar of one standard is a bird, on another (Plate p. xxxviii) a sitting hound; other figures have been cut away; seats with moulded top-rail. In S. chapel—three similar seats, figures missing, but with more elaborately moulded top-rail, one with back missing. In tower—similar seat; all probably late 15th-century. Stalls : (Plate p. xxxviii) In chancel—four standards, re-used, with popey heads, moulded edges, etc., early 16th-century; the front of the stalls between the standards are of late 17th-century panelling, including a frieze of pierced foliage design. Staircase : In ringing-chamber—re-used in modern stair, a square newel with guilloche carving in low relief, early 17th-century. Miscellanea : In N. vestry—in ceiling, an old trap-door with an ornamental keyhole plate, refixed, and a sexfoil plate and handle, probably from a 16th-century door or chest; round reveal of opening, late 15th or early 16th-century cresting from a screen, re-set. Built into S. wall of S. chapel externally—portion of foliated gable-cross, 14th-century. In N. aisle—on window sill, four head-corbels or stops, two grotesques, one crowned woman, and one man in hat, 13th or 14th-century. In W. tower—built into W. wall, two grotesques, gargoyles or corbels, one internally and one externally, 14th or 15th-century.
Condition—Fairly good, but many of the walls have bulged and are out of perpendicular.
c(2). Barrow or Bedeman's Berg Cell, ruins, nearly 4 m. S.W. of the church, are of flint-rubble, mixed with puddingstone and Roman brick. A hermitage was founded here temp. Henry I., which subsequently became a cell of St. John's Abbey, Colchester. The remains consist only of one angle of a building standing about 8 ft. high.
c(3). At site called King John's Palace, 700 yards N. of the church, is well preserved rectangular moat with a fishpond on the W. side.
e(4). At Fithler's Farm, nearly 3 m. W.S.W. of the church.
e(5). At Marshall's Barn, about ½ m. S.W. of (4).
e(6). At Franklin's Island, nearly ¾ m. E. of (4).
e(7). At Montpelier's Farm, 1,500 yards S.W. of the church.
b(8). Moor Hall, house and moat, 1¾ m. W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 15th century with a central Hall and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. In the 16th century the Hall was divided into storeys, and both it and the E. wing raised; about the same time the porch and two gabled bays were added on the N. side. On the N. front the porch is of two storeys and the two bays the full height of the house; the gables have enriched bargeboards, and those of the two bays have moulded pendants and bressumers carved with foliage. The central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts. Two doors have moulded and nail-studded muntins of the 16th century. Inside the building at the W. end of the former Hall is part of the original oak screen; it retains two bays, one with a two-centred head and one with a septfoiled ogee arch and tracery with moulded posts and head. The middle room has 16th-century moulded ceiling-beams, panelling and fireplace. The room above has similar panelling and fireplace; there is also a blocked window with 16th-century moulded mullions. The roof of the main block has queen-post trusses.
The Moat is incomplete.
Condition—Of house, good.
b(9). Benedict Oates, house and moat, ½ m. N.W. of (8). The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1644 or earlier. The central chimney-stack has six octagonal shafts on a rectangular base, with a panel in front inscribed 1644, T.C., S.C. The original entrance door has moulded and nail-studded rails and muntins. Inside the building in the attic is an original fireplace with moulded jambs and three-centred arch of brick.
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
e(10). Ward's Farm, house and moat, 200 yards S.W. of (4). The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered and partly faced with modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably late in the 16th century with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.
The Moat is incomplete.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
c(11). The Priory, house, 70 yards S. of the church, is of two storeys, partly timber-framed and plastered and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. The W. part of the house was built early in the 17th century and extended towards the E. late in the same century; it was further extended in modern times. Inside the building are original ceiling-beams and a late 17th-century staircase with close strings, moulded handrails and turned and twisted balusters.
c(12). Aubyns (Plate p. 272), house, 70 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1500 on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and S. The main block had a Hall in the middle and cross-wings at each end. On the N. front the upper storey projects at the ends of the cross-wings, and the projection is continued along the W. side of the building; at the angle is a heavy diagonal bracket springing from a moulded capital. The timber-framing is mostly exposed. On the W. side are three original openings, now blocked, and with four-centred heads and foliated spandrels. Further S. is an original doorway with three-centred head and sunk spandrels; it appears to have been formerly fitted with a grating. Inside the building are several original doorways with four-centred heads and a door made up of 16th-century panelling. The former Hall has original and richly moulded ceiling-beams and joists, and an original window of two lights, now blocked. The rooms in the cross-wings have ceiling-beams with curved braces forming four-centred arches. On the first floor are remains of two original windows and cambered tie-beams with arched braces and one king-post.
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. Many of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
c(13). Mundays, house, (Plate p. 272), W. of (12), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S. The upper storey formerly projected on the E. side, but has been under-built. Inside the building the original staircase has turned balusters and a moulded handrail.
c(14). House, now two tenements, on the W. side of Writtle Green and 50 yards N.W. of (13), was built probably in 15th century with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The S. wing was extended early in the 16th century and the whole house has been much altered. Inside the building the S. wing has tie-beams with curved braces forming a four-centred arch.
c(15). House, on S. side of Writtle Green, 60 yards E. of (12), was built late in the 16th century and has a mid 17th-century extension at the E. end and various modern additions. The three chimney-stacks have grouped diagonal shafts and incorporated in the S.W. stack are two stone gargoyles, probably from the church. Inside the building is an original moulded ceiling-beam and two brackets, one carved and one moulded. The N.W. room has early 17th-century panelling with fluted pilasters. The late 17th-century staircase has turned balusters and moulded handrails. On the first floor is an original doorway with a four-centred head.
c(16). House, on the E. side of St. John's Green, and 260 yards N.E. of the church, was built early in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. Inside the building there is some 16th-century panelling and an original doorway with a four-centred head.
c(17). Barn, at Lordship Farm, 600 yards N. of the church, was built in the 15th or 16th century and is of six bays with king-post roof trusses.
a(18) Crow's Farm, house, nearly 15/8 m. N.N.E. of the church, has modern additions on the W. side. The original chimney-stack at the E. end has two diagonal shafts.
b(19). Newneygreen Farm, house (Plate p. ), 1½ m. W.N.W. of the church, was built late in the 16th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The upper storey projects at the N. ends of the cross-wings. The two original chimneystacks have grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building is an original doorway with a four-centred head.
b(20). Cottage, two tenements, at Little Oxney Green, about 11/8 m. W. of the church, has an original chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts.
b(21) House, now two tenements, on W. side of Cooksmill Green, about 23/8 m. W. of the church, was built probably early in the 16th century. The upper storey projects and is gabled at the S. end of the E. front.
b(22). Fox and Goose Inn, 700 yards S. of (21), has been refaced with modern brick. The original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.
d(23). Horsefrithpark Farm, house and barn, 3¾ m. W.S.W. of the church. The House was refronted and altered in the 18th century. Inside the building there are some original panelled doors and a late 17th-century staircase with turned balusters, close string and moulded rails.
b(24). Rollestons, house, about 550 yards W.S.W. of the church, has been refronted with modern brick. The three original chimney-stacks have each one square and two diagonal shafts. Inside the building the original staircase has symmetrically turned balusters.
b(25). Mound, probably mill-mound at road junction S. of Cooksmill Green, about 100 yards N.E. of (22), has traces of an encircling ditch.