3. ASHEN. (E.a.)
O.S. 6 in. (a)v. N.E. (b)v. S.W. (c)v. S.E.
Ashen is a small parish on the Suffolk border;
the village is about 8 m. W. of Sudbury.
b (1). Parish Church of St. Augustine of
Canterbury stands in the village. The walls
are of flint rubble with dressings of limestone and
clunch; the stair-turret of the tower is of brick.
The roofs are tiled. The Nave was built probably
in the first half of the 13th century. The West
Tower was added c. 1400, and c. 1525 the stair-turret
was added to the tower. The South Porch was
built probably c. 1600. In 1857 the Chancel was
rebuilt, the nave lengthened a few feet towards the
E., and the North Vestry and Organ, recess were
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Nave (40 ft. by
18½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, two windows; the
eastern is of one 18th-century light, set in a 15th-century opening, from which the mullion and tracery
have been removed; the western is an early
13th-century lancet window, apparently widened in
the 18th century. Between the windows is the N.
doorway of c. 1320, now blocked; it has jambs
and two-centred head of two moulded orders. In
the S. wall are three windows, the easternmost is
of late 15th or early 16th-century date, and of
two plain lights under a four-centred head; the
second window is a 13th-century lancet light with
chamfered and rebated jambs and head; the
westernmost window is of late 15th-century date
and of two plain ogee lights under a square head;
the lights and spandrels may have been formerly
cusped. Between the two western windows is the
S. doorway of c. 1400, with jambs and two-centred
head of two moulded orders and having a moulded
The West Tower (10 ft. square) is of three stages
with a moulded plinth, embattled parapet, and
an early 16th-century S.E. stair-turret of brick
with a stone plinth; the stair turret is carried
above the parapet and has remains of an embattled parapet supported by trefoiled corbelling.
The tower-arch of c. 1400 is two-centred and of
two chamfered orders; the responds have each
a semi-octagonal attached shaft with a moulded
capital and base. The W. window is of c. 1400
and of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil
in a two-centred head. In the W. wall of
the second stage is a window of one cinquefoiled
light. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a
window originally of the same date and detail as
the W. window; they are much weathered and
the mullions and part of the tracery have been
The South Porch is probably of c. 1600, and has
timber-framed walls covered with plaster. The
outer entrance has above it a cambered tie-beam.
The Roof of the nave is of the 15th century,
and the four original bays have moulded wallplates and principals with curved braces.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st and 2nd by Thomas
de Lenne, c. 1333; 1st inscribed 'Alicia, Ave Maria
Gra. Plena Dns. Tecum'; 2nd inscribed 'Thomas,
Ihc, Nazaren Rex Judeorum'; 3rd by Henry Jordan, late 15th-century, inscribed, 'Sit Nomen
Domini Benedictum.' Bell-frame, old. Brass:
In nave—at E. end, of man in plate armour, with
besagues, and woman with high-waisted gown and
horned head-dress, c. 1440, indents of inscription
plate and four shields. Chests; In second stage of
tower—two, plain and iron-bound, probably c. 1700.
Doors: In S. doorway—plain, with large stock
lock, uncertain date, strap-hinges with damaged
foliated ends, 13th-century. In doorways to turret
staircase—two, one of chamfered battens and one
plain, probably 16th-century. Font: with plain
octagonal bowl of oolite, stem of clunch, possibly
15th - century, much scraped. Monument: In
nave—on N. wall, to Luce (Cotton) wife of John
Tallakarne, 1610, painted tablet, flanked by terminal figures and having three shields of arms.
Niches: External: on W. tower—on S. side of turret
staircase, with cinquefoiled head, early 16th-century, much defaced; on W. wall of second stage,
plain with pointed head, c. 1400. Panelling: used
as a dado in the 18th-century pews, early 17th
century. Plate: includes a cup and cover-paten of
c. 1570. Seating: In nave—set in wainscot against
N. wall, panel inscribed, 'This hath bin the churching the mearring stool and so it shall be still 1620';
at W. end—one front, and two open seats, with
buttressed ends, late 15th-century. Stoup: In
porch—E. of S. doorway, traces, date uncertain.
