Great Totham

Pages 132-133

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

41. GREAT TOTHAM. (B.e.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xlv. N.E. (b)xlv. S.W. (c)xlv. S.E.)

Great Totham is a parish 3 m. N. of Maldon.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Peter stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are mainly of boulder-clay and the dressings are of oolite and hard limestone; the roofs are tiled. The Chancel may be of the 13th century but the earliest detail there or in the Nave is of the 14th century. The church was restored in the 19th century when the North Aisle, Organ Chamber, South Vestry and Porch were added and the bell-turret rebuilt.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (19½ ft. by 15½ ft.) has S.E. quoins possibly of the 13th century. All the windows and archways are modern but a lancet window in each side wall may represent an ancient feature. There is no chancel-arch.

The Nave (35 ft. by 19 ft.) has a modern N. arcade. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost is probably of early 16th-century date, partly restored; it is of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery and embattled transoms under a three-centred head with a moulded label; the middle window is of early 14th-century date and is said to have been brought from the chancel; it is of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the westernmost window is modern as is the S. doorway E. of it. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window of two cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a square head.

The Roof of the chancel is of braced collar-beam type and boarded; it has 15th-century moulded wall-plates and a moulded tie-beam at the W. end. The roof of the nave is of similar form and has similar moulded wall-plates; the moulded tiebeams have curved braces. The bell-turret at the W. end of the nave rests on four posts, all modern except that on the N.E.

Fittings—Brasses: In chancel—of Elizabeth (Pilborough), wife of Richard Coke, 1606, and Elizabeth, their daughter, wife of Thomas Wilde, figures of two women in ruff and farthingale and three shields of arms. Glass: In nave—in S.E. and middle S. windows, quarries with roses, conventional flowers, foliage, etc., early 16th-century. Paintings: In nave—in N.E. corner, above wall-plate, remains of three winged figures in black and green on a yellow ground, probably 15th-century; on E. splay of S.E. window, figure of a crowned saint under a canopy, much defaced, early 16th-century. Plate: includes cup and paten of 1630. Piscinae: In chancel—with two-centred head and octofoiled drain, probably 14th-century, jambs modern. In nave—in S. wall, with two-centred head and square drain, 14th-century. Miscellanea: In nave—built into S. wall 6 ft. in advance of E. wall, fragment of moulded beam to rood-loft with one buttressed standard and part of moulded rail with painted trefoils and quatrefoils, 15th-century.

Condition—Good, much restored.


b (2). Great Totham Hall and moat, 160 yards N. of the church. The House is of two storeys, partly timber-framed and plastered and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century and has modern additions. The original central chimney-stack has attached shafts on a rectangular base.

The Moat formerly surrounded the house.

Condition—Of house, good.

Monuments (3–7).

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.

b(3). Shoulder of Mutton Inn, about ¾ m. W. of the church, was built in the 15th century with a cross-wing at the N. end, and has early 17th-century additions on the S. and E. There are also some modern additions. The upper storey projects at the W. end of the cross-wing and in this wall is an original window with diamond-shaped mullions and now blocked.

b(4). Bull Inn, 1,100 yards N.N.W. of the church, has been refaced with modern brick.

a(5). Cottage, on the W. side of road at Totham Hill, and 1 m. N.N.E. of the church, was built in the 16th-century. The upper storey projects on the E. front.

c(6). Jepcracks Farm, house, about ½ m. E. of the church, was built early in the 16th century, but has been considerably altered. The upper storey projects and is gabled at the N. end of the W. front.

b(7). Sain's Farm, house, nearly ¾ m. S.S.E. of the church, was built late in the 16th century. Early in the 17th century a second block was built to the S.W. of the original building and connected with it by a corridor and staircase wing. The original central chimney-stack has four octagonal bases on which has been planted a single short rectangular shaft. Inside the building is an early 17th-century ceiling-beam carved with conventional foliage. There are some panelled doors of the same date; the staircase has turned newels and symmetrically turned balusters.