East Horndon

Pages 36-38

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.

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25. EAST HORNDON. (C.c.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)lxvii. S.E. (b)lxviii. S.W.)

East Horndon is a parish 4 m. S.W. of Billericay. The church is the principal monument.


a(1). Parish Church of All Saints (Plates, pp. 36, 37) stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of red brick with some dressings of re-used stone; the roofs are tiled.

The Chancel, Nave, Transeptal Chapels and the North Chapel, which contains the Tyrell tomb of 1476, were built probably in the last quarter of the 15th century, but the presence of re-used material and the divergence in the axis indicate the existence of a previous building on the site. Early in the 16th century the South Chapel, West Tower and South Porch were added, probably in the order named. The W. tower fell and was partly reconstructed early in the 17th century.

The church is interesting as a complete brick building and the two-storeyed transeptal chapels are an unusual feature. Among the fittings the incised slab is noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (26½ ft. by 13½ ft.) has an E. window all modern except the two-centred rear-arch. The N. wall has at the E. end, externally, a shallow recess finished at the top with a trefoiled corbel-table. In the internal N.E. angle is an irregular projection of doubtful purpose; further W. is an archway with moulded responds and four-centred arch opening into a small sepulchral Chapel without windows, but with the internal walls decorated with two ranges of trefoil and cinquefoil-headed sunk panels; the roof is arched from E. to W. and has chamfered ribs with blank shields at the intersections; the external face of the N. wall has two crosses on stepped bases, in black headers; W. of the chapel is a modern window incorporating some old stones. The S. arcade is of two bays with four-centred arches of two moulded orders; the column is of quatrefoil plan with moulded capitals and bases and the responds have attached half-columns. There is no chancel-arch.

East Horndon, the Parish Church of All Saints

The South Chapel (22¾ ft. by 12½ ft.) has in the E. wall a stone window of three cinque-foiled lights in a segmental-pointed head with a moulded label. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of two and the western of three cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label. In the W. wall is a segmental-pointed arch of two continuous chamfered orders.

The Nave (33½ ft. by 19 ft.) has in the N. wall an opening to the N. transeptal chapel and extending up to the roof-plate; further W. is a re-set late 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and moulded label; it is now blocked; E. of the opening to the transept are traces of the doorway to the rood-loft. In the S. wall is an opening to the S. transeptal chapel, similar to that in the N. wall; the early 16th-century S. doorway is of stone and has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a segmental head with a moulded label and quatre-foiled spandrels enclosing a shield and a Tudor rose; above it is a pointed brick arch; further W. is a 17th-century window of one three-centred light.

The North Transeptal Chapel (12 ft. by 8 ft.) has a wooden floor dividing it into two storeys. The lower storey has in the E. wall a staircase to the upper storey and to the rood-loft; the doorway has a segmental-pointed head and the staircase is lit by a quatre-foiled opening at the N. end. In the N. wall is a window of three cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded label. The upper storey has in the N. wall a single-light window with a four-centred head, widened at a later date.

The South Transeptal Chapel (8½ ft. by 6 ft.) is also of two storeys. The head-beam of the archway to the nave shows the mortices of the former doorway from the rood-loft. The lower storey has a S. window uniform with the corresponding window in the N. transept. The upper storey has in the S. wall a window with a triangular head and a modern frame; W. of it is a fireplace with a four-centred head.

The West Tower (12¼ ft. square) is of two stages, the lower mainly of c. 1500 and the upper of the 17th century (Plate, p. xxxviii). In the E. wall is an opening with a plain bressummer in place of the tower-arch. In both the N. and S. walls is a small round-headed window. In the W. wall is a segmental-headed window and below it a window of two lights with elliptical heads; the W. doorway is probably of the 18th century. The bell-chamber has a crow-stepped embattled parapet, a moulded cornice below it and pilaster buttresses at the angles. The N., S., and E. walls have each an elliptical-headed window set in a rectangular projecting panel.

The South Porch is covered by a continuation of the S. transept roof. The outer archway has a two-centred head and above it is a small niche with a trefoiled head. In the W. wall is a small loop.

The Roof of the chancel is of trussed-rafter type, boarded on the soffit and with moulded ribs dividing it into square panels and having bosses carved with birds, flowers and shields at the intersections. The roof of the nave has king-post trusses with moulded tie-beams and moulded and embattled wall-plates. The low-pitched roof of the S. chapel has moulded beams, joists and wall-plates.

