BHO

Much Hadham

Pages 151-155

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.

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Citation:

In this section

90. MUCH HADHAM.

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxii. S.E. (b)xxx. N.E.)

Ecclesiastical

a(1). Parish Church of St. Andrew, stands at the N. end of the village, on the W. bank of the river Ash, and at the foot of a sharp decline known as Bush Hill. It is built of flint with chalk dressings; the walls of the chancel contain some red tiles, and those of the tower are almost entirely covered with cement. Although no remains of a 12th-century church are left, the order of the subsequent growth indicates the existence of an earlier church, consisting at least of a chancel and a nave. The extension of the building has been gradual: the Chancel was re-built and enlarged c. 1220, and was probably made wider at the W. end in order to give more room for quire stalls; a South Aisle with an arcade of three bays the same length as the Nave was added c. 1240, and c. 1260 both nave and aisle were lengthened by two bays, bringing them to their present limit; a North Transept or Chapel was added at the E. end of the nave c. 1280; the North Aisle, with an arcade of four bays, was built c. 1340, and the transept was incorporated with it. Further work in the 14th century consisted of the insertion of new windows in the S. aisle, and of a doorway, which was moved subsequently to serve as an entrance to a small vestry on the N. side of the chancel, where it remains, obviously too large for the position and purpose. The West Tower was added c. 1400, and bears the arms of Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of London, 1380–1404. The work of the 15th century included apparently the removal of the western recesses in the chancel, when the openings were walled up and windows inserted; the insertion of the present E. window and other windows; the addition of the North Vestry, with the removal of the 14th-century doorway mentioned above; the heightening of the side walls of the chancel; the widening and heightening of the chancel arch; the erection of the rood screen and loft, with a stair-turret to the loft; the raising of the nave clearstorey; the remodelling of the E. ends of both aisles; and the addition of the South Porch. In the 19th century much of the stonework was renewed, and an Organ Chamber was added recently N. of the chancel.

The intricate history of the church and the excellence of the details in the several styles of architecture which it represents, make the building of more than usual interest. The arcades, especially the 14th-century work, are perhaps the most noticeable feature.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (34 ft. by 22 ft.) has an E. window of five lights and tracery, with moulded mullions and jambs; in the N. wall is a blocked lancet window of the 13th century, filled in probably when the 15th-century vestry was built; below it, and partly cutting into the W. jamb, is a late 14th-century doorway of clunch, which opens into the vestry; it is of two moulded orders, with a two-centred arch; another window in the N. wall and three in the S. wall, each of two lights, are of the 15th century; the two-light N. window and one of the S. windows are in the walls filling the former openings of the recesses; in the same walls are small 15th-century doorways, much restored; a 13th-century moulded string course runs round the walls inside, and dies against the blocking walls at the chamfered eastern jambs of the former openings. The early 13th-century chancel arch is of two hollow chamfered orders with shafted jambs; its enlargement in the 15th century can be traced by the difference in the sizes of the voussoirs of the pointed arch. The Nave (72 ft. by 22½ ft.) has a N. arcade of five bays; the first bay, originally opening into the transept, is of c. 1280, and has semi-octagonal jambs, with moulded bases and bell capitals, an arch of two chamfered orders, and a plain label; a short space of wall divides it from the other four bays, which are of c. 1340, and have octagonal pillars, with moulded bases and bell capitals, arches of two double-ogee orders, and moulded labels with carved stops; the capitals and arches of the 14th-century bays are interspersed with small carvings set regardless of subject and position; among these are the ball-flower and other flowers, lions' faces, human faces and other designs. The S. arcade has five bays; the three easternmost bays are of c. 1240, and have octagonal pillars, with moulded bases and bell capitals, pointed arches of two chamfered orders, and plain labels; the two western bays are of c. 1260 and differ from the other three bays in the details of their capitals and arches; almost every stone in these W. bays has a mason's mark in the form of a crosslet. Both arcades are of chalk; several of the capitals and bases are damaged, the result of old mutilations, probably for galleries and screens; the variation in the heights of the bases in both arcades shows that the nave floor originally sloped downwards to the W. The clearstorey has 15th-century windows with square heads. In the N.E. corner is the upper doorway of the rood-stair turret. The large corbels carrying the roof trusses are variously carved; four have the symbols of the Evangelists with scrolls; another appears to represent Edward III., dressed in the short tunic and hip-belt of the period, crowned, and holding his sceptre; a sixth is a lady holding a distaff, and another, a recumbent knight. The North Aisle (15 ft. wide) has an E. window of three lights, and, in the eastern half of the N. wall, two windows of two lights, all traceried, and of the 15th century; below the first is a recess for the former altar; the two windows, of two lights with tracery, in the western half of the N. wall, and the W. window of three lights with tracery, are of the 14th century; some of the windows have been repaired outside with cement: in the middle of the N. wall is a 14th-century doorway, and along the N. and W. walls inside is a contemporary moulded string course with various carvings like those in the arcade. The stair-turret to the former rood-loft is in the S.E. corner of the aisle, with a moulded pointed doorway, and next to it is a small trefoiled piercing probably not in situ. The South Aisle (11½ ft. wide) has 15th-century E. and W. windows of three lights with tracery; of the four S. windows the first or easternmost is of three lights, inserted in the 15th century, but completely restored; the second, a two-light window of the 14th century, has been renewed outside but the old work has been copied; the third is modern, of two lights of 14th-century character, and the westernmost, also of two lights, is of the 15th century, partly restored; the 15th-century S. doorway has a pointed arch in a square head. The West Tower (14 ft. square) is of three stages, with diagonal buttresses at the W. angles, an embattled parapet and a small leaded needle spire; the lofty tower arch is two-centred, and has moulded and chamfered jambs, with moulded bases and bell capitals; the W. doorway has moulded jambs and a pointed arch in a square head with traceried spandrels; over it is a shield with the arms of Bishop Braybrooke, seven voided lozenges, conjoined, and above this a window of three lights with tracery; a small window which looked into the nave from the second stage or ringing chamber is filled in with late 16th-century bricks: the top stage or bell-chamber has a pointed window, of two lights with tracery, in each wall. The South Porch has two windows of two lights in each side wall, and a pointed entrance archway with shafted jambs, of the 15th century. The Roof of the chancel is low-pitched, and of the 15th century; its three tie-beams are strengthened by wall posts which have pendant ends; on the soffits of the tie-beams are carved roses. The early 15th-century roof of the nave is also low-pitched, and has moulded main timbers; on the soffits of its four tie-beams are carved faces of lions, etc.; the ends of the tie-beams have braces with traceried spandrels, and rest on wall posts which have moulded bases and capitals, and stand on the carved corbels mentioned above. The aisles have flat lean-to roofs of similar character and date as that of the nave. The roof of the S. porch is coeval with its walls.

