Kelvedon

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Kelvedon ', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3, North East, (London, 1922) pp. 140-146. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/essex/vol3/pp140-146 [accessed 4 March 2024]

In this section

46. KELVEDON. (B.d.)

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

Kelvedon is a parish and small town 3½ m. N.E. of Witham. The church is the principal monument, and there are many mediaeval houses in the parish.

Roman

(1). Vague statements have been made respecting: (a) The remains of Roman villa beneath the soil in some meadowland at Felix Hall (Essex Arch. Soc. Trans., O.S., I (1858), 198), which lies about 1 m. N.W. of Kelvedon, and N. of the London and Colchester road; (b) burial urns, with coins, bronze fibula, etc., found about 1855 or 1860 on Dorward's Hall estate, 1½ m. S.W. of Kelvedon, and S. of the road (Proc. Soc. Ant. (2), V, 30.); (c) Roman potsherds found close to the River Blackwater in a meadow opposite Little Barrows; and many skeletons found immediately above in digging for gravel.

The 6-in. Ordnance Map (xxxv. S.W.) marks "Roman Urns," etc., found 1847 and 1850, on the N. side of the main road near Hole Farm and Crabb's Farm, perhaps the same as (b); also "Roman and Danish Coins and Roman Urns found 1873" in the second field S.E. of the Vicarage.

Nothing can be made of these indefinite references. Perhaps allusion is made to the Villa at Rivenhall 1½ m. S.W. of Felix Hall, and the burials may be connected with that building. (See Sectional Preface, p. xxvii.)

Ecclesiastical

c(2). Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate, p. 141), stands at the S.W. end of the village. The walls are of flint-rubble with limestone dressings; the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The Nave was built probably early in the 12th century, and of this the N.W. angle remains. About 1230 the North Aisle and arcade were built followed by the South Aisle and arcade c. 1250. About 1360 the Chancel was enlarged and rebuilt and the West Tower added or rebuilt. In the 15th century the clearstorey was added and the top stage of the tower built. Early in the 16th century the North Chapel and Vestry were added. The church was restored in the 19th century when the South Porch was largely rebuilt and the South Chapel added.

The 13th-century detail of the nave arcades is interesting.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28 ft. by 20 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall is a 14th-century window, now opening into the vestry, of one cinquefoiled light with a moulded label; further W. is a doorway inserted early in the 16th century and made up of the jambs and head of a 14th-century window formerly of two cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred head; W. of the doorway is an early 16th-century plastered brick archway with a moulded and four-centred arch, moulded E. respond and splayed W. respond both with moulded capitals and bases; at the W. end of the wall is a narrow recess with a four-centred head, possibly a doorway to the former rood-loft staircase. In the S. wall is a modern arch and an arcade of two bays. The two-centred chancel-arch is of c. 1360 and of two moulded orders; the responds have semi-octagonal attached shafts, with moulded capitals and bases, partly restored; on each side of the chancel-arch is a 15th-century squint with a chamfered, four-centred head; that on the S. has been much restored.

Kelvedon. The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin.

The North Vestry (11½ ft. by 10½ ft.) has a reused 15th-century E. window of two cinquefoiled lights under a square head with a moulded label, partly restored. The N. wall is of 16th-century brickwork and has a modern doorway. In the S.W. angle is a 16th-century doorway of brick with a four-centred head, which opens into a triangular lobby with a second and similar doorway into the N. chapel.

The North Chapel (15 ft. by 9¾ ft.) has a N. wall of 16th-century brickwork with a stepped gable. In the N. wall is a brick window of four four-centred lights, with intersecting tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label; in the gable are two round-headed openings, now blocked. The 16th-century W. archway is of plastered brick and has a moulded and four-centred arch and moulded responds with moulded capitals and bases.

The South Chapel is modern but has reset in the E. wall a 15th-century window-head of two cinquefoiled lights; reset in the S. wall are two windows, the eastern is of c. 1360 and of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the western window is of the 15th-century and of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the doorway is perhaps of the 14th century but is covered with cement. In the W. wall is a modern arch.

