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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25. FEERING. (B.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxvi. N.W. (b)xxvi. S.W. (c)xxvi. S.E. (d)xxxv. N.E.)
Feering is a parish and small village 2 m. S.E. of Great Coggeshall. The church, Feeringbury, Sun Inn and Houchin's Farm are the principal monuments.
d(1). Parish Church of All Saints (Plate, p. 96) stands at the S. end of the parish. The walls are of flint and septaria rubble except the S. wall of the nave and the porch which are of red brick; the dressings are of brick, clunch and limestone; the roofs are covered with tiles and lead. The Nave is the earliest part of the structure and may be of the 12th or 13th century, but of this there is no definite evidence. The Chancel was rebuilt early in the 14th century except possibly part of the N. wall; c. 1330 the North Aisle and arcade were built. Early in the 15th century the West Tower was added. At the beginning of the 16th century the S. wall of the nave was rebuilt and the South Porch added. The church was restored in the 19th century and the North Vestry added.
The N. arcade and aisle are of good 14th-century work and the S. porch and S. wall of the nave are excellent examples of elaborate brickwork.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (38 ft. by 21½ ft.) has an early 14th-century E. window of three pointed lights with plain intersecting tracery in a two-centred head. The N. wall, W. of the vestry, is of roughly coursed rubble and may be earlier than the rest of the chancel. In the N. wall are two windows similar to the E. window but of two lights and completely restored externally; between the windows is a modern doorway. In the S. wall are two windows similar to those in the N. wall; further W. is an early 14th-century doorway, partly restored and now blocked; it has chamfered jambs and a two-centred arch; above it is a blocked early 16th-century window of brick and of three four-centred lights in a four-centred head. The chancel-arch is modern but is said to be a copy of the former arch of c. 1200.
The Nave (52½ ft. by 24 ft.) has a N. arcade of c. 1330 and of four bays with two-centred arches of two moulded orders; the columns have each four attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the responds have attached half-columns. The S. wall is built of or faced with early 16th-century brick and has a moulded plinth with panels of flint-inlay and an embattled parapet resting on a trefoiled corbel-table. In the S. wall are three windows all of brick and of early 16th-century date; the easternmost is of four four-centred lights with plain tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label; the second window is similar but of two lights with a spandrel in the head; the westernmost window is similar but of five lights without tracery; between the two western windows is the S. doorway, all modern externally but with an early 16th-century four-centred rear-arch.
The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has in the N. wall three 14th-century windows, the easternmost is of three pointed lights in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded label; the two western windows (Plate, p. 143) are each of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a two-centred head and a moulded label; between them is the 14th-century N. doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two moulded orders; above it is a modern gabled weathering, probably indicating the former existence of a porch. In the W. wall is a window similar to the western window in the N. wall.
The West Tower (12 ft. square) is of three stages with an embattled parapet and is of early 15th-century date. The two-centred tower-arch is of three hollow-chamfered or moulded orders of which the inner two die on to the square responds; the outer order is continuous; N. of it is the staircase doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch. The W. window is of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery in a two-centred head; below it is a doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label. The second stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a window of one trefoiled light in a square head with a moulded label. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of two cinquefoiled lights under a square head with a moulded label.
The South Porch is entirely of red brick with black brick diapering and is of early 16th-century date; it has a trefoiled corbel-table and an embattled parapet, crow-stepped at the S. end and finished with crocketed pinnacles at the angles. and a truncated pinnacle at the apex. The moulded plinth has trefoil-headed panels of flint-inlay. The outer archway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch with a double label, four-centred and square; above it is a projection on moulded corbelling and enclosing a niche with a four-centred head surmounted by three trefoil-headed panels with a stepped and moulded label. The side walls have each a window of three transomed and four-centred lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label. The roof has a brick vault (Plate, p. 133) with diagonal, cross and intermediate ribs springing from moulded corbels and having in the middle a shield with a merchant's mark. Above the S. doorway of the nave and below the vaulting is a four-centred and moulded wall-arch resting on splayed angles with four-centred niches and on a squinch sprung across the N.W. angle of the porch. The bench on each side of the porch is supported on two three-centred arches of brick.