Fittings—Altar: the communion table stands upon a large stone slab said to belong to a former altar, but it has no crosses cut upon the exposed surface. Bells: six; 2nd, 1654; 3rd, 1595; 4th, 1595. Brasses and Indents: in the chancel floor, inscription to Simon Flambard, rector from 1320 to 1332, and indent of a floriated cross: a brass strip in a grey marble slab inscribed 'Priez pur l'alme alban psone de hadhim,' probably Alan de Fen, rector from 1369 to 1372; half-figure of a man, in the dress of a sergeant-at-law, 15th-century, no inscription: to Grace Goodman, 1631, inscription only: in the nave, of a man and woman, early 16th-century: of Clement Newce, 'cyttezin and mercer of London', 1579, Mary, his wife, 1582, eight sons and nine daughters, with inscription, arms and crest (a wheatsheaf): of William Newce, died 1610, and his two wives, six sons and seven daughters, with arms and crest: to Joone Goldsmyth, eldest daughter of Clement Newce and wife of Frauncys Goldsmyth, of Crayford, Kent, 1569: to Dianis Burtun, widow, daughter of John Knitun of Bayford, 1616. Chairs: two, high-backed, a little damaged but substantially sound, 15th-century. Communion Table: of oak, late 16th-century. Door: in the doorway opening into the N. vestry, old, of oak, with good early 13th-century ironwork. Easter Sepulchre: see Monuments. Font: of stone, probably 16th-century. Glass: in the tracery of E. window of chancel, figures of St. Peter and St. Andrew, and a row of female saints, 15th-century: in the lower lights, heraldic glass with the sacred monogram, etc., of later date. Monuments and Floor Slabs: In N. wall of chancel, tomb recess, possibly used also as an Easter sepulchre, 15th-century: on S. wall of chancel, at E. end, effigy of Judith, wife of John Aylmer, Bishop of London, 1618, head missing. In the chancel, floor slabs: to John Goodman, rector, died 1690: to Catherine, wife of Dr. William Fuller, Dean of Durham, 1668. Paintings: on the jambs of the blocked lancet window in the chancel, probably 13th-century: on N. wall of nave clearstorey and on N. wall of N. aisle, in patches, probably 15th-century. Panelling: on E. wall of chancel, 15th-century; on E. responds of both sides of nave, 17th-century. Piscinae: two in the chancel, with octofoiled basin, and cinque-foiled four-centred head, inserted in the 15th-century; combined with a credence with trefoiled heads, two openings divided by a mullion, 13th-century; in N. aisle, small, trefoiled, with semi-quatre-foiled basin. Plate: includes two silver cups and small cover paten of 1576. Pulpit: partly made up of 15th-century panelling. Rood Screen, traceried, 15th-century, with modern cornice. Seating: in the nave, some seats with 15th-century buttressed standards. Stalls: in the choir, 15th-century. Tiles: in the tomb recess or Easter sepulchre in N. wall of chancel, encaustic tiles, probably 14th-century.

In the churchyard, on the S., is a fine old yew-tree.

Condition—Generally good; much of the external stonework has been renewed, although in some places the decayed stones have been repaired with cement.