Condition—Fairly good, much altered and
b (2). Homestead Moat, 150 yards N.E. of the
church; the W. arm has been destroyed.
b (3). Ashen House and moat, 520 yards N. of
the church. The House is of two storeys with
attics; the walls are partly of plastered timberframing and partly of brick; the roofs are tiled.
It was built c. 1540, on an L-shaped plan with the
wings extending towards the S. and W., but was
much altered and partly rebuilt late in the 17th
or early in the 18th century. There are modern
additions on the N. side. The E. end of the W.
wing has a hipped roof and an early 18th-century
dentilled cornice under the eaves. The chimney-stack of the S. wing is built of old bricks.
Interior—On the ground, floor the two main
rooms have early 18th-century panelling on the
walls, with a cornice and dado-rail; the southern
room has also a fireplace with a moulded architrave and panelled jambs; the overmantel
has an enriched cornice and encloses a landscape,
painted on canvas; on each side are five original
linen-fold panels, re-fixed. Above a doorway in
the passage between the main rooms is some oak
framing, round four original panels carved with
foliage and heads, two male and two female;
all surmounted by an enriched cornice of late
17th-century date. The staircase has a moulded
rail and turned balusters and newels of early
18th-century date. The store-room in the W.
wing has 16th-century panelling on the walls, and
an early 18th-century panel over the fireplace;
covering the fireplace opening is some linen-fold
panelling, and there is some old panelling in a
cupboard. On the first floor the bedrooms have
early 18th-century panelling.
The Moat is imperfect.
Condition—Of house, good.
c (4). Claret Hall, 1½m. N.E. of the church,
is of two storeys with a cellar; the walls are timberframed and plastered, and the roofs are tiled. It
was built about the middle of the 16th century, on
an L-shaped plan with the wings extending
towards the N. and E. There is a modern wing
on the N.E., making the plan half-H-shaped. The
original central chimney-stack has a moulded
capping, a sunk panel on the W. face, and four
octagonal shafts with moulded bases and modern
tops. Inside the building, on the ground floor,
some of the rooms have exposed ceiling-beams.
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two
storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs
are tiled or thatched. Some of the buildings have
original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed
Condition—Good, or fairly good, without exception.
c (5). Bradley Hill Farm, house, 300 yards E.
of (4), with a modern addition on the E. side.
The central chimney-stack has two octagonal
shafts, modern at the top.
a (6). Mill Farm, house, 1¾ m. N.E. of the
church, with modern additions at the E. and W. ends.
b (7). Stours Farm, house, ¾ m. N.N.E. of the
church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the S.E. and N.E.
b (8). Cottage, two tenements, 300 yards W.N.W.
of the church, with a modern addition at the S.W.
end. The original central chimney-stack has
grouped shafts and pilasters, set diagonally.
b (9). Street Farm, house, 80 yards N.W. of the
church, was built early in the 16th century, on an
L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the
N. and W. The Hall occupied the middle of the
N. wing, with the Solar on the N., and the Screens
on the S. leading to the Buttery in the W. wing.
On the E. front, the upper storey projects, with plain
curved brackets; at the N. end of the front is a
gable. On the N. side of the W. wing is a 16th-century bay window with a moulded oak frame.
Inside the building, the Hall, the Screens, and the
parlour at the N. end have original moulded ceilingbeams and joists. In the Hall are two original
doorways with four-centred heads; the ledged
and boarded doors are old.
b (10). Cottage, two tenements, S. of (9), with
a modern addition at the S. end, and a half-hipped
gable at the same end.
b (11). The Red Cow Inn, two tenements, 70
yards S. of (10), is of L-shaped plan with the wings
extending towards the N. and W. There are
modern additions on the W. side and at the N. end.
The original central chimney-stack has grouped
shafts and pilasters, set diagonally.
b (12). Upper Farm, house, ¼ m. S. of the church,
with a modern addition at the N.W. end.
b (13). Pannels Ash, house, 500 yards E. of the
church, with an 18th-century addition at the
Bardfield, Great and Little, see Great
Bardfield and Little Bardfield.