The Nave (55½ ft. by 23½ ft.) has in the E. wall N. of the chancel-arch a 15th-century doorway at the level of the rood-loft with a four-centred head. The N. arcade is of c. 1230 and of three bays with two-centred arches of two moulded orders and a chamfered label on the S. side; the E. respond has a moulded corbel partly restored and carved with 'stiff-leaf' foliage; the first column is moulded and has four attached shafts with moulded and foliated capitals (Plate, p. 213), badly broken, and moulded bases; the second column is cylindrical with a moulded and foliated capital and moulded base; the W. respond has one attached shaft and two angle rolls; the rolls have carved 'water-leaf' capitals but that of the shaft is modern. Further W. are marks of a blocked opening, possibly a 12th-century window. The S. arcade is of c. 1250 and of three bays, with arches similar to those of the N. arcade; above the first column and not in situ is a carved 15th-century shield (Plate, p. 213) of England quartering France (modern) with a label and surmounted by a crown; the columns are cylindrical with moulded capitals and chamfered bases; the second column is of later date; the W. respond has three attached shafts with modern capitals and bases; the E. respond is of the 14th-century with a semi-octagonal attached shaft and moulded capital and base. The 15th-century clearstorey has on each side four windows, each of two cinquefoiled lights under a square head and almost entirely restored. The N.W. angle of the nave externally has quoins of Roman brick.

The North Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has in the N. wall two 15th-century windows, the eastern of two cinquefoiled lights under a square head with a moulded label; the western window is of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; further W. is the 15th-century N. doorway, now blocked, with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. In the W. wall is a window similar to the eastern window in the N. wall.

The South Aisle (7½ ft. wide) has in the S. wall three windows and a doorway, all modern except the westernmost window, which is of late 14th-century date, re-cut and reset, and of two cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a square head. In the W. wall is a modern window.

The West Tower (10½ ft. by 10 ft.) is of three stages with an embattled parapet having carved grotesques at the angles of the string-course and a small spire. The details of the two lower stages are of the 14th century and those of the bell-chamber of the 15th century. The two-centred tower-arch is of two moulded orders; the responds are of two chamfered orders with moulded capitals and bases; above the arch is a plain two-centred opening, now blocked. The W. window has been completely restored except the jambs, splays and rear-arch. The second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a single light window with a trefoiled ogee head, all much restored. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two cinquefoiled lights in a square head, almost completely restored.

The Roof of the chancel is probably of the 14th century and is of trussed-rafter type with moulded wall-plates. The 15th-century roof of the nave is of four bays with modern tie-beams and moulded braces with traceried spandrels; the principals have a carved boss at the apex of each pair and the intermediate principals spring from carved half-figures holding shields, crowns, pipes and books. The flat pent roofs of the aisles have some 15th-century moulded timbers but most of the beams are plain.

Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd by Henry Pleasant, 1705; 5th by Miles Graye, 1615; 6th by Miles Graie, 1608. Chest: In S. aisle—made up of early 17th-century work. Door: In doorway to vestry —of studded battens, 16th-century, later frame planted on. Glass: In N. aisle—in second window in N. wall, fragments including sun and stars, leopards' heads and leaf-ornament, 15th-century. Indent: In churchyard—S. of S. chapel, of small figure and inscription - plate. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In S. chapel—on S. wall, (1) to Thomas Crane, 1654, black and white marble oval tablet with cornice and skull at top. In S. aisle—on S. wall: (2) to Thomas Abdy, 1684, carved white marble tablet with pediment and cartouche of arms; (3) to Sir Anthony Abdy, Bart., 1704, white marble wall-monument with carved frieze and shield of arms; (4) to Sir Thomas Abdy, Bart., 1685, Mary (Corselis), his wife, 1645, Abigail, his daughter, wife of Sir Marke Guyon, 1679, and William, son of Sir Thomas, 1682, white marble wall-monument with carved curtain flanked by Ionic pilasters, broken pediment, achievement, three cartouches and a shield of arms. In churchyard—E. of chancel, (5) to Abraham Clerke, 1700, slab with shield of arms. Floor-slabs: In N. aisle—at W. end, (1) to Anna, daughter of Sir Thomas Abdy, 1682, with shield of arms; (2) to William Abdy, 1682, with shield of arms. Niche: In N. chapel—in N.E. angle, with four-centred head, moulded cornice and shelf with cusped support, early 16th-century, now hidden by organ. Panelling: In N. vestry—various, including panels carved with a figure subject, Ahasuerus and Esther or Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, birds, foliage, etc., three linen-fold panels, etc., 16th and 17th-century. In S. aisle—incorporated in cupboard, four linen-fold panels, 16th-century. Piscinae: In S. chapel—reset, with moulded jambs and cinquefoiled ogee head, quatrefoiled drain, 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and trefoiled ogee head, quatrefoiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1562 and cover-paten of about the same date. Poor-box: In S. aisle—incorporating two narrow strapwork panels, 17th-century and part of two carved flowers, early 16th-century. Royal Arms: In W. tower—on S. wall, on canvas, arms of Queen Anne, 1709. Table: In N. aisle—with turned legs and two drawers, late 17th-century.

