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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22. EASTHORPE. (C.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxv. N.E. (b)xxxvi. N.W.)
Easthorpe is a small parish 6 m. W.S.W. of Colchester. The church is the principal monument.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate, p. 92) stands at the E. end of the parish. The walls are of mixed rubble and septaria partly coursed, the dressings are of Roman brick and clunch; the roofs are tiled. The Nave with an apsidal chancel was built early in the 12th century. About the middle of the 13th century the apse was destroyed and the Chancel extended towards the E. A south porch was added in the 15th century. The church was restored in 1910 when the South Porch was rebuilt. The bell-turret is apparently modern.
The church has interesting remains of 12th and 13th-century work.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (30¾ ft. by 20 ft.) is structurally undivided from the nave. In the E. wall is a graduated triplet of mid 13th-century lancet windows; the splays are enriched with dog-tooth ornament and have detached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the capitals of the two middle shafts are foliated; the rear-arches and labels are much restored or modern but two of the head-stops are original. In the N. wall are two windows; the eastern is a 13th-century lancet; the western is of mid 14th-century date, much restored and of two cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops; between the windows are slight traces, externally, of the jambs of a former doorway. In the S. wall are four windows, the two easternmost are uniform with the N.E. window, but much restored; the third window is the upper part of a round-headed 12th-century light of Roman brick; the lower part of the windows was blocked when the westernmost window was inserted in the 14th century; this window has a modern mullion and tracery and a two-centred head; E. of it is a 13th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch with a moulded label; E. of the doorway, externally, the wall has been cut back to show the spring of the former apse.
The Nave (34 ft. by 20 ft.) has in the N. wall three windows; the easternmost is of early 14th-century date and of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the middle window is a 13th-century round-headed light of Roman brick; the westernmost window is of the 16th or 17th century and is a single round-headed light of brick; above the easternmost window is the head of a blocked 12th-century window similar to the middle window; between the two western windows is the early 12th-century N. doorway with plain jambs and round arch of Roman brick; at the E. end of the wall are two 15th-century doorways to the former rood-loft staircase; the lower doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch; the upper with rebated jambs and two-centred arch is probably of 13th-century material reused; the staircase has been removed, and reset in the outer wall is part of a former window with a cinquefoiled head. In the S. wall are three windows of which the easternmost and westernmost are of the 12th century and similar to that in the N. wall; the middle window is of late 14th-century date and of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head. W. of the windows is the S. doorway similar but larger than the N. doorway and fitted with a wooden frame; beneath the easternmost window is a recess (see Fittings) and in the back of it is a single quatrefoiled window of the 14th century. In the W. wall is a mid 14th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label; above it is a window of one round-headed light and apparently all modern.
The South Porch has been rebuilt but incorporates the two-centred outer archway of oak, the tie-beam above it and a king-post truss, all of the 15th century.
Fittings—Communion Table: In chancel—with turned legs, shaped brackets and carved front rail, 17th-century. Floor-slabs: In chancel— (1) to Thomas Greene, 1698, and his wife, 1719, with achievement of arms; (2) to Anne (Blagrave), widow of George Kingesmyll, 1680, with shield of arms; (3) to Margaret, daughter of George Kingesmyll, 1652. Glass: In chancel—in S.W. window, figure subject of Christ preaching, foreign, 16th-century, property of rector. Niche: In nave—above lower doorway to rood-loft, with rebated jambs and round head, date uncertain. Paintings: In nave—on splays and head of S.E. window, remains of figures in black and red including resurrection figure and angels holding instruments of the passion (?), also a band of indented ornament, 13th-century. Piscina: In chancel—with moulded jambs and segmental-pointed head, two round drains, 13th-century, much restored. Plate: includes late 16th-century cup and cover-paten, both remodelled. Recesses: In chancel—in N. wall, plain plastered recess, date uncertain. In nave—in S. wall at E. end, with shafted jambs, capitals formerly carved, moulded ogee arch, early 14th-century, probably tomb-recess. Seating: two benches with shaped ends and one with remains of popeys, 15th-century. Sedilia: In chancel—of two bays with moulded and trefoiled arches and labels enriched with dog-tooth ornament and having one old head-stop, shafted jambs and free shaft of grey marble in middle, with moulded capital and base, mid 13th-century, probably restored. Stoup: In nave— in S. wall, with moulded jambs and cinquefoiled head, probably 15th-century, bowl destroyed. Miscellanea: At vicarage—clunch stone, formerly built into wall above S. doorway, with erotic carving of woman and inscription E L U I ..., 12th-century or earlier.
a(2). Badcock's Farm, house and moat, about ¾ m. W.S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 16th century with crosswings at the E. and W. ends. The upper storey of the main block projects on the N. front and has a moulded bressumer carved with twisted leaf ornament and the date 1585. Inside the building the main block has exposed ceiling-beams and joists.
The Moat formerly surrounded the house.
Condition—Of house, good.
a(3). Easthorpe Hall, 70 yards W. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built in the 15th century with a central Hall and cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. In the 16th century the wings were extended towards the S. and in the 17th century a wing was added on the N. of the Hall-block. The main chimney-stack has three square detached shafts of the 17th century. Two other chimney stacks have diagonal shafts also of the 17th century. Inside the building are exposed ceiling-beams and joists; the original roof of the E. wings has a king-post truss. Two fireplaces have four-centred arches of brick and there are some late 17th-century panelled doors.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(4). Rectory, ¼m. E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are partly of plastered timber-framing and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled. The long cross-wing at the W. end of the house is of the 15th century, but the main block was rebuilt in the 17th century and extended eastwards in the 18th century; there are various modern additions. Inside the building the original wing has cambered tie-beams. There are also some 17th-century panelled doors.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(5). House (Plate, p. 188) opposite the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably late in the 15th century and is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W. The upper storey projects on the E. and N. sides of the S. wing; the angle-post has a much weathered capital and the timber-framing is exposed. Inside the building the W. wing has an original roof of rough king-post type.