AN INVENTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
IN NORTH-WEST ESSEX.
ACCREDITED TO A DATE ANTERIOR TO 1714,
arranged by Parishes.
(Unless otherwise stated, the dimensions given in the Inventory are internal. Monuments with titles printed in
italics are covered by an introductory sentence, to which reference should be made.)
1. ARKESDEN. (A.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)viii. S.E. (b)viii. S.W.)
Arkesden is an agricultural parish and village
about 4½ m. S.W. of Saffron Walden. The
principal monument is the Church.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin
stands on the N. side of the village. The walls are
of flint rubble with stone dressings; the roofs are
covered with slate. The present Chancel and Nave
were built c. 1250, but foundations of a circular
tower of earlier date were discovered at the W.
end in 1855. A N. aisle and the South Aisle were
built c. 1380. About the middle of the 15th
century the W. tower was rebuilt and the South
Porch added. According to an inscription, said to
have been formerly on the N. wall, the North Aisle
was largely rebuilt early in the 16th century, but
there are no remaining details of that date. In
1855 the West Tower and chancel-arch were rebuilt,
and the church was generally restored.
The 12th-century font, the 15th-century effigy in
the chancel, the Cutte monument of 1592, and the
15th-century heraldic glass in the W. window are
Architectural Description:—The Chancel (30½ ft.
by 17½ ft.) has a modern E. window; below the
window is an 18th-century doorway opening into
a vault. In the N. wall are two 13th-century windows, each of coupled lancet lights with chamfered
and rebated jambs and heads, considerably restored
and re-cut. In the S. wall are three windows;
the two eastern are similar to those in the N. wall,
but have been more restored; the western window
is of c. 1340, partly restored inside; it is of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a two-centred
head; the jambs and mullions are chamfered
outside and moulded inside. Between the two
western windows is a doorway with a two-centred
head, externally modern, except the bases of the
jambs; the moulded internal splays and rear
arch are of the 13th century. The chancel-arch
The Nave (54 ft. by 20½ ft.) has N. and S. arcades,
each of three bays. The N. arcade is of c. 1250,
except the columns and E. respond, which are
modern; the W. respond is semi-octagonal,
with a moulded capital and chamfered base;
the two-centred arches are of two slightly chamfered
orders. The S. arcade is also of c. 1250, and
similar to the N. arcade; the columns are circular,
and the responds semi-circular. The clearstorey
has four modern windows on each side.
The North Aisle (8 ft. wide) has, in the E. wall,
a window of c. 1380, and of three trefoiled ogee
lights with tracery in a two-centred head, all
considerably re-cut. In the N. wall are three
windows of c. 1380: the easternmost window,
much restored, is of two cinquefoiled lights with
tracery in a two-centred head; the second window,
also much restored, is similar to the first, but of
two trefoiled ogee lights; the third window is
modern, except the opening. Between the second
and third windows is a 14th-century doorway with
double-chamfered jambs and two-centred arch,
The South Aisle (11 ft. wide) has, in the E.
wall, a modern window. In the S. wall are three
modern windows; between the two western
windows is a doorway, probably of the 14th
century, but much restored; the segmental-pointed arch is double-chamfered, and has a
The West Tower (12½ ft. by 11½ ft.) is entirely
modern, except the tower-arch and some re-used
material in the splays of the W. doorway and
window. It is reported that in 1855 when the
original tower was demolished, the foundations
of a circular tower were discovered, and had an
internal diameter of 16 ft. 4 in. and walls 4 ft.
in thickness. The 15th-century tower-arch is
two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the
responds have semi-octagonal shafts with moulded
capitals and modern bases.
The South Porch has an outer archway of the
15th century, much restored; it is two-centred
and moulded and has a moulded label; the
responds have semi-octagonal shafts with modern
capitals and bases. In each side-wall is a modern
window which incorporates some 15th-century
Fittings—Bells: six; 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th of
1701, 6th of 1710, all said to be by Richard Keene.
Book: MS. in possession of the Vicar, entitled:
"Antient Coates of Armes, Monuments Matches
of and belonging to the name and family of Fox, in
the County of Essex," apparently of 1639. Brass:
In S. aisle—at E. end, of man in plate armour,
with indents of inscription plate and four shields,
said to be of Richard Fox, of Arkesden, 1439, and
formerly on an altar tomb. Chest: In W. tower—
of oak, front panels and framing with incised
ornament, 17th-century. Font: (See Plate, p.
xxix.) square tapering bowl of limestone, with
beaded edge at the top, possibly 12th-century;
square hollow pedestal of clunch, each side pierced
with a small moulded and pointed opening, in
the middle, small circular shaft, 13th-century.
