Bradwell (-juxta-Coggeshall)

Pages 12-14

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

10. BRADWELL (-juxta-Coggeshall). (A.d.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxv. S.E. (b)xxvi. S.W. (c)xxxiv. N.E.)

Bradwell is a small parish and village on the S. bank of the Blackwater, 4½ m. N. of Witham. The church and its fittings are noteworthy.


b(1). Parish Church of the Holy Trinity (Plate, p. xxviii) stands near the N.E. corner of the parish. The walls are probably of flint-rubble and are covered with plaster; the dressings are of limestone and clunch; the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built early in the 12th century. The Chancel was rebuilt and the South Porch added c. 1340. In the 16th or early in the 17th century the Bell-turret was built.

Amongst the fittings the 14th-century paintings and incised slab, the 15th-century screen, and the 17th-century monument are noteworthy.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (22¾ ft. by 21½ ft.) has an E. window of c. 1440, and of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern is of c. 1340 and of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a segmental-pointed head; the jambs and tracery are moulded internally; the western window is of c. 1460, and of two cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops. In the S. wall are two windows of c. 1340, both of two cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a roughly semi-circular head with a moulded label; the western window has carved flowers in two cusps of the tracery; between the windows is a 14th-century doorway, with double chamfered jambs and a two-centred arch.

The Nave (33½ ft. by 21½ ft.) is undivided structurally from the chancel. In the N. wall are two windows; the eastern is of c. 1340 and of two cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a segmental head; the western window is of early 12th-century date, and of one small round-headed light; between the windows is the early 12th-century doorway, now blocked, with a modern window in the blocking; it has plain jambs and a semi-circular arch. In the S. wall are two windows similar to those in the N. wall, but the western window is now blocked by a cupboard and is not visible externally; between the windows is the round-headed S. doorway, similar to the N. doorway, but of brick and not blocked. In the W. wall is a window of c. 1460, of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; above it in the gable is a small round-headed window, of uncertain date.

The Bell-turret is of timber and probably of late 16th or early 17th-century date; it rests on large stop-chamfered posts and a cross-beam near the W. end of the nave, and is covered externally with modern weather-boarding and shingles.

The South Porch (Plate, p. 7) is of timber and of c. 1340. The S. gable has foiled barge-boards, and the E. and W. sides have each seven open lights with trefoiled ogee and traceried heads; the mullions have been replaced by turned balusters of early 17th-century date on the E. side, and modern except for the half balusters on the W. side.

The Roof of the chancel is of the trussed-rafter type, plastered on the soffit, and with plain chamfered wall-plates. The 14th-century roof of the nave is of three bays with two king-post trusses; the tie-beam of the western truss is moulded and of the 15th century; the king-posts have moulded capitals and bases, and the eastern may be a later copy. The 14th-century roof of the S. porch has moulded wall-plates and two cambered tie-beams, one supported by curved braces.

