Little Burstead

Pages 84-86

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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In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)lxviii. N.W. (b)lxviii. S.W.)

Little Burstead is a parish 2 m. S. of Billericay. The church, Stockwell Hall and Hatches Farm are the principal monuments.


b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary (?) stands a short distance S. of the village. The walls are of pudding-stone and ragstone-rubble, with limestone and brick dressings. The roofs are tiled. The church consisting of Chancel and Nave is probably of early 13th-century date. The S. wall of the chancel is probably of a later date. A S. porch and the Bell-turret were added probably in the 15th century. The church was altered in the 16th century, when the S.E. angle of the nave was re-built, and has been restored in modern times when the South Porch was re-built and the North Vestry added possibly on the site of an earlier building.

The Church, Plan

Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft. by 15½ ft.) has an early 16th-century E. window of brick and of three round-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall is a modern doorway. In the S. wall are two 16th-century brick windows, each of two pointed lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label; between them is a much restored early 16th-century doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with a moulded label and shield-stops, one charged with—two cheverons and an engrailed border for Tyrell. There is no chancel-arch.

The North Vestry is modern but re-set in the N. wall is an early 16th-century window of brick and of one light with a moulded label.

The Nave (36½ ft. by 21½ ft.) has in the N. wall two windows; the eastern is of the 14th century or later and of one pointed light; it is set in a recess cut back in the wall, probably to provide more room for a nave-altar or for a rood or rood-loft staircase; the western window is an early 13th-century lancet; further W. is the 13th-century N. doorway, with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch, and now blocked. Against the E. wall, S. of the chancel, is a length of moulded oak beam, probably part of the reredos of a nave-altar. The S.E. angle of the nave is of 16th-century brick with black brick diapering; in the S. wall is a 15th-century window of three cinque-foiled lights with vertical tracery in a square head and all modern externally except parts of the label; the S. doorway is probably of the 13th century and has jambs and two-centred arch of two plain orders. In the W. wall is a partly restored early 14th-century window of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops. The wall has been heightened and buttressed in 17th-century brickwork.

The Bell-turret, at the W. end of the nave, is of timber and of the 15th century. It rests on six posts, with cross-beams supported by curved braces forming two-centred arches. There is a shingled broach-spire.

The Roof of the chancel is of early 16th-century date and of two bays with cambered tie-beams and curved braces forming four-centred arches and having traceried spandrels. The 15th-century roof of the nave is of two bays with moulded wall-plates and king-post trusses with curved braces resting on stone corbels carved with angels. The roof of the S. porch is plain and of the 15th century.

Fittings—Bells: two; 1st by John Clarke, 1620; 2nd by John Clifton, 1633. Brasses: In chancel—(1) to Anne (Crooke), wife of William Walton, 1639, inscription only; (2) to Elizabeth, wife of William Sammes, 1617, inscription only (see also Floor-slabs (1) and (6)). Chair: In vestry—with carved back and arms, probably early 18th-century. Doors: In doorway to vestry, of nail-studded battens with moulded fillets, early 16th-century, partly restored. In S. doorway, of overlapping battens, with one strap-hinge and a double grille, 16th-century. Floor-slabs: In chancel—(1) to [John Beckman, parson, 1628], with brass plate with verses, also to Elizabeth . . ., 1611; (2) to Elizabeth (Herris), wife of George Walton, 1666, with shield-of-arms; (3) to George Walton, 1662, with shield-of-arms; (4) to Christopher Herris, 1654, with shield-of-arms; (5) to Sir Robert —tin, 1707; (6) to George, 1663, and George, 1667, sons of George Walton, also a brass plate to Mary, their sister, 1678, and indent of square plate; (7) to Charles Walton, 1714, with achievement-of-arms. In nave—(8) to Hezekiah Joscelyn, 1701; (9) to Mrs. Clare Pinlow (?), 170(5?). Font: plain octagonal bowl and stem, moulded base, 15th or early 16th-century. Glass: In nave—in N.E. window, achievement and one shield-of-arms, 17th-century, and fragments of border, 15th-century; in next window, nine panels with figures of Christ and eight apostles, probably foreign, late 17th or early 18th-century; in W. window, small piece of foliage, probably 14th-century, in situ. Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, rectangular recess rebated for door. Panelling: In nave—on E. wall, S. of chancel, below moulded beam, panel of oak with remains of painting, probably early 16th-century. Piscina: In chancel—with shafted jambs and trefoiled head, early 13th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1629. Screen: between chancel and nave—close lower panels with moulded muntins, made up with modern work, 15th-century; incorporated in modern reredos, five cinque-foiled heads of lights with tracery and head of entrance bay, probably from same screen. Sundials: On jambs of S. doorway, three scratched dials. Miscellanea: In vestry—on S. wall, verses and inscription to George Walton, 1662, his son, George, 1690, and his daughter, Elizabeth, 1690, and two shields-of-arms, illuminated on vellum and framed. Outside S. porch, two octagonal stones, possibly part of base of cross.

