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An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3, North East. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1922.

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In this section

4. ALRESFORD. (E.d.)

(O.S. 6 in. xxxvii. N.E.)

Alresford is a parish on the left bank of the Colne estuary and 5 m. S.E. of Colchester.


(1) Dwelling House, of corridor type with detached building, possibly bath-block, on W., in a field now called "Eight acre or Near-ford field," and 300 yards S.E. of Alresford Lodge Farm. It was excavated in 1885 (Essex Arch. Soc. Trans., N.S., III, pp. 136–9; Essex Note Book, Dec., 1884, 1.34, 38, 64, 88, 124; Proc. Soc. Antiq., X, 178), (see also Sectional Preface, p. xxvii), but nothing is now visible on the site except loose fragments of brick and some tesserae. The corridor was 162½ ft. long by 10 ft. wide, turning S. at right angles at each end. The plan was indicated by the tessellated and other pavements only, all the walls having been removed. The associated finds included coins of Commodus and Faustina and some 'Samian' potsherds. Some fragments of painted plaster from the walls, one with a few letters in graffiti, and pottery are now preserved in the Colchester Museum.


(2). Parish Church of St. Peter stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are probably of rubble, but are covered with cement; the dressings are of limestone and the roofs are tiled. According to Morant, referring to an inscription to Anfrid de Staunton, the church was built or rebuilt early in the 14th century, and this is probably the date of most of the structure, but the Roman brick quoins of the N.W. angle of the Nave are of the 12th-century, and the corresponding quoins of the S.W. angle have been recently exposed, showing that the 12th-century building was 21¾ ft. wide externally. The church was drastically restored in the 19th century, when the Chancel appears to have been partly rebuilt, the South Vestry, South Aisle and North Porch added, and the bell-turret rebuilt.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (22 ft. by 16 ft.) has no ancient features, except a triangular headed opening in the E. gable and part of the jambs and head of the window in the S. wall, which are of c. 1300.

The Nave (39 ft. by 21 ft.) has in the N. wall two modern windows and further W. a late 14th-century N. doorway with re-cut moulded jambs and two-centred arch. The S. arcade is modern, and in the W. wall is a modern window.

The South Aisle is modern, but reset in the S. wall are two early 14th-century windows of two plain lights, with a spandrel in a two-centred head; the mullion of the western window is modern; the modern S. doorway has reset splays and rear-arch of the 14th century.

The Roof of the nave has one old tie-beam and a moulded N. wall-plate, probably of the 14th century.

Fittings—Indent: In chancel—of marginal inscription, slab mostly covered by choir-stalls Monument: In churchyard—S. side, to Sarah (Sparhawk), wife of Samuel Bridg, 1680, table-tomb of brick with stone slab.

Condition—Good, much altered.


(3). Brook Farm, house, about ¾ m. E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century, with a central hall and cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. There is a 17th-century addition on the N. side. Inside the building is some exposed timberframing and an original doorway with a four-centred head. The roof has original cambered tie-beams.

Condition—Good, much altered.