An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
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(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxvi. N.W. (b)xxxvi. S.W.)
a (1). Parish Church of St. Mary, in the middle of the village, was entirely re-built in 1883, except the West Tower, which is of the 15th century, much restored.
Architectural Description—The Tower is of two stages with embattled parapet; two moulded stones in the external jambs of the W. doorway, and many of the clunch stones in the quoins are of the 15th century. The arch opening into the nave is also original, but has been repaired.
Fittings—Bells: six; 2nd and 4th, 1685; 6th, 1681. Brasses and Indents: on S. wall of S. aisle, three shields each charged (colours missing) quarterly; 1. France quartering England, all within a border, quarterly charged 1 and 4 with leopards, 2 and 3 with fleurs-de-lis (for Henry, Marquis of Exeter, executed 1538): 2. Courtney; three roundels: 3. Say; Party palewise, three cheverons: 4. Redvers; a lion; beneath the shields a modern inscription records that they were taken from a gravestone in 1778, and that the arms are probably those of Henry Courtney, eldest son of Henry, Marquis of Exeter, by his second wife: of William Tooke, 1588, his wife Ales, daughter of Robert Barlee, of Bibbesworth, and twelve children, kneeling figures, inscription and three shields (colours missing); 1st, Tooke, party cheveronwise three griffins' heads erased (counterchanged); Crest, a griffin's head erased party cheveronwise holding in its beak a sword; 2nd, Tooke impaling Barlee; 3rd, Barlee quartering Bibbesworth: in slab in floor, shield with arms of Tooke quartering; 2, Noone or Nove (?), a cross engrailed, with a crescent thereon; 3, Purchase or Thwaites (?), a lion, over all a fesse with three roundels thereon; above is the crest of Tooke, and indents of shield and two inscriptions. Monuments and Floor Slabs: in S. aisle, several floor slabs, 17th-century: on S. wall, to William Prestley, 1664, of marble, flanked by twisted pilasters: on W. wall of nave, slab, to Eleanor Whithcot, 1684. Plate: includes cup and cover paten, 1569, large paten, 1692.
b (2). N.E. of Coldharbour Farm.
a (3). Essendon Mill, about ½ mile N. of the church, is a house of two storeys and attics, built probably in the 17th century, but much altered at a later date. The walls were originally timber-framed, but most of them are now encased in brick; the roofs are tiled. The plan is of an irregular L shape, and there is one original chimney stack. Some very large oak timbers in the floors and partitions inside the house are evidently original, and the central newel staircase on the W. side is probably a modern restoration or copy of the old one.