Glass: In tower—in W. window, in N. light,
shield of the arms of Fox (renewed), quartering
Bigwood, argent a chief gules with two crescents
or thereon, 15th-century, partly restored; in middle
light, quatrefoiled panel with arms of Arundel,
gules a lion or quartering Warrenne, checky or and
azure, all within an engrailed border argent, at
the top and sides yellow crowns, late 14th-century,
one crown modern; in S. light, shield with arms
of Walden Abbey, azure a bend gules cotised or
dividing two molets or with three scallops argent
on the bend (one molet missing), 15th-century.
Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, rectangular,
rebated for door, 15th-century, re-cut. Monuments: In chancel—in N. wall (1) of priest in
cassock and surplice, effigy in two parts, set in a
double recess, divided by a solid pier, each side
having a depressed head with sunk spandrels
and embattled cornice, a canopied niche in each
jamb and in the pier; recess set on slab with
moulded edge; effigy and slab, 15th-century,
(see Plate, p. xxx.); recess and niches, modern
or entirely re-cut. In S. aisle—in N.E. corner
(2) of Richard Cutte, 1592, and Mary (Elrington)
his wife, 1593, large canopied altar tomb of limestone, decorated with colour and elaborate heraldry,
erected by their eldest son, Richard; two recumbent effigies, of man in plate armour with peascod
breastplate and puffed trunk-breeches, head resting
on close helmet, crest at feet; of woman with
close-fitting head-dress, ruff, etc. at her feet
a dog; at S. side and W. end of tomb, eight recesses
having fluted pilasters and round heads, each
recess, except two at the W. end, containing
figure of son or daughter, with name; at sides
of tomb, six octagonal columns, with moulded
capitals and bases enriched with acanthus leaves,
supporting flat canopy with moulded entablature,
'Jacobean' cresting, and, at the angles, obelisks,
soffit of canopy richly panelled and having three
pendants. In W. tower—on N. wall (3) of John
Withers, of the Middle Temple, 1692, grey and
white marble monument, with two busts and
cartouche of arms. In churchyard—S. of chancel,
(4) headstone with inscription to Sarah, wife
of Thomas Morris, 1704, foot-stone inscribed
S.M., 1704; (5) part of coffin-slab with remains of
double cross, 14th-century. Piscinæ: In chancel
—with moulded jambs, four-centred head, moulded
label and sexfoil drain, 15th-century, re-cut. In
S. aisle—in E. splay of S.E. window, with chamfered
jambs and trefoiled head, projecting fluted basin
resting on carved grotesque head, 14th-century.
Plate: includes cup of 1562 and cover-paten of
1567. Recess, or Squint: In nave—E. of E.
respond of S. arcade, visible on both sides of
wall, with moulded jambs and cinquefoiled ogee
head, late 14th-century, now blocked. Sedilia:
In chancel—sill of S.E. window carried down
to form seat, splays and part of seat probably
15th-century, the rest modern. In S. aisle—
sill of S.E. window carried down to form seat,
part of seat, 14th-century, the rest modern.
Miscellanea: In churchyard—three moulded stones,
Condition—Good, much restored.
a(2). Homestead Moat, S. of Clodmore Hill,
¾ mile W.N.W. of the church.
b(3). Wood Hall, house and moat, over ½ m.
S.S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys
with attics; the walls are partly of brick and
partly of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are
tiled. The present house was built in 1652, on
an irregular rectangular plan, but was much altered
in the 18th century. Late in the 19th century, the
walls were almost entirely re-faced, and the house
was much altered and enlarged. The elevations
are modern, except some 17th-century brickwork
on the N. and W. sides.
Interior—On the ground floor, in the modern
entrance porch, are three linen-fold panels of the
16th century. In the room at the S.E. corner of
the building, is a stone fireplace of 1652, with
moulded and panelled jambs and four-centred
arch under a square head with panelled spandrels;
the fireplace is flanked by pilasters, which, with the
overmantel, are enriched with elaborate plaster
strap-work. In the room, formerly the kitchen,
is a large open fire-place, completely restored; over
it is a massive early 16th-century beam, carved
with foliage, dragons, grotesques, etc. and said to
have come from Newland End Farm; the doorway
between the former kitchen and the hall has
moulded oak jambs and semi-circular arch under
a square head; the arch has a central pendant;
the date 1652 and shields of the Cutte arms are
carved in the spandrels. The window of the
staircase contains some small panels of 17th-century Dutch glass, representing figures and heraldic
subjects; one panel is dated 1616, and another
1655. On the first floor, a modern overmantel
encloses a late 16th or early 17th-century painted
Part of a garden-wall, W. of the house, is of
The Moat, is very incomplete.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two
storeys, timber-framed and covered with plaster;
the roofs are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have old chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and
Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.
