Great Baddow

Pages 49-52

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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31. GREAT BADDOW. (D.b.)

(O.S. 6 in. (a)lii. S.E. (b)liii. S.W.)

Great Baddow is a parish and village due S. of Chelmsford. The principal monuments are the church and Great Sir Hughes.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate, p. 49) stands in the village. The walls are of flint-rubble with some fragments of Roman brick; the chapels, clearstorey and porch are of brick; the dressings are of limestone and brick; the roofs are covered with tiles, slates and lead.

The Chancel, Nave and a N. Aisle were built about the middle of the 13th century probably on the site of an earlier church, and at a rather later date a South Aisle was added. In the first half of the 14th century the Aisles were widened and the West Tower was begun, the upper half of the Tower being completed later in the same century. Early in the 16th century the South Chapel and the clearstorey of the Nave were added and a little later the North Chapel was built. The South Porch was added in the 17th century. The church has been restored in modern times when the dormer-windows were added to the chancel and the North Vestry added or re-built.

The clearstorey is a handsome example of early 16th-century brickwork and among the fittings the 17th-century pulpit is noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (28½ ft. by 22½ ft.) has a modern E. window of four lights and tracery; the gable-head is of early 16th-century brick. In the N. wall is a 13th-century lancet now mostly restored, and further W. is a modern doorway into the vestry; the early 16th-century brick arch opening into the N. Chapel is two-centred and of one chamfered order resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the chamfered outer order of the responds is carried up vertically to the wall-plates and is plastered. In the S. wall is a window originally a 13th-century lancet, afterwards widened to the W. in the 15th century and now all modern except the splays and four-centred rear-arch; further W. is an archway similar to that in the N. wall but four-centred and of larger detail. The 15th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases.

The North Chapel (11½ ft. by 14½ ft.) is of brick with an embattled parapet and has in the E. wall an early 16th-century brick window of one three-centred light. In the N. wall is a brick window of three four-centred lights in a square head with a moulded label, all cemented externally. In the W. wall is a four-centred arch of two chamfered orders, the inner carried on shafts with moulded capitals and tall bases.

The South Chapel (15 ft. by 14½ ft.) is of brick with a crow-stepped embattled parapet. In the E. wall is an early 16th-century brick window of three four-centred lights in a square head with a moulded label, all cemented externally, and with a four-centred plastered rear-arch. In the S. wall is a modern doorway inserted in the blocking of an original window. In the W. wall is an archway nearly uniform with that to the N. chapel.

The Nave (46½ ft. by 23½ ft.) has 13th-century N. and S. arcades of three bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the columns are cylindrical except the second on the N., which is octagonal, and all have moulded capitals and bases. The N. arcade is the earlier and has square responds, the eastern having an attached square shaft with moulded capital and base and the western a carved head-corbel and capital carrying the inner orders of the arches. The S. arcade has chamfered responds and the inner orders are carried on corbel-capitals, the eastern partly restored. The early 16th-century clearstorey is of red brick with diaper patterns in black bricks, and has a crow-stepped embattled parapet resting on a trefoiled corbel-table; a series of octagonal pinnacles with conical moulded caps divides it into five bays length-wise and two cross-wise. In the E. wall are two windows each of two round-headed lights under a four-centred head; the side walls have each five windows each of two cinque-foiled lights under a three-centred head with a moulded label.

Great Baddow, the Parish Church of St Mary.

The North Aisle (14 ft. wide) has an early 16th-century embattled parapet. In the N. wall are two windows each of two lights and tracery all modern except the moulded splays and chamfered rear-arches which are of the 14th century. Further W. is a blocked doorway with a two-centred head and segmental-pointed rear-arch of the 13th or 14th century. In the W. wall is a single-light window all modern except the 14th-century moulded splays and rear-arch.

The South Aisle (14½ ft. wide) has an early 16th-century crow-stepped embattled parapet of brick. In the S. wall are two windows each of three lights and tracery all modern except the 14th-century splays and rear-arches. Further W. is the S. doorway with modern shafted and moulded jambs and a moulded two-centred arch of the 13th century re-set in the 14th century and having a chamfered outer order and moulded label. In the W. wall is a 14th-century window of three lights and tracery in a two-centred head, all much restored.

