Pages 177-179

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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68. MARKSHALL. (B.c.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxvi. N.W. (b)xxvi. S.W.)

Markshall is a small parish 2 m. N. of Great Coggeshall. The Hall is an important monument.


a(1). Parish Church of St. Margaret was entirely rebuilt in 1875 but retains from the old church the following:—

Fittings—Bell: one, by Richard Bowler, 1595. Monument: In nave—on N.E. wall, of Mary (Waters), wife of Robert Honywood, 1620, marble wall-monument with kneeling figure of a lady flanked by Ionic columns supporting a pediment, lozenge and two shields of arms. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1628.

Condition—Good, rebuilt.


a(2). Marks Hall, house, and dovecote, N. of the church. The House is mainly of three storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with tiles, slates and lead. It was almost entirely rebuilt c. 1609 except for a small portion on the N. side which is of c. 1566 and is of different alignment to the rest of the building. The servants' wing, between this fragment and the main block, is of early 18th-century date. The house was much altered and added to late in the 18th century and was generally restored in the 19th century.

The house is important as a 17th-century building of some size and contains some good contemporary woodwork.

Elevations—The S. Front is symmetrical and has two projecting bays and an embattled parapet, all of late 18th-century date; the windows are of the same period. The projecting porch in the middle of the front is of c. 1609, and of three storeys, divided by plaster cornices with coupled pilasters at the sides, of the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders superimposed; the frieze of the Doric order has rosettes and ox-skulls between the trigliphs; above its cornice is a shield of the quartered coat of Honywood impaling Browne. The round-headed outer archway has moulded imposts, fluted key-block and sunk spandrels with a band of arabesque ornament above them. The inner doorway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with sunk spandrels all in plaster; the panelled door has radiating flutings in the head.

The E. Side has a top storey largely reconstructed late in the 18th century. The windows of the two lower floors are mainly of early 17th-century date; they are of three transomed lights, except the semi-octagonal bay window of two storeys at the N. end, which has four lights in front and one at each side; on the ground floor these lights have two transoms. All the windows are of plastered brick. The early 18th-century wing has some original sash windows, with plain sunk panels above them.

The N. Elevation includes the remains of the mid 16th-century house but the walls of this part are plastered. The W. Elevation has no ancient features of interest. Some of the chimney-stacks are of early 17th-century date with octagonal shafts and moulded bases, but all are much restored.

Interior—The Great Hall has at the W. end an early 17th-century oak screen (Plate, p. 180) of five bays of which the middle one forms a doorway with a four-centred head; the side bays are closepanelled and the other two bays are open and fitted with a rail and flat, shaped and pierced balusters below it; the posts are moulded and the four side bays have a fluted frieze; the cornice is surmounted by two pediments, each with turned terminals at the base and apex. The walls of the room have late 16th-century panelling with a later fluted frieze. The fireplace is plastered and has a four-centred head with the spandrels carved with two shields of arms and on the stops of the jambs are the initials and date R.H. 1609, for Robert Honywood; the fireplace is flanked by pilasters supporting an arcaded overmantel divided into two main bays and flanked by diminishing pilasters. the 'screens' have a pavement of white stone but the rest of the room is paved with black and white squares set diagonally. A doorway has early 17th-century stop-moulded jambs and square head. The Library, W. of the Hall, has early 17th-century panelling and an altered fireplace flanked by fluted Ionic pilasters and having an overmantel of two stages, each of three bays with arcaded panels and Ionic pilasters. The "Prayer Room" (Plate, p. 180), N. of the Hall, has early 17th-century panelled walls with a frieze enriched with trigliphs and arabesques. The fireplace has a flat lintel with a shield in the middle and is flanked by terminal pilasters supporting an entablature with arabesque ornament; the overmantel is of three bays, divided and flanked by carved Corinthian columns; the middle bay is panelled and the side bays have each an enriched arch with a female figure—Justice and Charity—standing on a bracket. The back stairs are of late 17th-century date with turned newels and balusters and moulded rails. The Servants' Hall has a moulded ceiling-beam with a shield inscribed 1566 I.C. (for John Cole). On the first floor the room over the "Prayer Room" has early 17th-century panelling and a fireplace with moulded jambs and square head and flanked by Ionic pilasters; the overmantel is divided into three bays by terminal pilasters; the bays have arched panels, the middle one with a shell head and the side bays with the sun and moon. The room over part of the Hall has similar panelling and fireplace flanked by coupled pilasters supporting a panelled overmantel of two bays with coupled pilasters at the sides and a single pilaster in the middle. Another room has a similar fireplace flanked by Ionic pilasters supporting an overmantel of two bays with double-arched panels and Ionic pilasters. Glass: In S.E. window of Hall a quartered coat of Wentworth impaling gules three scutcheons argent set in a green chaplet, 16th-century; also fragments of figures, a saint's head and borders, 15th and 16th-century. In S.W. window a coat of Waldegrave impaling Wentworth and quarterings; the royal arms (Tudor) crowned; and a crowned fleur-de-lis with initials E.R., 16th-century. In the Library in S.E. window, a quartered coat of Browne of Bechworth impaling Guilford and quarterings within a coloured chaplet; and, at sides of shield, crests of these families, 16th-century, set in fragments of 15th and 16th-century glass. In S.W. window, a quartered coat of Poynings impaling Browne and quarterings, 16th-century; also 15th and 16th-century fragments. In bedroom on first floor, small enamel-painted panel of a man on horseback inscribed 'equestris principis vel Baronis Germani' (blackletter), 16th-century, and heraldic fragments 17th-century.

The Dovecote, N.E. of the house, is octagonal and of red brick; it is probably of mid 16th-century date. E. of the servants' wing is a Cottage partly of brick and partly of plastered timberframing. It is probably of the 16th century but has been much altered.

Condition—Of house, etc., good.

a(3). Brickhouse Farm, house, about 1,150 yards N. of the church, is of two storeys, timberframed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century and has exposed ceiling-beams and joists.

Condition—Good, much altered.

b(4). Cradle House (Plate, p. 177), 1 m. S. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th century and has a S. wall of brick with a projecting chimney-stack having numerous tabled offsets and some black diapering; the two shafts are set diagonally.