6. BELCHAMP OTTON. (E.a.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)v. S.E. (b)vi. S.W. (c)xi. N.E.)
Belchamp Otton is a small parish and village
about 4½ m. W. of Sudbury.
a (1). Parish Church of St. Ethelbert and
All Saints stands in the village. The walls
are of flint rubble, partly covered with cement;
the dressings are of limestone and clunch; the
roofs are tiled. The Nave was built c. 1130. The
present Chancel was built probably in the 13th
century. Late in the 14th century the chancel-arch,
with the E. and N. walls of the chancel, was rebuilt
and the South Porch was added. Late in the
15th or early in the 16th century a bell-turret was
built. The church was restored in the 19th
century, when the North Vestry was added and
the Bell-turret rebuilt.
The 12th-century S. doorway is interesting.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (27½ ft.
by 17¼ ft. at the E. end and 16½ ft. at the W. end),
has a late 14th-century E. window of three tre
foiled lights under a segmental head; the moulded
rear arch is of the 13th century. In the N. wall
are two late 14th-century windows, each of two
trefoiled lights under a square head with a moulded
label. In the S. wall are two windows, also of
late 14th-century date, and of similar detail
to those in the N. wall; the eastern window
is set in an internal recess. Between the windows
is a modern doorway, and above it are traces
in the plaster, possibly indicating a former window
of a single light. The late 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred, and of two moulded orders
dying on to the plain hollow-chamfered responds.
The Nave (41¾ ft. by 22½ ft.), has, at the apex
of the E. gable, a 15th-century stone with the
stump of a former cross. In the N. wall is a 14th-century window of three cinquefoiled lights
with tracery in a four-centred head under a
moulded label. Further W. is the N. doorway,
with 12th-century chamfered jambs, and a four-centred arch of the 16th century, or perhaps
modern; the splays and semi-circular rear arch are
original. In the S. wall are two 14th-century
windows, the eastern is of three plain ogee lights
under a square head; the jambs, mullions and head
are moulded; the western window is of two trefoiled
ogee lights under a square head. The S. doorway is
of c. 1130; the semi-circular arch is of two orders,
the inner roll-moulded, and the outer enriched with
cheveron ornament; the jambs are each of two
shafted orders, the shafts are spirally fluted and
beaded; the bases are cable - moulded, and the
capitals carved and scalloped, with moulded abaci;
on the W. side, one capital has been reversed;
the depressed rear arch is of the 14th or 15th
century. In the W. wall is a modern window.
The Bell-turret is modern, but rest on a crossbeam and two chamfered posts of the 15th century,
set against the walls of the nave; the S. post has an
attached shaft formerly supporting a curved
bracket; the shaft has been removed from the
N. post, but part of the bracket remains; the
cross-beam is further supported by two early 17th-century posts enriched with a large guilloche pattern.
The South Porch has a 15th-century outer archway, two-centred and of two chamfered orders;
the responds are much restored and have each an
attached shaft with a moulded capital and base.
The E. and W. walls have each a 15th-century
window of two cinquefoiled lights under a square
head, with a segmental outer order of brick;
the mullion of the window in the E. wall is modern.
The Roof of the chancel is of the trussed-rafter
type, and is probably of the 15th century; it is
plastered on the soffit, but the moulded wall-plates
are exposed. The roof of the nave is of the same
date and type as that of the chancel, and has a
plain rough tie-beam of later date. The roof of
the porch has moulded and embattled wall-plates
of the 15th century.
Fittings—Bells: three; 1st and 2nd by John
Tonne, early 16th-century; 3rd by Henry Pleasant,
1695. Bell-frame, old. Communion Rails: with
moulded rail and twisted balusters, early 18th-century. Font: octagonal, quatrefoiled panelled
bowl, with embattled rim and moulded and carved
lower edge, panelled stem, 15th-century, partly
defaced. Glass: In chancel—in N.E. and S.E.
windows, bordered heads to lights, late 14th-century, in situ. In nave—in N. window,
fragments of tabernacle work, 15th-century;
in second window in S. wall, fragments of tabernacle work and borders, partly in situ, late 14th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Floor-slab:
In chancel—to Robert . . . of Sudbury, 1699.
Panelling: In nave—in back of W. pew on S.
side, moulded, early 17th-century, re-used.
Plate: includes cup and cover-paten of 1567, foot
of paten missing. Pulpit: octagonal, of oak,
panelled, upper panels with arcaded enrichment,
ribbed stem cut down, late 16th or early 17th-century, partly restored.
Condition—Good, but S. walls out of the perpendicular, and roof of nave has settled towards S.
a (2). Homestead Moat, at Whitehouse Farm,
about ½ m. N.N.E. of the church. In a modern
barn is a shaped and moulded bracket, with the
date 1669, and initials I.W.
b (3). Bevingdon House, nearly ¾ m. E.N.E.
of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the
walls are timber-framed and plastered, and the
roofs are tiled. It was built, probably early in
the 17th century, on a half-H-shaped plan with
the wings extending towards the S. There are
several modern additions between the wings,
and at the end of the S.W. wing. The original
central chimney-stacks of the main block and of the
S.E. wing have detached octagonal shafts. The
main roof is hipped at the ends. Inside
the building, the S.E. wing has chamfered ceilingbeams and flat joists partly exposed; the S.W.
wing has an open timber ceiling. Some original
panelling has been re-used in various parts of
the house, and there is one original panelled door
with cock's-head hinges.
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 ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, or fairly good, without exception.
a (4). Cottage, three tenements, on the S.E. side
of the road, 350 yards E. of the church, is of two
storeys with attics. The plan is L-shaped, with
the wings extending towards the N.W. and N.E.,
and there is a modern addition between the wings.
The original central chimney-stack has diagonal
pilasters on a rectangular base with a moulded
a(5). Cole's Farm, house, on the N. side of the
road, 220 yards E. of the church, was originally of
L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards
the S.W. and N.W. There is an 18th-century
addition between the wings and a modern addition
on the E. side. The original central chimney-stack
has three grouped diagonal shafts.
a (6). Cottage, now three tenements, on the
S.E. side of the road, 400 yards W.S.W. of the
church, with an 18th-century addition in front,
and a modern addition at the back.
a(7). Inn, about 550 yards W.S.W. of the
church, was originally of L-shaped plan with
the wings extending towards the S. and W. There
are modern additions at the S. end.
c (8). Fowes Farm, house, 1 m. S.W. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics. The N.W.
wing was built probably late in the 16th or early
in the 17th century. The S.W. wing was added
at right angles to the original block, probably
late in the 17th century. The gable-ends of the
N.W. wing have original moulded barge-boards.
In the modern porch is some early 17th-century
a (9). Manor Farm, house, 1,000 yards W.S.W.
of the church, with modern additions on the W.
side and at the N. end.
a (10). Cottage, two tenements, at Waltersfield,
about ¾ m. W.N.W. of the church, was built
late in the 17th or early in the 18th century.
The gables are half-hipped.
b (11). Eyston Smith's Farm, house, about 1½
m. N.E. of the church, was built late in the 16th
century, on a rectangular plan. A wing was added
on the E. side, probably in the 17th century, making
the plan T-shaped. There are modern additions
on the S. side of the wing ; on the W. side the
upper storey projects, and has curved brackets.
The original central chimney-stack has diagonal
pilasters. Inside the building a room in the E.
wing has a moulded ceiling-beam, re-used.