An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
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83. LITTLE HADHAM.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxii. N.E. (b)xxii. S.E.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Cecilia, stands nearly ½ mile E. of the village and, with two or three houses, forms the hamlet of Church End. It is built of flint rubble with stone dressings, except the S. transept and vestry, which are of brick. The roofs are of lead and of tiles. The Nave is possibly of the 12th century, but this is uncertain, as the N. doorway, which suggests the date, was much defaced when it was converted into a window in the 16th century. The West Tower was added about the end of the 14th century, and a little later a doorway and windows were inserted in the nave. The South Porch was built in the first half of the 15th century. The North Transept was added late in the 16th century, and in the 19th century the Chancel was re-built or restored, the North Vestry was added and the whole church repaired.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25½ ft. by 23½ ft.) has a modern E. window. There are two N. windows, the first from the E. is modern, the other, a small square-headed single light is possibly of the 16th century. Between them is a modern doorway opening into the vestry. In the S. wall are two modern windows, which have perhaps a few old stones, and between them is a modern external door. The Nave (48 ft. by 23½ ft.) has no structural division from the chancel. On the N. side is a wide four-centred arch, opening into the transept, of three narrow orders with heavy octagonal responds and crude, moulded capitals, plastered, but probably of brick: the N. doorway is partly blocked and in the semi-circular head two rough pointed lights in brick have been inserted: in the S. wall are two early 15th-century traceried windows of two lights and between them the S. doorway, of the same date, is of two moulded orders, the inner two-centred, the outer square. The North Transept (25 ft. by 23½ ft.) has windows of three rounded lights in the E. and W. walls, and a window of four lights with interlacing tracery in the N. wall. All the windows are of moulded and plastered brickwork. On the E. side is a small doorway with a four-centred head, also of brick. The West Tower (11½ ft. square) is of three stages with an embattled parapet, a moulded plinth and a newel staircase on the S.W. The tower arch, of two moulded orders, is carried on circular shafts with moulded capitals and bases, and is of late 14th-century date. The W. door is of two moulded orders, the inner two-centred, the outer square, and is original, though the jambs have been much restored. The W. window is of three lights with modern tracery. The bell-chamber windows, of two traceried lights, are also original, but much restored. The South Porch is of open timber construction with a pointed entrance archway, trefoiled open panels, and a cusped barge-board. The Roof of the nave is low-pitched, and is plain 15th-century work.
Fittings—Bells: five; 2nd by John Dier, 1595; 3rd, probably early 15th-century; 4th, 1623; 5th, 1693. Brasses: on the S. wall of the chancel, of a knight and lady, c. 1485; the slab with indent is in the nave: of a priest in a cope, late 15th-century, much worn, with inscription almost illegible, apparently to Richard Warren: in the chancel, part of an unused 15th-century marginal inscription. Glass: in N.W. window of the chancel, shield with arms of Bishop Braybrooke, 15th-century: in S.E. window of the nave, figures of St. Lawrence and Isaiah, 15th-century. Panelling: in N. transept, made up from 17th-century pews. Piscina: in the chancel, late 14th-century. Pulpit: dated 1633, richly carved, with a carved sounding board and standard. Rood Screen: early 16th-century, panels of varied design, with elaborate tracery. Nothing remains of the canopy, and the beam at the top is of later date. Seating: in the nave; plain, late 16th-century, heightened by later additions.
Condition—Good; the wooden porch has suffered from the weather.
a(2). Homestead Moat, at Green Street Farm, a fragment.
a(3). Hadham Hall, stands on high ground about 3 furlongs E. of the church. The house is built of red brick and is of two and three storeys. It consists of the W. wing and the W. half of the S. wing of a large house with a central courtyard, built c. 1575 by the Capel family. The rest of the house has been destroyed, but the foundations have been discovered, and also those of an earlier building (of c. 1440) on the S.E.; a moated site at some distance to the S.W. is probably that of a still older house.
The present house is an interesting example of 16th-century architecture, and much of the external detail remains in an unusually perfect state of preservation.
