Pages 11-12

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

9. Bradfield. (E.b.)

(O.S. 6 in. xx. S.W.)

Bradfield is a parish and village 7½ m. W. of Harwich. The church and hall are the principal monuments.


(1) Parish Church of St. Lawrence stands in the village. The walls are probably of rubble, but are entirely covered with cement; the dressings are of limestone and the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave were built about the middle of the 13th century. About the middle of the 14th century the South Porch was added and the West Tower was added early in the 16th century. The church has been restored in modern times, the west tower partly rebuilt, and the North and South Transepts, Vestry and Organ Chamber added.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (26 ft. by 17½ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a 13th-century lancet window with a modern rear-arch, further W. is a modern doorway and arch. In the S. wall is a modern window and doorway; further W. is a blocked window, probably of the 13th century. The two-centred chancelarch is of doubtful date and of two chamfered orders; the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals.

The Nave (45½ ft. by 18¼ ft.) has in the N. wall two late 13th-century windows each of two lancet lights and much restored. In the S. wall is a window uniform with those in the N. wall; further E. is the 14th-century N. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch, mostly covered with cement.

The West Tower (about 14 ft. square), is of three stages, the two lower of early 16th-century date, much repaired and the top stage modern. The two-centred tower-arch is of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is of two cinquefoiled lights in a three-centred head with a moulded label; below it is the W. doorway with double chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and moulded label; it is now blocked. The second stage has in the W. wall a window of one cinquefoiled light.

The South Porch has a modern outer archway. The side walls have each a mid 14th-century window, that on the W. of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; that on the E. is blocked.

Fittings—Bell: one, said to be inscribed "I am koc of this floc wit gloria tibi Domine," late 14th-century. Brasses and Indents. Brasses: In chancel—on S. wall, (1) of Joane (Harbottell), wife of Thomas Rysbye, 1598, figure of woman in elaborately embroidered stomacher, etc., and shield of arms; (2) to John Harbotle, 1577, inscription and shield of arms; (3) to Jakys Reynford, c. 1520, inscription only; (4) to Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Grimestone, 1604, inscription only. Indents: In nave and by S. porch—two slabs, with traces of indents. Chairs: In chancel— two with carved or inlaid backs, turned and carved legs, etc., mid 17th-century. Font (Plate, p. xxxiv): octagonal tapering bowl, each face with two shallow pointed panels, stem with plain round shafts at each angle, late 12th or early 13th-century. Helm: In chancel—on S. wall, combed funeral-helm, with vizor, 16th-century, carved crest, later. Piscinae: In chancel—with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, sexfoiled drain, probably 13th-century; reset in N. wall, double, with moulded two-centred arches enriched with 'dog-tooth' ornament, moulded label with mask-stops, central shaft between bays with moulded capital and base, 13th-century. Plate: includes 17th-century cup, with restored stem. Pulpit: semi-hexagonal, with panelled sides, early 18th-century, with 16th and 17th-century carving and panels stuck on.

Condition—Fairly good.


(2). Bradfield Hall, house and moat, nearly 1¼ m. S.S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. The remaining portion of the original house (Plate, p. 10) consists of a rectangular block of c. 1520, with a semi-octagonal stair-turret at the S.W. angle. The S. front has a crow-stepped gable, with cusped corbelling below the deeply moulded copings; at the apex and on each side are crocketed pinnacles set diagonally; the wall face is diapered and there are two original windows, both with four-centred heads and moulded labels; the lower retains the intersecting tracery and heads of three lights; but in the upper window the mullions and heads have been cut away. The stair-turret has small blocked windows with square moulded labels; one of these windows is quatrefoiled. Inside the building are some 17th-century doors and panelling. The newel of the staircase is carried up to form a turned post; the rails at the top have symmetrically turned balusters of c. 1600. In the E. wall at the attic level is the four-centred head of a large window, with a chamfered rear-arch springing from moulded corbels. There is also an original doorway with a four-centred head.

The Moat surrounds the house.

Condition—Of house, fairly good.

(3). House and shop, 70 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 17th century and has exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, much altered.

(4). Cottage (Plate, p. 189), three tenements, 150 yards S.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are thatched. It was built early in the 17th century, with a cross-wing at the S. end. The upper storey projects at the E. end of the cross-wing. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams.


Bentley, see Great Bentley and Little Bentley.