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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49. LEIGH. (E.d.)
(O.S. 6 in. lxxviii. S.W.)
Leigh is a parish and town on the N. bank of the Thames estuary, 2 m. W. of Southend-on-Sea.
(1). Parish Church of St. Clement stands in the town. The walls are of ragstone and flint-rubble, except the S. porch which is of brick; the dressings are of ragstone and limestone; the roofs are tiled. The whole church, including Chancel, Nave, North Aisle and Chapel and West Tower appears to have been re-built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century. Shortly after the South Porch and the rood stair-turret were added. The church was restored in the 19th and 20th centuries, when the chancel was extended about 16 ft. to the E., North Vestries, South Chapel and Aisle added.
Architectural Description—All the ancient details are of late 15th or early 16th-century date.
The Chancel (41 ft. by 20½ ft.) is entirely modern E. of the arcades. The N. arcade is of two bays, with two-centred arches of two hollow-chamfered orders; the first arch is low and narrow, the second is wide and struck from below the springing-level; the column is octagonal with moulded capital and base; the responds have attached half-columns; the arcade has been restored in plaster. The S. arcade is modern. The chancel-arch is of modern plaster, but the N. respond may be old but is covered with plaster.
The Nave(53¼ ft. by 20¼ ft.) has a N. arcade of four bays, with arches, columns and responds of similar detail to those of the N. arcade of the chancel. The S. arcade is modern, but W. of it is the old S. doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred arch and label.
The North Chapel and Aisle (16¼ ft. wide) has an E. window of four cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are four windows, each of three cinque-foiled lights in segmental-pointed heads; further W. is the N. doorway, now blocked, with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label, much weathered; between the second and third windows is the lower part of the doorway to the rood stair-turret, with rebated jambs and now blocked. In the W. wall is a window of four cinque-foiled lights, with vertical tracery in a two-centred head.
In the modern S. aisle, the S. doorway incorporates some 15th-century moulded jamb-stones.
The West Tower (14 ft. by 13 ft.) is of three stages, with a moulded plinth and an embattled parapet with an embattled turret rising above its S.E. angle. The two-centred tower-arch is of three hollow-chamfered orders; the splayed responds have each an attached shaft with moulded capital and base. In the N. wall is a modern window. In the S. wall is a doorway to the turret-staircase, with hollow-chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The W. window is of two cinque-foiled and one trefoiled light with tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label; all restored in cement; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and blank shields in the spandrels, all restored in cement. The second stage has a single-light window in the W. wall. The bell-chamber has in each wall a window of three trefoiled lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label, all restored in cement.
The South Porch is of red brick with a moulded plinth having trefoil-headed panels of flint-inlay. The outer archway has moulded jambs and four-centred arch with a double label, the outer being square-headed and enclosing foiled spandrels. The side walls have each a window of two four-centred lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label.
The Roof of the N. aisle is of five bays plastered under the rafters, but with curved and moulded principals springing from corbels carved with figures holding shields; the wall-plates are moulded and embattled.
Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd by Miles Graye, 1674. Brasses: In chancel—(1) of Richard Chester, 1632, elder brother and master of Trinity House, figure of man in civil dress, and wife, four sons and one daughter; (2) to Captain John Price, 1709, and Martha (Godman), his wife, 1696, with achievement-of-arms; (3) figure of man and wife in civil dress, c. 1640; (4) to Thomas Saman, and Thomas, his grandson, 1576, inscription only. In N. chapel—(5) to Robert Salmon, 1641, inscription only; (6) to Robert Salmon, 1591, inscription only. In nave—(7) to George Ireland, 1570, inscription only. In N. aisle—(8) of Richard Haddok, 1453, and Cristine, his wife, and to John, their son, and Alice, his wife, also to Margaret, second wife of Richard, figures of two men in civil dress and their wives and groups of seven sons and three daughters and eight sons and three daughters. Door: In tower—in doorway of turret-staircase, of nail-studded battens with moulded fillets, late 15th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs: In N. aisle—on N. wall (1) to Anne, wife of Sir Edward Whitaker, 1705, white marble tablet with Ionic side-columns, voluted pediment and achievement-of-arms; (2) of Robert Salmon (see Brass (3)), 1641, master of Trinity House and sheriff of London, alabaster and black marble, tablet with half figure, side pilasters, cornice and achievement-of-arms. In churchyard—E. end (3) to Capt. Richard Haddock, 1660(?), Capt. William Haddock, 166-, Anna Haddock, 1688, Elizabeth Haddock, 1709, and Sir Richard Haddock, 1714, Controller of the Navy, table-tomb; (4) to Capt. William Goodlad, 1639, "chief commander of the Greenland fleet 20 years" and master of Trinity House, panelled table-tomb with scroll borders and rusticated arched enrichment; (5) to Richard Goodlad, 1690, and Elizabeth, his wife, 1712, table-tomb; S. side (6) to Sarah, wife of Richard Goodlad, 1685, table-tomb with panelled sides and ornamental pilasters; (7) to Sarah, widow of Joseph Cadman, 1710, head-stone. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to Elizabeth Stevens, 1700, and to Mary, wife of Capt. Whitaker, 1698; (2) to James Moyer, 1661. In S. chapel—(3) to John Burdocke, 1601, and John, his son, and others later, with mariner's compass at top. In nave— (4) to Thomas Printer (?), c. 1700; (5) to Ann Thomson, 1712, and others later. In churchyard —S. side (6) to William Hampton, 1624. Poor-box: In nave—square oak box, with three hasps and lid inscribed "I pray you the pore remember," square baluster stem, c. 1630.
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.
(2). Leigh House, 20 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It has been much altered and refaced and has modern additions at the back and N. side.
High Street, N. side
(3). Cooksplace, house, now three tenements, 300 yards W.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It is rectangular on plan, with a N. staircase block on either side of which are modern additions. Inside the building part of the staircase is original, and has moulded handrail, turned balusters and a square newel with a carved top.
(4). House, 30 yards W.N.W. of (3). The N. end was built in the 15th century and is possibly a fragment of a larger house. The S. end being a 16th-century addition. The upper storey originally projected along the whole of the E. side, but has now been under-built, and the S. front has been refaced with brick. Inside the building in the wall between the original building and the 16th-century addition, on the ground-floor is a blocked two-light window. In the roof of the N. block is an original cambered tie-beam with curved braces and a two-way king-post.
(5). Crooked Billet Inn, 150 yards W.N.W. of (4), is of two storeys with attics and was built probably late in the 16th century. It has been much altered and added to. There are two original chimney-stacks, each with three grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building on the ground-floor is an original fireplace with a four-centred head.
(6). House, now three tenements, 40 yards E.S.E. of (5), has modern additions at the back.
(7). House, now four tenements, 120 yards E.S.E. of (6), is of two storeys with attics and was built in the 16th century on a half H-shaped plan, with the cross-wings extending towards the E. The space between the wings has been filled in by a modern extension and there are modern additions at both ends of the building. Inside the building is an original staircase with a central newel and the roof retains a queen-post truss with cambered tie-beams, curved wind-braces and octagonal queen-posts.
(8). House (Plate, pp. xxxiv–v), now two tenements, 50 yards W. of (7), is of two storeys with attics and was built late in the 16th century. The roof has since been heightened and the building altered and added to on the N.W. and S.W. The upper storey projects on the whole of the N.E. front.