Main Street, S. side
b(4). Cottage, two tenements, 180 yards S.S.W.
of the church, with a modern third tenement
added at the E. end.
b (5). House, now three tenements, 60 yards E.
b (6). The Axe and Compasses Inn, 160 yards
E.S.E. of (5), was built c. 1700, but has been
re-fronted with modern brick, and has a modern
addition at the W. end.
b (7). Cottage, now a shop, 50 yards S. of the
church, with a modern addition at the back.
b (8). Cottage, 20 yards S. of (4), is of L-shaped
plan, with the wings extending towards the
S. and W.
Condition—Bad, partly ruinous.
b (9). Cottage, two tenements, 30 yards S. of (8),
has one original door of moulded battens.
b (10). The Green Man Inn, 50 yards S.E. of (9),
is of late 16th or early 17th-century date, and has
modern additions on the N. and S. sides. The
original central chimney-stack has three square
shafts on a rectangular base with splayed angles.
Inside the building, one room has a wall covered
with original panelling, now painted.
b (11). Cottage, 30 yards E. of (10), is of late 16th
or early 17th-century date. The original central
chimney-stack has grouped square shafts. The
plaster on the walls is probably of 1699, the date
on a gabled dormer at the back.
b (12). Cottages, a range of three, 200 yards S.E.
b (13). Cottage, E. of (12).
The Wicken Road, N. side
b (14). Daw's Farm, 500 yards S.E. of the church.
b (15). Cottage, two tenements, about 100 yards
S.E. of (14), with modern additions at the E. end
and at the back.
b (16). Severals, farmhouse, 520 yards E. of (15);
it has been re-fronted with modern brick, and has a
modern addition at the back. The original central
chimney-stack is of cross-shaped plan.
The Wenden Road, W. side
b (17). House, 70 yards N. of the church. The
vertical timber-framing of the walls is exposed in
front and at the back, and has brick filling, partly
original. At the E. end the upper storey projects.
At the W. end is an addition, possibly of late
17th-century date. The original central chimney-stack has three attached shafts, all with diagonal
b (18). Cottage, two tenements, at Hampits, on
the N. side of the road, ¼ m. W. of the church.
a(19). Cottage, at Clodmore Hill, nearly 1 m.
N.W. of the church, with a modern addition.
a (20). Cottage, at Morley Green, over 1 m.
N.W. of the church, is of c. 1700, and has a modern
addition at the N. end.
b (21). Great Becketts, farmhouse, ¾ m. N.W.
of the church, is of two storeys with attics, and
was built c. 1580; at the S.E. end is a modern
addition. The timber-framing is exposed in the
original S.E. gable. The original central chimney-stack has a square base with four octagonal
shafts which have moulded caps and bases. Inside the building, the N.W. room has three walls
covered with late 16th-century panelling, the
upper rails and some of the panels are carved;
the stone fireplace has semi-octagonal shafted
jambs and a square head with a moulded entablature. The next room has a corner cupboard
of c. 1700, and the room above it has a stone
fireplace with moulded jambs and three-centred
arch in a square head with a moulded entablature.
b (22). Little Becketts, three tenements, 180
yards N.W. of (21). On the E. side, on the first
floor, is a small projecting window, probably
b (23). Hobs Aerie, farmhouse and barn, 750
yards N.E. of the church. The House was built
originally on a rectangular plan, facing S.E.; an
L-shaped addition was made at the back late in
the 17th century, and in the 19th century a large
addition was built in front of the original house.
At the back, part of the wall is built of late 17th-century brick. The original central chimney-stack has indented angles. Inside the building, on
the first floor, one room has a cupboard with double
doors of early 17th-century date.
The Barn, W. of the house and probably contemporary with it, is of five bays with one aisle and
a projecting entrance.
Condition—Of barn, poor.
b (24). Cottage, 300 yards N.W. of (23), with
a (25). Moated Mound, or site of mill, W. of
Chardwell Farm, 1 m. W. of the church. The
mound is about 60 ft. in diameter at the base, and
is surrounded, except on the N. side, by a narrow