The West Tower (13½ ft. by 12½ ft.) is of the 14th century; the upper half, which is probably a little later than the lower half, has an embattled parapet, and is surmounted by a leaded spire. The two-centred tower-arch is of three chamfered orders, the outermost continuous from the responds, the inner two carried on large attached semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights with partly restored tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label and defaced head-stops. The W. doorway has moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label with defaced head-stops. The second storey has in each wall a window of one pointed light; the E. window looking into the nave. The bell-chamber has 18th-century windows of brick. On the E. face of the tower are the weatherings of the former steep-pitched roof of the nave.

The South Porch (Plate, p. xxxviii) is of the first half of the 17th century and is built of brick. The outer archway is of two orders, the outer square, the inner semi-circular with imposts and a pendant key-block. Above it is a moulded entablature and the gable-head has a moulded coping and, at the base and apex, the remains of circular pinnacles. The side walls have each a window of two round-headed lights, covered with cement.

The Roof of the S. chapel has hollow-chamfered transverse rafters of the 16th or 17th century, the rest is modern. The low-pitched roof of the nave is of early 16th-century date and is of five bays; the principal beams are moulded and carved with twisted running foliage and have curved braces below their ends springing from moulded corbel-capitals enriched with carved cresting; the moulded ridge and smaller ribs divide each half bay into six compartments; the ceiling is boarded; the wall-plates are moulded and have carved cresting. The flat lean-to roof of the N. Aisle has three tie-beams carrying posts and two-way curved struts under a central purlin, all the timbers being moulded and of the 14th century; the curved struts are carried on the sides of the tie-beams by small moulded corbel-capitals, two of which are now missing; the S. wall-plate is also moulded and of the same date; the N. wall-plate is moulded and carved with plain bosses and is probably of the 17th century; above it is a fascia-board inscribed "HUMFERI LOW ET HENRY STILEMAN CHURCHWARDENS ANO D 1639"; under the N. ends of the principals are chamfered wall-posts from the floor, with plain capitals probably of the 16th or 17th century. The roof of the S. Aisle has old square rafters probably of the 17th century or later. The floor of the ringing-chamber of the tower has old timbers, possibly 14th or 15th-century.

Fittings—Brass and Indents. Brass: In chancel— of Jane (Lewkenor), wife of John Paschall [1614], figure of woman, inscription, and shield-of-arms. Indents: In S. porch—four slabs and fragments of a fifth with rivets and much - defaced indents. Glass: In nave—in spandrels of clearstorey windows, fragments of black and yellow border, 14th-century and later re-set. Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In S. chapel—on S. wall, to Hellen Sydnor, 1651, and Elizabeth Hubert, 1625, daughters of Thomas Leventhorpe, marble wall-monument with side-pilasters, cornice and two shields-of-arms. Floor-slabs: In nave—(1) to John Ingram, 1694; (2) to the Reverend Charles Adams M.A., 1683. In N. aisle—(3) to John Everard, 16(14?). In tower—(4) to Abigall, wife of John —(name defaced), 1692. Piscinae: In chancel— with trefoiled heads in front and side-opening into sedile, octofoiled drain, late 13th-century. In N. chapel—in E. wall, with four-centred head and round drain, early 16th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and two-centred head, round drain, 14th-century. Plate: includes flagon of 1627, with shield-of-arms, and alms-dish of 1675 with shield-of-arms. Pulpit (Plate, p. 4): octagonal with alternate wide and narrow sides, all panelled; larger panels with representations of arches in perspective with side-columns, pediments and carved frames, smaller and lower panels with foliage and jewel-ornaments; base modern except central post; sounding-board with panelled soffit having carved rose in centre, carved frieze, moulded cornice, carved strap-work cresting, and at the angles, consoles with pinnacles above and small pendants below; the back standard has three panels, one carved with a cross and another with the Sacred Heart, shaped and carved borders; on a rail is carved the date 1639. Recess: In N. chapel—in E. wall, with two-centred head, 16th century. Royal Arms: Over chancel-arch— painted board, with initials C R and date 1660; all in a moulded wood frame surmounted by a broken pediment. Sedile: In chancel—sill of former S.E. lancet carried down to form a seat, of same date as piscina.



b(2). Homestead Moat at Mascalls, about 1 m. S.S.E. of the church.

b(3). Great Sir Hughes, house (Plate, p. 52), 1¾ m. S.S.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century and appears to have been the N. wing of a much larger house. There is an 18th-century kitchen addition on the W.