Secular

Homestead Moats

a(2). At the Lordship.

a(3). At Exnells Farm, a fragment.

a(4). At Moat Farm, enclosing the house and garden.

a(5). At Brand's Farm, a fragment.

b(6). At Mingers Farm.

b(7). At Sherrards, a fragment.

a(8). The Palace, stands on the N. side of the churchyard.

From the 10th to the 18th century the site has been occupied by a residence of the Bishops of London. The present building does not appear to be of earlier date than the 16th century, although a 15th-century beam still exists in one of the rooms. The traces of the large 16th-century hall are interesting.

The house was originally timber-framed, but the walls were encased with brick between 1670 and 1700. It is of two storeys with attics; the older parts of the roofs are tiled. The plan is H-shaped, with later additions. The main block (about 48 ft. by 22 ft.), was originally occupied by a large hall carried up from the ground floor to the roof. Early in the 17th century a floor was inserted, and the lower part of the hall divided into two rooms. Late in the 18th century a wing was added at the E. end of the house, and in the 19th century additions were made to the domestic offices, etc., on the N. side. The wings and also the main block are gabled, the latter both lengthways and across, the two cross gables being of unequal pitch; the gables and parapets have brick copings. One window has 16th-century moulded oak jambs and mullions encased in plaster. Two of the chimney stacks are built of early 17th-century bricks. Interior: on the N. side of the main block is a long passage, with the ends of six old oak girders dividing the ceiling into five bays: these girders, which are carried through into the rooms next to the passage, are the original tie-beams of the roof trusses of the pre-17th-century hall: the mortices and pegholes where the former curved braces were fixed can still be seen in the soffits of the beams and in the wall-posts on which they rest. Several rooms have 17th-century panelling, and some doors of the same date also remain. In the ceiling of a room on the first floor there is a 15th-century beam, with masons' joints at the ends, and many of the 17th-century constructional timbers are visible. The principal staircase has 17th-century square newels with ball tops and a moulded handrail.

Grounds: A few trees are all that remain of an avenue leading from the main road W. of the house to the S. front. In a meadow N. of this avenue are traces of extensive buildings, probably the former stables and outbuildings of the Palace.

Condition—Good.

a(9). The Rectory, S. of the church, is an early 17th-century house, built of plastered timber on brick foundations. The original plan was L-shaped, but the house was much altered and enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries. In a vestibule are some carvings, panelling, and a pilastered doorway of early 17th-century date.

Condition—Good.

a(10). The Morris Cottage, on the W. side of the main street, is probably of late 16th-century date. It is a small rectangular building of timber and plaster, with an overhanging upper storey, and a tiled roof. The ends are gabled, and the plain central chimney stack is built of thin bricks.

Condition—Good.

a(11). Yew Tree Farm, at Hadham Cross, ¾ mile S. of the church, is an early 17th-century building, with later additions at the back. It is of two storeys with an attic, and the walls are of timber and plaster. The thatched roof is high-pitched, and hipped at both ends, and has tiled eaves. On the front the upper storey projects, and the attic is lighted by a gabled dormer window, inscribed "TWS, 1697"; the date evidently applies only to the window. The two square chimney stacks, with a small square pilaster on each face, are original. The interior is modern.

Condition—Good.

a(12). Houses, in the village; many are of the 17th century or of earlier date, but are much repaired and altered. They are built of brick and timber, and have overhanging upper storeys; the roofs are tiled.

Condition—Fairly good.

Perry Green

b(13). Bucklers Farm, 1⅓ miles S. by S.E. of the church, is a timber-framed house, partly plastered and partly weather-boarded; the roof is tiled. It was built probably early in the 17th century on an L-shaped plan, with a small projection in the angle, containing the staircase; the main block faces N., and on the ground floor contains two rooms with a passage between them leading to the staircase; in the wing is one room with a large chimney stack between it and the room on the N. Small modern wings have been added to the main block on the S. and W. On the N. front the upper storey projects at the E. end, with a gabled dormer window above it, and at the W. end is a gable with a moulded barge-board, and an old pendant at the apex. The roof is half-hipped at the E. end of the main block, and also on the E. side of the staircase wing. The main doorway, in the middle of the N. front, and the mullioned windows have modern frames. The chimney stack at the junction of the wings has engaged diagonal shafts and a moulded base. There is also a plain original chimney stack near the E. end of the main block. On the first floor, one room has plaster decorations on two walls, with heraldic devices—a lion rampant reversed, rose, carbuncle, fleur-de-lis, etc.; there is some panelling of early 17th-century date in another room, and a third room has an original oak ledged and moulded batten door.

Condition—Good.

b(14). Hoglands, a small farmhouse of early 17th-century date, nearly 1½ miles S.S.E. of the church, is a timber-framed building partly plastered and partly weather-boarded, of two storeys and an attic. The roofs are tiled: the plan of the ridges forms a T. At the W. end is a large chimney stack, built of thin bricks, with two engaged shafts set diagonally. The W. half of the house is gabled on the N. and S., the N. gable having an original moulded barge-board of oak, now painted. The E. end is also gabled.

Condition—Poor.