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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57. LITTLE BROMLEY. (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xix. S.E. (b)xxviii. N.E.)
Little Bromley is a parish 6 m. E.N.E. of Colchester.
b(1). Parish Church Of St. Mary stands on the S.W. of the parish. The walls are of puddingstone rubble; part of the tower is of brick; the dressings are of limestone and the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built probably early in the 12th century. In the 14th century the Chancel was rebuilt. The West Tower was added in the first half of the 15th century but the top stage was rebuilt in the 16th century when the South Porch was added. The church has been restored in the 19th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (26½ ft. by 18½ ft.) is of early 14th-century date and has an E. window of three pointed lights with intersecting tracery in a two-centred head. In the N. wall is a window of one trefoiled light. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of one cinquefoiled light and the western trefoiled and set low in the wall; between them is a doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (35 ft. by 17 ft.) has in the N. wall two windows; the eastern is modern and the western is a single round-headed light of early 12th-century date and covered with cement; further W. is the N. doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch; it is probably of the 14th century and is now blocked. In the S. wall are two windows; the eastern is of late 15th-century date, partly restored and of three cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; the western window is similar to the corresponding window in the N. wall; further W. is the early 14th-century S. doorway with moulded jambs, and two-centred arch with a moulded label and head-stops.
The West Tower (10¾ ft. square) is of three stages; the third stage and the embattled parapet are of brick. The two-centred tower-arch is covered with cement and of uncertain date. The 15th-century W. window is of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; below it is the W. doorway of the same date; it has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and defaced head-stops. The ground-stage had a gallery at half its height. The second stage has in the N. wall a round-headed loop of brick. The bell-chamber has in each wall an early 16th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label.
The Roof of the nave is modern but has 14th-century moulded wall-plates partly restored. The early 16th-century roof of the S. porch has two tie-beams with curved braces, wind-braces and chamfered posts.
Fittings—Bells: four; 3rd and 4th by Robert Burford, early 15th-century and inscribed "Sancta Katerina Ora Pro Nobis" and "Sit Nomen Domini Benedictum." Communion Rails: with turned balusters and moulded rails, c. 1700. Doors: In nave—in S. doorway, with moulded fillets, straphinges, studded with nails, 16th-century. In tower—in doorway to turret, of nail-studded battens, 16th-century. Font (Plate, p. xxxiv): octagonal bowl with panelled sides carved alternately with roses and the symbols of the evangelists, under-edge with four half-angels holding hearts or shields, buttressed stem, early 16th-century. Glass: In W. window—coloured fragments. Piscina: In chancel—with moulded jambs and two-centred head, quatrefoiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes cover-paten, possibly Elizabethan, but without mark. Miscellanea: Preserved at Rectory, round silver brooch with black-letter inscription "Ihs est amor cordis mei," 15th-century, found in churchyard.
Condition—Good, much restored.
b(2). Braham Hall, ¾ m. E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 17th century but has been almost completely altered.
a(3). Cottage, on E. side of road, nearly ¾ m. N. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roofs are thatched. It was built late in the 17th century and has exposed ceiling-beams.