The Churchyard has on the E. side a 16th-century brick wall with a moulded plinth on both sides.

Condition—Good, except N. aisle, which is much decayed.

Secular

a (3). Homestead Moat at Woodhouse Farm, 2½ m. N.W. of the church.

a (4). Porter's Farm, house and moat, 1½ m. W.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th century. Inside the building are exposed ceilingbeams.

The Moat is incomplete.

Condition—Of house, good.

Monuments (4–60).

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 or thatched. Many of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams, wide fireplaces and original chimney-stacks.

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

Church Street, N.E. side

c(5). Lawn Cottage, house, and barn, 150 yards E.S.E. of the church. The House has been much altered and added to in the 18th and 19th centuries. Inside the building is some late 17th-century bolection-moulded panelling and a staircase of the same date, with turned and twisted balusters, square newels and close string. There is one early 17th-century panelled door.

The Barn, E. of the house, is small and incorporates part of a 16th-century building.

Condition—Of house, good; of barn, poor.

c(6). Block of Seven Tenements (Plate, p. 123), 110 yards E.S.E. of (5), are probably of different dates and not later than the 17th century. A projecting wing at the back of the S.E. end is probably of the 15th century and has exposed timberframing. In front at the same end the upper storey projects on curved brackets and is gabled.

c(9). Range of Buildings, house and two shops, on the W. side of the cross-roads, 50 yards S.E. of (6), has been much altered and partly refaced with modern brick.

c(8). Almshouses, forming five tenements, 30 yards S.W. of (6).

Condition—Poor.

c(9). House, now two tenements, opposite (8), is of two storeys with attics, and has been partly refaced with modern brick.

Maldon Road, S. E. side

c(10). Schoolmaster's House, 60 yards S.E. of (8), has been much altered. The upper storey projects on the N.E. front but has been partly under-built.

c(11). School, S. of (10), is of one storey. The walls are of brick in English bond. There are modern additions at each end. In the old N.W. wall is an original window, now blocked and of three lights. In the original block is an early 18th-century fireplace with a moulded marble architrave.

c(12). Gray's Cottage, 60 yards S.E. of (11), has been almost entirely rebuilt, but incorporates remains of a 17th-century cottage.

c(13). House, on N.E. side of cross-roads and 50 yards N.W. of (9), is of two storeys with attics. It was built late in the 16th century but was much altered and rebuilt late in the 18th century. Inside the building are some original moulded beams and four cambered tie-beams.

c(14). Angel Hotel, N.W. of (13), was built early in the 16th century but has been much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. The upper storey projects on part of the S.W. front. Inside the building are some original and later moulded beams and at the N.W. end is an original king-post roof-truss. There are also some remains of early 17th-century panelling.

Kelvedon, Plan Shewing Position of Monuments

High Street, E. side (Plate, p. 122)

c(15). White Hart Inn, and house, 30 yards N. of (14), The house has an original central chimney-stack with five octagonal shafts.

c(16). House, three tenements, N.N.E. of (15), has cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The upper storey projects on the whole of the W. front. In an outhouse at the back of the house is some original panelling.

c(17). House, 50 yards N.N.E. of (16), was built probably early in the 18th century.

c(18). House, two tenements, 30 yards N.N.E. of (17), has cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The upper storey projected at the W. ends of the cross-wings, but in the S. wing it has been under-built.

c(19). House, three tenements, 30 yards N.N.E. of (18), is of two storeys with attics, and was built early in the 18th century.

a(20). Cottage, two tenements, 230 yards N.N.E. of (19).

a(21). The Cedars, house, 320 yards N.N.E. of (20), has been entirely refronted. The N. chimney-stack has an original moulded capping and a modern shaft.