The Roof of the nave is of early 17th-century date, much restored; it is of four bays with moulded wall-plates with arabesque and other ornament; the middle tie-beam has small pendants at the base of the principals; the other tiebeams and the intermediate principals have small brackets.
Fittings—Bells: eight; 6th, 7th and 8th by Miles Graye, 1624. Brass: In chancel—on N. wall, to Judith (Gaell), wife of Robert Aylett, LL.D., 1623, inscription only. Chair: In chancel— with carved back and rail, late 17th-century. Chests: In vestry—(1) dug-out with cambered lid, three locks, one hasp missing, mediaeval; (2) panelled and carved front, with remains of inlay, c. 1600, partly restored. Coffin-lid: Under N. arcade—tapering slab, with double hollowchamfered edge and cross in relief with trefoiled ends, late 13th - century. Doors: In S. doorway, of overlapping battens with strap-hinges and stock-lock, early 16th-century. On modern door to turret staircase, strap-hinges and key-plate with protective device, 16th-century. Glass: In nave—in S.E. window, crowned rose with initials E.R. and fragments of border, 16th-century. In N. aisle—in middle window in N. wall, heads of tabernacle work; in tracery foliated designs, 14th-century, in situ. Monuments: In N. aisle— in N. wall, (1) tomb-recess with shafted jambs, moulded ogee arch, label and foliated finial, late 14th-century, restored in cement. In churchyard— (2) to John Butcher, 1707, vicar of the parish, head-stone; (3) to John Andrews, 1687, headstone; (4) to John Angier, 1695, head-stone with skull and cross-bones; (5) to John Joscelyn, 1704, head-stone. Niche: See Architectural Description, S. porch. Piscinae: In chancel—with trefoiled head and moulded label, early 14th-century, much restored. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with moulded jambs and defaced cusped head, broken octofoiled drain, c. 1330. Sedile: In chancel—sill of N.E. and S.E. windows carried down to form seat. Stoup: In nave—E. of S. doorway, with plain pointed head, date uncertain, basin destroyed. Table: In vestry—small, with turned legs and fluted front to drawer, 17th-century. Tiles: In vestry—loose incised and slip-tiles, one with the arms of Vere, the other with those of (?) Shirley, 14th-century.
c(2). Houchin's Farm, (Plate, p. 188) house, barn, and moat, nearly 2 m. N. of the church. The House is of three storeys with attics, timber - framed and partly plastered and partly weather - boarded; the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1600 and is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and N. The second and third storeys of the main block project on the S. side and at the W. end with moulded bressumers and carved male and female grotesque figures set diagonally at the angles to serve as brackets. At the W. end are two original windows with moulded mullions and now blocked. Inside the building several rooms have original chamfered ceiling-beams and there is some original panelling in the hall. The E. room has an original oak overmantel divided into three bays by pilasters; each bay has a richly carved arched panel with pilasters at the sides and a pendant key-block; the carved frieze is divided into bays by modillions.
The Barn, S.E. of the house, is of c. 1600 and of eleven aisled bays with two porches. It is timber-framed and weather-boarded.
The Moat surrounds the house.
Condition—Of house, good.
d(3). Prested Hall, house and moat, about ¾ m. S.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. Parts of the structure may be of c. 1527, the modern date on the W. porch, but there is little evidence of this as the house has been almost completely altered. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams and a little panelling of c. 1600.
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
d(4). Feeringbury, house and outbuilding, nearly 1 m. N.W. of the church. The House 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 N. and S. ends. The Hall was divided into two storeys in the 17th century and there are large modern additions on the W. side. The early 17th-century chimney-stack (Plate, p. 177) of the main block has a moulded capping and three octagonal shafts; there is a similar stack on the S. of the S. wing. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams and two overmantels made up of early 17th-century carved panelling. The bay-window of the N. room has two pieces of late 16th-century glass, (a) an achievement of the arms of Heygate with the initials R.H., (b) a crowned rose with the initials E.R. There are remains of the original roof of the Hall of three bays and the roof of the N. wing has an original king-post truss.
The Outbuilding, S.E. of the house, said to have been a chapel, is timber-framed and weather-boarded. It was built in the 15th century but the original S. wall has been removed. The roof is of two bays with moulded plates and tie-beams; the central truss has curved braces and a king-post with two-way struts.
