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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40. HOCKLEY. (E.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)lxi. S.E. (b)lxix. N.E. (c)lxx. N.W. (d)lxix. S.E. (e)lxx. S.W.)
Hockley is a parish and small village on the River Crouch 4 m. N.W. of Rochford.
c(1). Parish Church of St. Peter stands near the middle of the parish. The walls are of mixed rubble mainly covered with plaster; the S. porch is of red brick; the dressings are of limestone; the roofs are tiled. The Nave is possibly of the 12th century, but there is little evidence of this except the thickness of the S. wall. The Chancel was probably re-built in the 13th century and c. 1210–20 the N. arcade and North Aisle were built. The West Tower was added in the 14th century, but the top stage is perhaps of later date. In the 16th or 17th century the South Porch was added and in the 17th century the E. wall of the chancel was re-built. The church has been restored in modern times, when the North Vestry was added.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (29¾ ft. by 16 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall are the jambs of a blocked window; further W. is a modern doorway. In the S. wall is a blocked window with a two-centred head and probably of the 14th century; at the W. end of the wall is a window of one round-headed light, possibly of the 13th century and subsequently widened; further E. is a 13th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. Between the chancel and nave is a plain braced tie-beam resting on two posts against the walls.
The Nave (42½ ft. by 18½ ft.) has a N. arcade of c. 1210–20 and of four bays with two-centred arches of two orders, the outer plain and the inner chamfered; the cylindrical columns have moulded bases and capitals carved with conventional foliage of varying design; the responds have attached half-columns. In the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost and westernmost are modern except for the splays and rear-arches which are possibly of the 15th century; the middle window is of the 15th century and of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; further W. is the early 13th-century S. doorway with jambs and two-centred arch of two chamfered orders.
The North Aisle (11 ft. wide) has in the E. wall a 15th-century window of one cinque-foiled light. In the N. wall are two windows, both of the 14th century and one with a trefoiled and one with a plain pointed head; between them is the 13th-century N. doorway with plain jambs and two-centred arch. In the W. wall is a 13th-century lancet - window, now covered externally with cement.
The West Tower (12½ ft. square) is of two stages, the lower square and the upper with the angles cut back to form an irregular octagon (Plate, pp. xxxii–iii); it has an embattled parapet and a small spire. The 14th-century tower-arch is two-centred and of two continuous chamfered orders; higher up on the W. side is an outer order springing from stone corbels. In the N. wall is a 14th-century recess with a segmental-pointed head of brick and tile.
In the S. wall are two 14th-century windows, one above the other, the lower of one cinque-foiled ogee light and the upper of one trefoiled light. The 14th-century W. doorway has cemented jambs and a cinque-foiled ogee head badly weathered and repaired with cement. In the angles of the tower are oak posts supporting an inserted floor. The N., S. and W. sides of the bell-chamber have each a 15th-century window of two trefoiled lights in a square head; the mullions have been destroyed and the windows are much decayed; in the E. wall is a window of one pointed light.
The South Porch is of the 16th or 17th century and of red brick. The outer archway has a square 18th-century wooden frame. The side walls have each a window of one four-centred light.
The Roof of the nave is of the 14th century and of three bays with king-post trusses; the king-posts have moulded capitals and one bay has 14th-century moulded wall-plates. The N. aisle has a plain pent roof of doubtful date. The S. porch has a 16th or 17th-century roof of collar-beam type with one cambered tie-beam.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st by John Hodson, 1657; 2nd by James Bartlet, 1684; 3rd by Miles Graye, 1626. The bell-frame is old. Font (Plate, pp. xlii-iii): octagonal bowl of Purbeck marble, each face with two shallow pointed panels, octagonal stem with attached shafts at the angles, early 13th-century, much weathered and stem cut down. Glass: In N. aisle—in E. window, four quarries (made up of fragments of an inscription) with the word "deus" in black-letter and two with the word "...ictus," 15th-century. Monuments: In churchyard—S. side, (1) to Elizabeth, wife of William Richman, 1711, head-stone; (2) to Elizabeth, daughter of William Richman, 1714, head-stone. Piscina: In chancel—with chamfered jambs widened out to the square head, round drain, probably 13th-century. Plate: includes cup of 1562 with band of engraved ornament. Stoup: In S. porch— with trefoiled head, 14th-century, much mutilated. Miscellanea: Incorporated in S. and W. walls of churchyard, numerous worked stones.
Condition—Poor, cracks in various places and some stonework much weathered.
b(2). Homestead Moat, at Shepherd's Farm, about ½ m. N.W. of the church.
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. Some of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling beams.
c(3). Hockley Hall, 100 yards S.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It was built on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S. and W., but has been much altered and added to on the N. and S.
c(4). Lower Hockley Hall, nearly 1 m. N.E. of the church, has modern additions on the S., E. and W.
e(5). Bett's Farm, 1,450 yards S.E. of the church, was originally of the central-chimney type of plan, but modern additions on the N.E. and S.E. makes the present plan T-shaped. It has been entirely refaced with modern brick and weather-boarding.
e(6). Cottage, ¼ m. W.S.W. of (5), is of the central-chimney type, with a projecting gabled bay in the centre of the E. front carried on modern columns; there is a modern addition at the back. In the gable of the bay is painted the date 1611. Inside the building one of the ground-floor rooms has an early 17th-century door and the staircase on the ground-floor has some late 17th-century balusters, an old newel and a short length of moulded handrail.
d(7). Whitbreads, house, 1,600 yards S.S.W. of the church, has been much altered and added to.
d(8). White House, 450 yards W. of (7), is a small cottage of the central-chimney type, much altered, on to which has been built a modern house.
c(9). Plumberow Mount (Plate, p. xxxvii), about 1 m. E.N.E. of the church, is circular, about 76 ft. in diameter at the base and 14 ft. high. Excavations undertaken in 1914, though inconclusive, yielded a coin of Domitian, much Roman and some Saxon pottery (all fragmentary), but no certain indication either of the purpose or of the date of the mound, save that it is obviously not pre-Roman. (See Essex Arch. Soc. Trans., N.S., XIII, 224–237.)
a(10). Mounds, ten or more, N. of the Crouch and about 1¾ m. N. of the church. They vary greatly in size and height, and near them are several depressions or pans. The mounds have been excavated and were assumed to have been connected with mediaeval salt workings.