a(22). House, now two tenements, 100 yards N.E. of (21), was built in the 15th century with a central hall and cross-wings at the N.E. and S.W. ends. The N.E. wing was extended at the back early in the 16th century. Inside the building the original hall has no ancient features but in the S.W. wall is an original doorway with an ogee head. The N.E. wing has original moulded ceilingbeams and joists, and in the N.E. wall is an embattled wall-plate and a fireplace with moulded jambs and depressed arch. The upper storey has an original cambered tie-beam with one curved brace. The S.W. wing has also original tie-beams.

a(23). House (Plate, p. xxxi), now five tenements, 30 yards N.E. of (22), was built probably in the first half of the 15th century with a central hall and cross-wings at the N.E. and S.W. ends. The N.E. wing was extended at the back in the 16th century and there is a 16th or 17th-century addition at the S.W. end. The upper storey projects at the front end of the N.E. wing and on the S.W. side of the extension of the same wing. Inside the building the ground floor of both wings has original main beams with curved braces; the upper storey has original cambered tie-beams with curved braces. In the S.W. wall of the former hall is an original doorway with an ogee head. In the extension of the N.E. wing is the two-centred head of a doorway above the modern opening.

a (24). House and shop, 20 yards N.E. of (23), was built c. 1700 and has walls partly of brick. Inside the building one room has an original plaster ceiling with a large oval panel with a foliated wreath round it and spandrels enriched with flowers and shells. In the garden is a fire-back with the date and initials 1700 G.K. and a figure subject of the Return of the Spies from Canaan.

b (25). Star and Fleece Inn, 30 yards N.E. of (24), has been much altered. The upper storey projects at the W. end of the N. front. Inside the building is a cupboard with an original panelled door.

b(26). House, with shop and tenement, at corner of Swan Street and 30 yards N.E. of (25), was built in the 15th century with a central hall and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. In the 17th century the long extension fronting on Swan Street was added. The central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts of the 17th century. Inside the building the original hall has hollow-chamfered wall-plates and posts. The cross-wings have remains of the original roof construction and the W. or solar wing has original moulded ceilingbeams.

N.W. side

b (27). Britannia Inn and shops, 30 yards W. of (26), had a projecting upper storey on the S.E. front, which has now been under-built.

b (28). House, now three tenements, S.W. of (27), has a cross-wing at the S.W. end. The upper storey projects at the front end of the cross-wing. Inside the building is an original door of moulded and nail-studded battens. The S.W. wing has a tie-beam with curved braces.

a(29). House, now three tenements, 160 yards S.W. of (28), was built probably in the 16th century, but has been extensively altered.

a (30). House, now three tenements, 230 yards S.W. of (29), is of two storeys with attics and was built possibly in the 15th century but much altered and rebuilt in the 17th century. The eaves have a cornice of plaster. Inside the building the 17th-century staircase has flat-shaped balusters.

a (31). House, 15 yards S.W. of (30), is of two storeys with attics. It has an early 18th-century addition of brick at the back.

a (32). House and shop, 15 yards S.W. of (31), has been much altered.

a(33). Ormonde House, 20 yards S.W. of (32), is of two storeys with attics. The walls are of brick. It was built early in the 17th century and late in the same century wings were added at the back. In the 18th century the front and side walls were faced with brick. The original chimney-stack has four octagonal shafts on a rectangular base with a moulded capping.

a (34). Victoria Inn, 180 yards S.W. of (33), was much altered and rebuilt in the 18th century.

c (35). House, 160 yards S.W. of (34), was almost entirely rebuilt in the 18th century, but contains some early 17th-century panelling not in situ.

c(36). Range of Four Tenements, 20 yards S.W. of (35), has an original chimney-stack, cross-shaped on plan.

c (37). House, three tenements, S.W. of (36), has a projecting upper storey in front with a moulded fascia and two sunk panels inscribed 1685 M.F.M.

c (38). House, three tenements, 60 yards S.W. of (37).

c (39). Range of Four Tenements, at the corner of Church Street and 20 yards S.W. of (38), was built in the first half of the 16th century and has three wings projecting at the back. The front has been faced with modern brick, but the upper storey originally projected on this side. The upper storey projects on one side of two of the back wings and some original timber-framing is exposed. Inside the building the main block has original moulded ceiling-beams and there are three original doorways with four-centred heads.