Condition—Fairly good.


a(2). Stockwell Hall, house and moat, about ½ m. N.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics, timber-framed and plastered, the roofs are tiled. It was built on a rectangular plan late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. A wing was added on the N. side at a rather later date. At the W. end is an original chimney-stack with two diagonal shafts. Inside the building the hall and dining-room are lined with panelling of c. 1600 and the latter room has an overmantel (Plate, p. 65) with two square, enriched and arcaded panels, divided and flanked by fluted pilasters. The drawing-room has an arcaded overmantel of four bays, with terminal figures and arabesque ornament. In the kitchen is a 17th-century panelled door. The two staircases are of the 17th century and both have twisted balusters and square newels. On the first floor is some original panelling similar to that below and two 17th-century doors. In the window of the staircase is an oval panel of painted glass dated 1610 with a shield without arms, a crest, mantling and various fragments.

The Moat is incomplete.

b(3). Rectory, house and moat, 550 yards N. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with slates. The N. corner was built probably late in the 17th-century, but the roof has been largely reconstructed, and the main building is of 18th-century date. On the N.W. front of the old portion are three casement windows with leaded glazing; two retain their original wrought-iron fasteners. Inside the building are two large beams; one room on the first floor has a moulded shelf over the fireplace.

The Moat is fragmentary.

Condition—Of house, good.

Monuments (4–7).

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered or weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. Some of the buildings have original chimneystacks and exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good, unless noted.

a(4). Halches Farm, house (Plate, p. xxxv), ¼ m. W. of (2), was built in the second half of the 16th century with a cross-wing at the S. end. The upper storey projects at the W. end of the cross-wing and has a moulded bressummer; under it is a bay-window, incorporating some original mullions. The door at the E. end of the cross-wing is of moulded battens and hangs on an original moulded frame. Inside the building the main room of the cross-wing is lined with early 17th-century panelling and over the fireplace are panels with conventional incised designs and two early 16th-century panels, very delicately carved with amorini, etc., and heads in round medallions. On the N. side of the room are two doors (Plate, p. 65), each of six panels, similarly carved with heads, amorini, beasts, etc.; all are of French type. Other parts of the house have some 17th-century doors and windows with moulded mullions.

a(5). Sudbury's Farm, house, about ½ m. N.W. of (4), was built probably in the 16th century and extended eastwards in the 17th century. There are two original chimney-stacks, one cruciform on plan and one with three diagonal shafts. On the middle of the roof is a small bell-cot and bell.


b(6). Botneyhill Farm, house, 1 m. W. of the church, was built probably in the 16th century and has a modern extension on the W. It is of L-shaped plan, with the wings extending towards the W. and N.

b(7). St. Margaret's Farm, house (Plate, pp. xl-i), ½ m. W. of the church, was built in the 16th century or earlier, with the cross-wings on the E. and W., and a staircase-wing between them on the N. The two 17th-century chimney-stacks have grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building the staircase has early 17th-century flat-shaped balusters and plain rails and newels.