In the garden is a 14th or 15th-century stone boss from a vault, carved with a head and having the springings of moulded ribs.
Condition—Of house and outbuilding, good.
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, exposed ceiling-beams and wide fireplaces.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
c(5). Cottage, ½ m. N.E. of (4), has an original chimney-stack with rebated angles.
c(6). Surrex Farm, house, ½ m. N. of (5), was built of brick in 1714, the date with the initials M.W. on a small stone above the original entrance. There is a projecting band-course between the storeys. One of the back doors has a flat head with shaped brackets.
c(7) Lees Farm, house, 600 yards W. of (6), was built probably in the 16th century.
c(8). Maltbeggar's Hall, 1,100 yards N.N.W. of (2), has a cross-wing at the W end.
b(9). Palmer's Farm, house, nearly ½ m. N.N.W. of (8).
a(10). Hopgreen Farm, house, ¾ m. N.W. of (9), has various repairs dated 1788 and 1807.
c(11). House at Langley Farm, now three tenements, 1 m. N.N.E. of the church has a N.E. wing probably of early 16th-century date. The rest of the house was rebuilt late in the 17th century except the early 17th-century chimney-stack of three grouped diagonal shafts. The upper storey projects at the E. end of the original block. Inside the same wing is an original king-post truss.
Condition—Bad (now demolished).
d(12). Diddles, cottage, 600 yards E.S.E. of (11), was built probably in the 15th century and may once have had cross-wings at the ends. The roof construction is original, the middle truss being supported on two posts of which one has been cut away. This arrangement brings the building into the class of aisled halls but the construction is of the simplest character.
Condition—Poor (now demolished).
c(13). Hornigals, house, nearly ½ m. N.E. of (12), was built probably early in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the N. end. The upper storey projects at the W. end of the cross-wing.
d(14). Poplar Hall, formerly Oldhouse Farm, 500 yards S.W. of (12), has a cross-wing at the S. end. The upper storey projects at the W. end of the cross-wing.
d(15). Old Will's Farm, house, about ¼ m. S.S.W. of (14), was built early in the 16th century and has a late 17th-century addition on the S.E. The upper storey projects and is gabled in front at the E. end of the original block.
d(16). Cottage, ¼ m. N.N.W. of (15), has an original chimney-stack with rebated angles.
d(17). Hill House, house and barns, 600 yards E. of (15). The House has been much altered, but has a chimney-stack with diagonal shafts.
The Barns stand E. and W. of the house.
d(18). The Vicarage, 50 yards N. of the church, has been almost completely rebuilt.
d(19). House, 50 yards S.S.E. of the church, was built possibly in the 15th century and has an original roof with two king-post trusses.
d(20). Bell Inn, 40 yards W.S.W. of (19), is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and S. The upper storey projects at the end of the S. wing and there is an original chimney-stack with plain pilasters. Inside the building is a little original panelling, reset.
d(21). Range of two tenements, 30 yards W.S.W. of (20), was built early in the 18th century.
d(22). Cottage, adjoining (21) on W.
d(23). Cottages, on S. side of road 100 yards S. of the church, have been almost completely altered and partly faced with modern brick.
d(24). Chambers Farm, house, 70 yards E. of (23), has been almost completely altered.
d(25). House, on S.E. side of road, nearly ½ m. S. of the church, was built probably c. 1600.
d(26). Cottage, three tenements, 70 yards S. of (25), was built probably early in the 18th century. Condition—Poor.
d(27). House, 50 yards W. of (26), has crosswings at each end. The central chimney-stack has two grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building is a little original panelling, reset.
d(28). Cottage, 100 yards W.S.W. of (27). Condition—Poor.
d(29). St. Andrews, formerly Feering House, ¼ m. W.S.W. of (28), is modern but incorporates some old material including some bricks inscribed M D X in flowing capitals.
d(30). Sun Inn (Plate, p. 123) and tenements, 130 yards W.S.W. of (29), was built c. 1525. The upper storey projects on the S.E. front. The bressumer of the main block is carved with twisted foliage as are the barge-boards of the three gables above. These gables project and have moulded pendants from which spring curved straining pieces with foliated spandrels. Further E. is a small porch with original carved barge-boards. Inside the porch is an original doorway with a four-centred head. One room at the W. end has 17th-century panelling.