Fittings—Bells: three; all by Miles Graye; 1st, 1621; 2nd, 1609; 3rd, 1632, cracked. Brass Indents: In chancel—(1) of figures and canopy, two shields, group of children (?) and inscription-plate, part hidden by foot-pace of altar; (2) of inscription-plate. Chests: In nave—'dug-out' with iron bands and two locks, possibly 17th-century, lid apparently modern; in cupboard under bell-turret, 'dug - out' with strap-hinges, 17th-century or earlier. Communion Table: with plain legs and moulded rails, 17th-century, top modern. Door: In S. doorway—of studded battens on square framing, stock-lock of oak and traceried scutcheon to modern handle, drop-handle to latch, strap-hinges, late 15th or early 16th-century. Font and Cover (Plate, p. xxxiv): Bowl of limestone, originally square with small cheveron ornament round top, 12th-century, bowl cut octagonal, early in the 16th century; stem of brick with moulded top and base, and sunk quatrefoil in each face, early 16th-century. Cover of oak, pyramidal, with panelled sides and ball top, 17th-century, bracket for pulley on framing of bell-turret above. Funeral Helm: In chancel— on N. wall, with crest (dog's head razed), 17th-century. Glass: In chancel—in E. window, in tracery, fragments, 15th-century; in N.E. window, in fragments in tracery, with dog in roundel, 14th-century; in N.W. window, fragments of figures and tabernacle work, etc., 15th-century; in S.W. window, part of angel holding shield, a bend with two scallops (one lost) thereon on a chief a leopard (reversed), 15th-century; fragments of tabernacle work, etc., 15th-century. In nave—in N.E. and S.E. windows, fragments, 14th-century, mostly in situ. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—against E. wall, (1) of Anthony Maxey [1592], and Dorothy (Basset) [1602], his wife, wall-monument (Plate, p. 97) of marble and alabaster, erected by their son, Sir Henry Maxey, with two round-headed recesses flanked and divided by Corinthian columns, and containing kneeling figures of two men in plate-armour and wives at prayerdesks, entablature with quartered shield of Maxey and four smaller shields below; on N. wall, (2) to Sir William Maxey, 1645, Helena (Grevill), his wife, 1653, and Grevill, 1648, and William, 1659, their sons, wall-monument of black and white marble with broken pediment and achievement of arms, above it a funeral helm and crest, partly of late 16th-century date. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Edward Beancock, M.D., 1665, with shield of arms; (2) defaced and partly hidden by pew, probably 17th-century; (3) lower part of priest, incised figure in mass vestments with incised marginal inscription in Lombardic capitals, with the date 1349. Paintings: In chancel—on E. wall, high up on N. side, remains of figure of angel with lozengy background, top border and foliated lower border; on E. splay of N.E. window, a Trinity, the Dove obliterated; on W. splay, full length Resurrection figure of Christ, with cross-staff; on soffit of rear-arch, a Majesty in a vesica, flanked by angels, one holding cross and crown of thorns, 14th-century. In nave —on soffit of rear-arch of N.E. window, circular central panel with bird (? eagle) and scrolled foliage-ornament; on N. wall, near W. end, small head, probably of Infant Christ, part of large figure subject; on E. splay of S.E. window, the Incredulity of St. Thomas (hands only of St. Thomas); on W. splay, figure, probably of St. James the Great, with book, staff and scrip, diapered background; on soffit of rear-arch, circular central panel with Agnus Dei and flowing foliage on each side, all paintings c. 1320. Panelling: In chancel—loose, broken panel, c. 1600. In nave— in pew on N.W., six moulded panels with lozenge patterns and foliated top-rail, late 16th-century; W. of parclose screen, plain battened panelling with moulded top-rail, 15th-century; beneath seats of two S. pews, some 17th-century panelling. Piscina: In chancel—with carved and chamfered jambs and cinquefoiled arch in a square head with foliated spandrels and moulded label having base of central pinnacle, moulded projecting basin resting on remains of carved head, quatrefoil drain with carved ornament in centre, 15th-century. Royal Arms: Over W. gallery, of Charles II, painted and subsequently repainted. Screens: Between chancel and nave (Plate, p. 34), of four bays with moulded posts, rail and head, head with mortices for former loft on the W. side, post between N. bay and doorway with mortice for former parclose, N. bay with traceried heads of seven lights, mullions removed, second bay forming doorway, with traces of former traceried head; third bay with traceried heads of five former lights, S. bay open probably as doorway to former pulpit, plain close lower panels, except two with traceried heads in third bay; above beam, boarded framing, forming E. side of former loft, and pierced with two trefoiled openings, on E. face painted diapered ornament, pink on green, 15th-century. In nave—N. side, W. end of former parclose, now forming division between pews, two close lower panels only, with traceried heads and chamfered posts, formerly having attached buttresses, boarding pierced with a quatrefoil, 15th-century. Seating: In nave—on S. side, five backs of seats with moulded rail and one benchend, late 15th-century; in cupboard under bellturret, two bench-ends (?) with shaped tops. Tiles: In chancel—on sill of S.W. window, a number, some with traces of pattern, 14th or 15th-century. Miscellanea: In chancel—on sill of S.W. window, fragments of two small and nude alabaster figures, probably 17th-century.

Condition—Fairly good, some window tracery weathered.


Monuments (2–8).

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. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams and original chimneystacks.

Condition—Good, or fairly good.

a(2). House, at Perry Green, on the W. side of the road and about 1,100 yards W. of the church.

a(3). Cottage, three tenements, 400 yards S. of (2). The upper storey projects on the E. side.

c(4). Gosling's Farm, house, about ½ m. S.S.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E.

a(5). Park Farm, house and barns, 1,100 yards W.N.W. of the church.

a(6). Cottage (Plate, p. 188), on the W. side of the road at Blackwater, about 1 m. N.W. of the church, was built probably early in the 16th century. The upper storey projects on the S.E. side and the gable at the N.E. end had original scalloped barge-boards.

a(7). Cottage, adjoining (6) on the N., has an original central chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts.

a(8). Cottage, two tenements, 70 yards E.N.E. of (7).

Braxted, see Great Braxted and Little Braxted.