Swan Street, S. side

b(40). House and outbuilding, 10 yards E. of (26), is of two storeys with attics. The upper storey formerly projected in front, but has been under-built and the front faced with brick. The original central chimney-stack has three octagonal shafts. At the back is an original window of three lights with moulded jambs and mullions, now blocked. Inside the building are three original doors with moulded muntins and nail-studded.

b (41). House, now four tenements, E. of (40), was built in the 15th century with a central hall and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The W. wing was extended at the back in the 17th century and the hall divided into two storeys. The front of the hall has been refaced with brick; at the end of the W. wing is a bay-window with a moulded sill supported on early 17th-century shaped brackets. At the W. end is an early 17th-century chimney-stack with a moulded capping and two octagonal shafts. In the extension is a blocked window with a moulded mullion. Inside the building the hall has an original moulded wall-plate. The W. or solar wing has similar wall-plates and a ceiling-beam with curved braces. The other wing has remains of the original roof construction. In the extension is some early 17th-century panelling.

b (42). Cottage, two tenements, 40 yards S.E. of (41).

b (43). House, S.E. of (42), is of three storeys and has been much altered. Inside the building is a late 17th-century staircase, with turned balusters, close strings and square newels with turned pendants.

a (44). Mill Farm, house, ¾ m. N.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics.

a(45). Monk's Farm, house, about 1 m. N.N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics.

a(46). Cottage, two tenements, 50 yards N. of (45).

a(47). Cottage, three tenements, 50 yards N.E. of (45).

a(48). Park Farm, house, 700 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and was built probably about the middle of the 16th century. The 17th-century central chimney-stack has diagonal pilaster strips. Inside the building is an original moulded ceiling-beam.

a(49). Cotcroft, cottage, now four tenements, 350 yards S.W. of (48), has an added gable in the roof.

a(50). Leapingwells, house and barn, nearly 1 m. W.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics and was built probably late in the 16th century with 17th-century and modern additions on the S. side. Inside the building are two original windows, now blocked, one of six lights with diamond-shaped bar-mullions and one of two lights with a moulded frame and mullion.

The Barn, W. of the house, is of five bays with a porch.

a(51). Allshot's Farm, house, about 2 m. N.W. of the church.

a(52). Marylands, house, now two tenements, nearly 1¼ m. W.N.W. of the church, was built in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the S. end. The upper storey projects on the W. front. On the S. end is an original chimney-stack with a crow-stepped offset. Inside the building is some early 17th-century panelling.

a(53). Cottage, 200 yards S.S.E. of (52).

Condition—Bad.

c(54). Clark's Farm, house, nearly ¾ m. W.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It has an 18th-century wing on the N. side.

c(55). Crabb's Farm, house and barn, ¼ m. S.E. of (54). The House was built c. 1500 with a central hall and a kitchen wing on the W. There is a 17th-century extension on the W. and an early 18th-century wing on the N. side. Inside the building the former hall has an original roof with a king-post truss.

The Barn adjoins the house on the E. and may include the former solar wing. It is of four and a half bays with an original roof of king-post type.

c(56). Hole Farm, house, 1 m. S.W. of the church, was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century but a portion at the W. end has been destroyed. The roof has a central purlin and curved struts springing from the partitions.

c(57). Church Hall, cottage and barn, 300 yards S. of the church. The Cottage was built in the 15th century and has exposed timber-framing and brick nogging to the lower storey.

The Barn, N.W. of the house, is of the 15th or 16th century with aisles.

c(58). Bridgefoot Farm, house, about 750 yards S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It was built c. 1500 or earlier but was much altered c. 1600 when the hall was raised. Late in the 17th century an addition was made at the S.W. end and the house was altered and added to in the 18th and 19th centuries. Inside the building the former central hall has an original screen at the N.E. end with plain chamfered posts, sill and rail. The roof of the hall incorporates some of the old timbers. The roof of the kitchen wing is original and has a king-post truss and central purlin. There is some early 17th-century panelling.

d (59). Highfields, house, 1 m. S.E. of the church, has been much altered and enlarged. Inside the building is some early 17th-century panelling.

d(60). Ewell Hall, house and barn, nearly ¾ m. E.S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics and was built early in the 17th century but was largely rebuilt c. 1700 with walls of brick. Inside the building is a staircase of c. 1700 with square newels, close string and turned balusters. There are also some panelling, doors, and a fireplace of the same date.

The Barn, N.W. of the house, is of eight bays with two porches.