The main front faces W.; the entrance, a modern stone archway, is flanked by half octagonal turrets. In the S. wing was a second entrance, of which one archway remains, in what is now a garden wall; it was approached through a walled courtyard, still in existence, and contained the domestic offices. On the W. side of the house was a large fore-court with a brick gatehouse on the S., and a brick barn on the W.; both gatehouse and barn are still standing. The house has been thoroughly repaired and re-fitted by the present owner, and a N. wing added, partly on the old foundations. The gables have stepped copings. The windows have simply-moulded mullions and transoms, which are plastered to give the effect of stonework: on the W. side of the house they have pediments over them. At each end of the W. wing are pairs of original chimney stacks with octagonal shafts and capitals, the western shaft of each pair being ornamented and the eastern plain. The chimney stacks on each side of the central gateway are of later date. Inside the house many of the original timber and plaster partitions, with four-centred doorways and moulded beams, remain in the W. wing. One room on the ground floor and two on the first floor have panelling and chimney pieces of c. 1600, probably taken from the destroyed wings. The rooms on the first floor in the S. wing have good panelling of c. 1740. A large formal Garden was laid out early in the 17th century to the E. of the house, and traces of it are still to be seen. The Gatehouse is of plain brickwork with some diaper pattern in black bricks and has two four-centred arches; it is probably a little older than the house. The Barn has buttressed walls and is of early 17th-century date.
a(4). House, at Church End, is a 17th-century building, of timber and plaster, with a plastered brick front, possibly added at the end of the same century.
a(5). Cottages, in the village, several, of timber and plaster, were built in the 17th century, but altered at later dates.
a(6). House, at Hadham Ford, now divided into several tenements, is of early 17th-century date. It has a brick gabled front, and two octagonal chimney shafts with moulded bases and modern caps.
a(7). Farm (Acremoor Street or Alt House Farm), stands W. of Bury Green village. It is a two-storeyed rectangular building, of the central chimney type, built in the 17th century, with timber-framed and plastered walls on a moulded brick plinth: the roof is tiled. The heavy chimney stack has diagonal shafts. The upper floor had low roof trusses, but the ties have been cut away and the ceilings raised. The large open fireplaces have been partly filled in, but one retains an original corner seat and small locker in a cupboard at the side.
a(8). Bury Green Farm, on the W. side of the Green, is of early 17th-century date. It is a rectangular two-storeyed building of timber, covered outside with cement; the hipped roof is of tiles. The central chimney stack has three square shafts, set diagonally. One large fire-place remains, with a chimney corner seat of oak, now enclosed in a cupboard, and there are also some old floor beams.
b(9). Lower Farm, E. of the Green, is a two-storeyed house with an attic. One wing is built of 16th-century thin red bricks, the rest is timber-framed and cemented; the roofs are tiled. The plan, originally L-shaped, has been changed to a T-shape by a modern addition. The brick wing has the date 1665 painted on the gable end; it is said to be a restoration of a former inscription, but the building belongs to an earlier period. A moulded brick string course marks the level of the first floor. All the windows have been renewed, except one with a moulded brick label, in the gable end, now blocked. The two chimney stacks are original, and have octagonal shafts of thin bricks. Two rooms in the brick wing have plastered ceilings of unusually elaborate design, one is divided into two bays, with a square panel in each bay, containing floral devices and a double-headed eagle; in the sides of the bays are carbuncle-shaped flowers with a royal crown above every alternate flower; the other ceiling has square panels with similar flowers.
Condition—Good; some ivy on the walls.
b(10). Clintons, S. of the Green, is a small farmhouse of two storeys with an attic at the E. end. The plan is roughly L-shaped; the W. wing, projecting to the N., is apparently modern, but the S. wing seems to be of late 15th-century date, with 17th and 19th-century alterations. The walls are of narrow red bricks, and the roof is tiled; the E. end is gabled, and has diaper patterns and a Latin cross picked out in blue brick; the cross is about 4 ft. high and 16 ft. above the ground, and has a stepped base and diamond-shaped ends to the arms. All the doorways and windows are modern, but there are two old chimney stacks, one rectangular, the other with two square shafts set diagonally. The S. wing is in three divisions, each containing a single room on the ground floor; the westernmost room is apparently part of a large hall, formerly open to the roof; a floor has been inserted, probably in the 17th century, and the ceiling is of plaster, with four small ornamental devices, of which two resemble those at Lower Farm. A fine moulded tie-beam of the original roof remains in the upper room, with a heavy curved brace reaching nearly to the floor; the spandrel is filled with late 15th-century tracery. The kitchen retains a large fireplace, partly blocked, with the original chimney corner seat in a cupboard at the side.
a(11). Moated Tumulus, N. of Hadham Hall.