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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48. LAMARSH. (B.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. xii. S.E.)
Lamarsh is a small parish on the Suffolk border, 6 m. N.E. of Halstead.
(1). Parish Church of the Holy Innocents (Plate, p. xxviii) stands in the middle of the parish. The walls are of flint-rubble rendered in cement and with dressings of clunch; the roofs are tiled. The West Tower is of early 12th-century date and the Nave may be of the same period but of this there is no actual evidence. The Chancel was entirely or partly rebuilt probably early in the 14th century. Early in the 16th century the South Porch was added. Part of the tower fell in the 17th or 18th century and was restored in timber and brick. The church was restored in the 19th century when the tower-arch was rebuilt, the North Vestry added, and the E. wall rebuilt 3 ft. further E.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (18½ ft. by 22 ft.) has in the E. wall three lancet windows almost entirely modern. In the N. wall is a modern doorway and organ recess. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is of the 14th century, of two pointed lights with a spandrel in a two - centred head, partly restored; the western window has a lower sill and is of two lights with a modern head; between the windows is a 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, partly restored. There is no chancel-arch but a thickening of both walls indicates its original position.
The Nave (50 ft. by 21 ft.) has in the N. wall two windows, both modern except for the 14th-century rear-arches and splays; at the E. end of the wall are the early 16th-century lower and upper doorways of the rood-loft staircase, both with chamfered jambs and four-centred heads of brick; both are blocked and the upper one is partly covered by the modern roof. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern is of late 15th-century date and of three cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head, with moulded label and head-stops; the early 14th-century western window is of two trefoiled ogee lights with flowing tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; further W. is the early 16th-century S. doorway with moulded jambs and four-centred arch of brick.
The West Tower (10¾ ft. diameter) is circular and of three stages, undivided externally; it is of early 12th-century date. Part of the wall has fallen out on the N.W. side and has been replaced by timber, plaster and brick; the spire is modern. The tower-arch is modern. In the S. face is a lancet window of c. 1200. Higher up are two round-headed loops, one in the second stage and one in the bell-chamber.
The South Porch is of early 16th-century date and of red brick. The outer archway has double-chamfered jambs and four-centred head with a moulded label; above is a window of one four-centred light and now blocked. In each side wall is a window of two four-centred lights in a depressed head.
The Roof of the porch is of early 16th-century date and has moulded ceiling-beams and joists, framed round an opening to the attic; the bargeboards are moulded.
Fittings—Bell: one, by Henry Pleasant, 1695. Door: In S. doorway—of feathered battens with strap-hinges, early 16th-century. Monument: In chancel—on N. wall, to Thomas Stephen, 1654, marble tablet with side pilasters, broken pediment and achievement of arms. Niche: In nave—on jamb of N.E. window, with two-centred head, 14th-century. Painting: In nave—on N. and S. walls, traces of black-letter inscription and ornamental border, 16th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1691. Recesses: In S. porch— in S. angles, two with pointed heads, early 16th-century. Screen: Between chancel and nave— of ten bays with doorway of two bays, with moulded and buttressed posts, crocketed and traceried heads to upper panels, two to each bay, 15th-century, rails and lower panels modern, buttresses and cresting restored.
(2). Lamarsh Hall, and moat, 100 yards N. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timberframed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century and has an original central chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts; a second stack has a stepped base. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams.
The Moat surrounds the house.
Condition—Of house, good.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century, and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Many of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
(3). Daw's Hall, 750 yards N.N.W. of the church, was built in the 16th century but has large modern additions. Fixed above a doorway at the N. end is a boss carved with a crowned female head and foliage of late 14th-century date. Inside the building a fireplace has an original moulded oak lintel.
(4). Cottage, three tenements, and barn, 400 yards N.N.W. of (3).
(5). Valley Farm, house, ¾ m. N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics and was built probably in the 16th century. The central chimney-stack has four grouped diagonal shafts. The modern porch incorporates some original moulded posts.
(6). Brookhouse, house, ¼ m. S. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century. Inside the building are original moulded ceiling-beams.
(7). Cottage, 40 yards W. of (6).
(8). Street Farm, house, 150 yards W. of (7), was built in the second half of the 16th century. The central chimney-stack has diagonal pilasters.
(9). Newman's Farm, house, 250 yards W.S.W. of (8), has a later addition at the W. end. In an outhouse are many reused timbers, including some moulded 16th-century joists.
(10). Hall's Cottages, 100 yards S. of (7), were built probably in the 16th century. The N. chimney-stack has two diagonal shafts and at the base of it is a doorway with a four-centred head The main block has a coved and moulded cornice. Inside the building is an original moulded beam.
(11). Chestnut Lodge, about ½ m. S.S.E. of the church.
(12). Hewitts, cottage, nearly ¾ m. S.S.E. of the church.