Pages 188-190

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

75. PEBMARSH. (B.b.)

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

Pebmarsh is a parish and small village 3 m. N.E. of Halstead. The church and Stanley Hall are the principal monuments.


a(1). Parish Church of St. John the Baptist (Plate, p. xxviii) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of flint-rubble with dressings of limestone; the porch and parapets are of red brick. The roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The West Tower is the earliest part of the building and was added early in the 14th century to a pre-existing nave lower and narrower than the present one; shortly afterwards the Chancel and Nave were rebuilt and the North and South Aisles added or rebuilt. Early in the 16th century the chancel was shortened, the South Porch added and most of the parapets rebuilt. The church was restored in the 19th century, when the Organ Chamber was added.

The porch is a good example of early 16th-century brickwork and among the fittings the early 14th-century brass is particularly noteworthy.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28 ft. by 20 ft.) has an early 16th-century E. wall and a modern E. window. The N. and S. walls have moulded internal and external string-courses of the 14th century. In the N. wall are two 14th-century windows, partly restored and each of two cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred head with moulded label and head-stops; between the windows is a modern opening to the organ chamber. In the S. wall are three windows, the two eastern, set high in the wall, are of the 14th century and of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in segmental-pointed heads with moulded labels and head-stops; the western window is similar to those in the N. wall, but much restored; below the second window is a 14th-century doorway, with moulded jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label and head-stops. The 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals.

The Nave (50½ ft. by 20 ft.) has in the E. wall above the chancel-arch a small opening with a two-centred head and now blocked. The N. and S. arcades are of mid 14th-century date and are each of four bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the columns consist of four attached shafts, two semi-octagonal and two semi-circular, with moulded capitals and bases; the responds have semi-circular shafts, with moulded capitals and bases. The 14th-century clearstorey has on both sides three windows each of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head.

The North Aisle (12 ft. wide) is of the 14th century and has an E. window of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head. In the N. wall are two windows, each of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; further W. is the N. doorway, with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops.

The South Aisle (12 ft. wide) has windows in the E., S. and W. walls uniform with the corresponding windows in the N. aisle. W. of the windows in the S. wall is the 14th-century S. doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and crocketed and finialed label springing from flanking buttresses with crocketed pinnacles. The embattled brick parapet is of the 16th century.

The West Tower (11¼ ft. square) is of early 14th-century date and of three stages with an embattled parapet and angle pinnacles of early 16th-century brick. The tower-arch is modern. In the S. wall is a window of one cinquefoiled light. The second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a window of one pointed light with a moulded label; the S. window is trefoiled. In the E. wall is a pointed opening and the weathering of the earlier and lower roof of the nave. The bell-chamber has a pointed window in each wall.

The South Porch (Plate, p. xxix) is of brick and of early 16th-century date with a crow-stepped gable. The outer archway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label and is set in a projection with a crow-stepped head. In the head of the main gable is a niche flanked by two square cusped panels and surmounted by a rectangular panel enclosing a rose. The side walls have each a window of two four-centred lights with a pierced spandrel.

The Roof of the nave is of five bays and has 16th-century tie-beams and modern queen-posts. The aisle roofs have old rafters. The roof of the porch has early 16th-century moulded and embattled plates carved with running foliage.

Fittings—Bells: five; 5th by John Bird and inscribed "Sum Rosa Pulsata Mundi Maria Vocata" early 15th-century. Brasses: In chancel—(1) of [Sir William Fitzralph, c. 1323], large cross-legged figure (Plate p. 171) of knight in mixed mail and plate, feet on dog, prick spurs, greaves, knee-cops and arm-pieces with elbow and shoulder roundels, mutilated shield of arms of Fitzralph on left arm, indent of gabled canopy and marginal inscription of which two fragments are kept in vestry; on S. wall—(2) to Joseph Birch, M.A., 1674, rector of the parish, inscription in wooden frame. Chairs: In chancel—two, with carved backs, turned rails and shaped front legs, late 17th-century. Chest: In tower—plain, with moulded edge to lid, 17th or 18th-century. Coffin-lid: In S. aisle—tapering slab with foliated cross, 14th-century. Door: In S. doorway—on modern door, domed scutcheon-plate with drop-handle, mediaeval. Floor-slabs: In chancel—on S. wall—(1) to Thomas Crosse, 1634, pastor of the parish; (2) to Elizabeth, widow of Steven Crosse, 1667. Glass: In chancel—in N.E. window, in spandrel, foliage in situ, 14th-century; in N.W. window, three shields of arms, two set in bordered quatrefoils, (a) quarterly argent and gules on a bend sable five rings or, for Bourguylon; (b) or three cheverons gules each charged with three fleurs-de-lis argent, for Fitzralph; (c) as (b) but restored; 14th-century. In N. aisle—in E. window, remains of tabernacle work, etc.; in N.W. window, in tracery, flowers, foliage and leopards' faces; in W. window, in spandrel, foliage, all 14th-century, mostly in situ. In S. aisle—in S.W. window, headless figure with staff, fragmentary; in W. window, foliage, 14th-century. Niche: On S. porch—above archway, of brick with three-centred head, early 16th-century. Panelling: Incorporated in pulpit, four traceried heads of panels, 15th-century. Piscina: In S. aisle—in S. wall, with shafted jambs and cinquefoiled and sub-cusped head, sexfoiled drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1567 and stand-paten of 1696–7 with shield of arms. Sedilia: In chancel—now of two bays, but formerly extending further E. and cut off by later E. wall, moulded two-centred arches with ogee crocketed and finialed labels with head-stops, middle shaft of Purbeck marble, jamb-shaft and shafts at back of recess of clunch, all with moulded capitals and bases, 14th-century, partly restored.