Fittings—Bells: four; 1st and 2nd by Thomas Bartlet, 1621; 3rd by John Clifton, 1635. Brasses and Indent. Brasses: In N. chapel—set on modern brick tomb, to Sir Thomas Tyrell [1476] and Anne (Marney), his wife, late 15th century figure of woman, mutilated marginal inscription, and indents of second figure, inscription-plate and four shields. See also Monument (2). Indent: In nave—in N. doorway, of figure, and shield, much defaced. Coffin-lid: In upper storey of N. transept—fragment with foliated cross-head, 13th-century. Door: In S. doorway—of overlapping nail-studded battens, with strap-hinges, drop-handle and grille, early 16th-century. Font (Plate, pp. xlii-iii): square bowl, two sides carved with ornamental cross and other two with simple interlacing arcade of round arches, c. 1200, stem and base modern. Funeral-helms: In S. chapel—two helmets both with vizors and combs, 16th-century. Galleries: To front of upper storeys of transepts, balustrades (Plate, p. 5) with turned balusters, some early 17th-century and some modern. Glass: In S. chapal—in E. window, shield-of-arms (Plate, pp. xliv–v) argent two cheverons azure and an engrailed border gules, for Tyrell impaling gules a leopard rampant argent for Marney, 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In S. chapel—on S. wall, (1) to Sir John Tyrell, 1676, and Martha (Washington), his wife, 1679, also to Sir Charles Tyrell, 1714, and Martha, his wife, 1690, marble wall-monument with fluted pilasters, broken pediment and achievement-of-arms. In S. transept—(2) altar-tomb, recessed in wall, with moulded slab and panelled base, with remains of shields in front, recess with flat cusped arch and foliated spandrels and quatre-foiled soffit, on slab brass of headless figure of man in plate-armour, c. 1520, eight sons, indents of Trinity, wife and daughter, inscription-plate and fillet. Floor-slabs: In S. chapel—now a modern raised tomb, (1) of Alice (Cogesale), wife of Sir John Tyrell, 1422, incised slab (Plate, p. 40) of hard limestone with figure of woman in horned head-dress and fur-lined cloak, under vaulted canopy with shafts containing figures of children with their names on scrolls, two shields—(a) a cross between four scallops for Coggeshall, and (b) Coggeshall dimidiating two cheverons and an engrailed border for Tyrell, marginal inscription with symbols of the Evangelists; (2) to Sir John Tyrell, 1675, "once decimated, twice imprisoned, thrice sequestrated," with achievement-of-arms; (3) to Martha, wife of Sir Charles Tyrell, 1690, with shield-of-arms. Plate: includes cup of 1564 and cover-paten of 1567. Pulpit: semi-octagonal, with two tiers of moulded panels, 17th-century, rail modern. Seating: In chancel—two bench-ends with popeyheads, early 16th-century. Stoup: In nave—in S. wall, recess with part of basin and trefoiled head, early 16th-century. Miscellanea: In upper storey of N. transept—fragments of windows and oak screen; other fragments of moulded stonework in churchyard.

Condition—Building shows signs of settlement and tower has bad cracks in W. wall, etc.


b(2). Barns, Moat and Fish-Ponds at Heron Hall, 1½ m. N.N.E. of the church. The small Barn to the S. of the moat is of two storeys and of brick with a tiled roof. It was built in the 16th century and has window-openings with four-centred heads on both floors. The large Barn to the N.E. of the former is of the same materials. It is of ten bays with a porch on the E. and was built early in the 18th century. Built into the N. end of the W. wall are two stone gate-piers with moulded caps and bases.

The Moat is complete and surrounds a large and strongly defended site. On the E. side is a strong retaining bank and on the W. three small fish-ponds. About ¼ m. N.W. of the moat is a large area enclosed on three sides by a strong retaining bank and known as the Heron pond. A small stream runs through the middle.

Condition—Of barns and earthworks, good.

b(3). Mount Thrift, house and moat, 1 m. N.N.E. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 16th century, but has been considerably altered by insertion of later partitions and by additions on both the E. and W. sides. The central chimney-stack has four shafts, set diagonally on a cruciform plan with a square base. Inside the building some of the rooms have exposed ceiling-beams. On the first floor are two doors of moulded battens and on the ground-floor is a cupboard door of 16th-century panelling. There is a blocked window on the first floor of three lights with moulded mullions.

The Moat is fragmentary.

Condition—Of house, good.

a(4). Boar's Head Inn (Plate, p. xl), at Heron Gate, about 1 m. N. by E. of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably late in the 17th century but has been much altered.