The exceptional amount of external carved woodwork is of interest.

The plan is rectangular and consists of two parallel blocks, the lower part of the northern block forming an open loggia divided into five bays with square fluted columns standing on panelled pedestals and having moulded capitals and bases and carved brackets supporting the carved bressummer to the upper storey. Below the bressummer, between the brackets, each bay is sub-divided by two elliptical arches separated by moulded pendants and having sunk spandrels. The upper storey has three oriel-windows, each supported on three carved brackets and of five lights with moulded mullions and carved transoms. The timber-framing is exposed, the vertical members between the windows being in the form of tapering pilasters with moulded capitals above which are carved brackets supporting a widely projecting eaves. The chimney-stack has two octagonal shafts with moulded bases. The entrance door is original and is divided into small panels enriched with lozenges by moulded and nail-studded rails and muntins. It has an original knocker and lozenge-shaped plate; at the side are the remains of an iron bracket. The E. end has original moulded barge-boards and pendant. The S. block has a three-storeyed bay-window. Inside the building two of the rooms are lined with 17th-century panelling and one of the attics has an original panelled door. A carved newel-post and a few of the balusters to the staircase are original.


Monuments (4–16).

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. Many of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

b(4). House, 30 yards N.W. of the church, has been refaced with brick and much altered.

b(5). White Horse Inn, 70 yards S.W. of the church, has an original chimney-stack of grouped shafts but is otherwise modern.

b(6). House and Shop (Plate, p. xl), on W. side of road, 50 yards W. of the church, was built probably late in the 15th century. A central chimney-stack was inserted late in the 16th or early in the 17th century; the S. end of the house has been converted into a shop and the building has been added to and much altered. On the E. front the whole of the upper storey projects. The chimney-stack has four grouped octagonal shafts. Inside the building the shop has moulded ceiling-beams; the principal cross-beam has curved braces which spring from moulded brackets and have sunk spandrels.

b(7). House, 60 yards N.W. of (6), is built on an L-shaped plan and has wings extending towards the N. and W. and a projecting bay in the centre of the E. front. The window in the upper storey of the centre bay is original and is of four lights with moulded mullions and transoms. There are two original chimney-stacks; one has two diagonal shafts. A modern scratching on the plaster at the N. end gives the date 1675.

b(8). House, 50 yards N.W. of (7), has a central chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building is an early 17th-century panelled door.

b(9). House (Plate, p. 57), on N. side of road, 350 yards N.N.W. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the W. end. The main chimney-stack has three octagonal shafts with moulded bases.

b(10). Manor Farm, house, 20 yards E. of (9), has on the S. front an original door divided into small panels by wide, nail-studded rails and muntins.

b(11). Cottage, 100 yards E. of (10), was built probably early in the 16th century but has been added to and much altered. Inside the building is a richly moulded beam.

a(12). Lathcoats, cottage, about 1 m. W.S.W. of the church, was built probably late in the 16th century. It has modern extensions at the back. The upper storey projects at the N. end of the E. front.

a(13). Oakman's Farm, house, about 1¾ m. S.W. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century, on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the N. and W. At the S. end of the E. front the upper storey projects.


a(14). Bareman's Farm, house, 50 yards S.W. of (13), was built probably in the 16th century. The upper storey projects at the S. end of the W. front.

b(15). Cottage, opposite Brook Farm, nearly 1¼ m. S. of the church, has a projecting storey at the S. end.

b(16). Duffield's Farm, house ¾ m. S.S.W. of the church, has been much altered. The principal chimney-stack is original and has two diagonal shafts. Inside the building the timber-framing in one of the rooms is exposed and there is a wide fireplace, now partly blocked.

b(17). The garden-wall enclosing the grounds of Baddow House is largely of 17th-century date.