a(2). Homestead Moat, at the Rectory, 400 yards E. of the church.

a(3). Stanley Hall, house and moat, 1¼ m. W.S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed and plastered and the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and E. The upper storey projects and is gabled at the S. end of the W. front; there are two other gables on this side, both projecting, with original bressumers enriched with billet ornament. At the back of the E. wing is an original bay-window supported on shaped brackets, of six lights with moulded mullions, now blocked. Inside the building the ceilingbeams and joists are exposed in many of the rooms and there are a number of blocked windows with moulded mullions.

The Moat surrounds the house and outbuildings.

Condition—Of house, fairly good.

a(4). Worldsend, house and moat, ½ m. S.E. of (3). The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century and has a gabled staircase-wing on the N.E. side. The upper storey projects on the whole of the S.W. front. The original front door is of nail-studded battens, with strap-hinges, and there is a similar door at the back. Some of the windows have original diamond-shaped mullions. Inside the building there are some original moulded ceiling-beams and panelled doors.

The Moat is fragmentary.

Monuments (5–20).

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 original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.

a(5). Post Office, house, 40 yards W. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century with cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. The roof has been rebuilt.

a(6). King's Head Inn, 120 yards W. of (5), with modern additions.

a(7). Street Farm Cottages, house, 100 yards N.W. of (6).

a(8). Cottage (Plate, p. 189), two tenements, 50 yards S.E. of (6).

a(9). Oak Farm, house (Plate, p. 189), nearly ½ m. N.W. of the church, has been partly refaced with modern brick. The original chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.

a(10). Dagworth Farm, house, 750 yards N. of (9), was built probably in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the N. end. The upper storey projects at the E. end of the cross-wing. Inside the building the cross-wing has an original queenpost truss.

a(11). Byndes Cottages, ¾ m. W. of the church. The original chimney-stack has grouped diagonal shafts.

a(12). Spoons Hall, house and barn, ¼ m. E.S.E. of (11). The House was built in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. In the 17th century a block was added at the N. end and an addition made between the wings. The upper storey of the original building projects on the E., S. and W. sides, the last part being also gabled. The three 17th-century chimney-stacks have grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building is an original doorway with a four-centred head and a window with a three-centred head, both now blocked. In the 17th-century block is a door of moulded battens. The roof of the main block has original queen-post trusses.

The Barn, E. of the house, is probably of early 16th-century date and has a roof of king-post type.

a(13). Hunt's Hall, nearly ½ m. S.S.W. of (12), was built probably early in the 16th century, with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The N. cross-wing has an extension on the N. side. The upper storey projects at the E. ends of the cross-wings. Inside the building is some late 16th-century panelling. The late 17th-century staircase has turned balusters, square newels and close strings. The N. wing has an original cambered tie-beam and the extension has a king-post truss.

a(14). Abbot's Farm, house, 550 yards S. of (13), was built late in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. The original chimney-stack has three octagonal shafts. Inside the building are original cambered tie-beams, morticed for the former queen-posts.

a(15). Marvel's Garden, house, about ½ m. S.S.W. of the church, was built in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N.E. and N.W. Inside the building one room has original moulded ceiling-beams.


a(16). Greathouse Farm, house and barns, about ¼ m. E.N.E. of the church. The House is modern, but beneath it are cellars of 16th-century brick and a nail-studded door of the same date.

The Barns, N.E. of the house, are of five and seven bays and of the 16th and 17th century respectively. A granary of two storeys and of brick was built probably late in the 16th century.

b(17). Cottage, ½ m. S.E. of the church.

b(18). Valiant's Farm, house, 300 yards S.E. of (17), was built probably early in the 16th century and has a cross-wing at the N. end. The upper storey projects at the W. end of the cross-wing.

b(19). Garland's Farm, house and outbuilding, 600 yards E. of (18), was built early in the 16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N. and with a staircase-wing in the angle between them. Inside the building two rooms have original moulded ceiling-beams and joists.

b(20). Bluepale Farm, house, ½ m. N.E. of the church, has been refronted with modern brick.