8. BELCHAMP WALTER. (F.a.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)vi. S.W. (b)xii. N.E. (c) xii. N.W.)
Belchamp Walter is a small parish about 3 m.
W. of Sudbury. The Church is the principal
c (1). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin
stands on the S.E. side of the parish. The walls
are of flint rubble partly covered with plaster, the
dressings are of stone; the roofs are tiled. The
Chancel was built in the first half of the 13th century.
c. 1330 the Nave was rebuilt and a chantry-chapel
or tomb-recess added on the N. side. The West
Tower was added about the middle of the 15th
century, and in the second half of the same
century the South Porch was built. In the 16th
century the projecting tomb-recess or chantry-chapel was removed. The church was restored
in the 19th century, when the E. wall and the
chancel-arch were rebuilt, the E. wall now standing
further E. than its predecessor.
The 14th-century arched recess in the nave is
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (23¼ ft.
by 16 ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N.
wall are two windows; the eastern is of one
round-headed light, only partly old and of uncertain
date; the western window is a 13th-century
lancet, the sill has been removed and the opening
cut down to the floor to form a modern doorway.
In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern is a
13th-century lancet, and the western window is
modern; below it are remains of the splays
of a lancet window or a doorway. The chancel-arch is modern.
The Nave (63¾ ft. by 30½ ft.) has a moulded
external string-course below the window sills.
In the N. wall near the E. end is an archway (see
Fittings) opening into the former tomb-recess or
chantry-chapel, and now blocked with 16th-century brickwork, which has a moulded plinth of
stone; foundations of the W. wall of the chapel
remain outside, level with the ground. There are
two windows in the N. wall; the eastern is of the
16th century, and is set in the blocking of the archway; it is of moulded and plastered brick, and of
four plain lights under a square head; the western
window is of c. 1330, and of three cinquefoiled
lights with intersecting tracery under a two-centred head. Further W. is the 14th-century
N. doorway, now blocked; the jambs and two-centred arch are of two moulded orders. In the S.
wall are two windows of the same date and similar
detail to the western window in the N. wall. Between them is the S. doorway, which is similar to
the N. doorway, but is not blocked, and has a
The West Tower (12¼ ft. square) is of the 15th
century, and of three stages, with a moulded plinth
and embattled parapet, both enriched with flint
and stone checker-work; the plinths of the two
western buttresses have each a quatrefoiled panel
with a plain shield; the N.E. stair-turret is finished
at the top with 16th-century brick and supports a
modern cupola with an early 18th-century weather-vane of wrought iron. The tower-arch is two-centred and of three chamfered orders, the two
outer orders continuous, and the inner resting on
semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and
bases; on each side of the arch, on the E. face of
the wall, is a square cusped panel which has an
embattled cornice, and encloses a shield with arms
wrongly painted in the 17th or 18th century—(a)
three water bougets quartering three bulls' heads razed
sable; (b) sable a cheveron argent between three eagles
argent and a chief argent with three martlets sable
therein, for Raymond, quartering or a cheveron
sable between three crosses paty sable, for Sterne of
Essendon. In the N. wall, opening into the stair-turret, is a doorway with chamfered jambs and four-centred arch. The W. window has been partly
restored; it has three cinquefoiled ogee lights with
a transom and tracery in a four-centred head under
a moulded label. The second stage has, in each of
the N., S., and W. walls, a window of one trefoiled
light; below the window in the W. wall are three
square panels in a moulded frame; two of the
panels are cusped and enclose blank shields. The
bell-chamber has, in each wall, a window of two
cinquefoiled lights in a four-centred head with
remains of a moulded label.
The South Porch is of the 15th century, and is
timber-framed on a brick base. The outer entrance
has double-hollow-chamfered posts with arched
brackets supporting the lintel; the gable has a
moulded beam at the base, and foiled barge-boards.
The E. and W. walls are each of two bays, divided by
a post with art attached semi-octagonal shaft from
which springs the brace of the tie-beam; each
bay has a window formerly divided into lights
by diagonal mullions; only one of them is original,
and many are missing.
The Roof of the chancel is of the trussed-rafter
type, plastered on the soffit and having moulded
wall-plates of the 15th century. The roof of the
nave is of a similar type and also plastered. The
ground stage of the tower has large flat ceiling-beams
of the 15th century. The 15th-century roof of
the porch has two cambered and hollow-chamfered
tie-beams, with curved braces, one king-post with
four-way struts, and one with a single strut and a
central purlin; the wall-plates are moulded and
Fittings—Bells: eight and clock-bell; 5th by
Thomas Gardiner, 1712; clock-bell, uninscribed.
Bell-frame, old. Brasses and Indents. Indents:
In nave—(1) of figure probably of priest in cope,
large canopy with small shields, 15th-century,
much worn; (2) of two figures, one in armour,
elaborate canopy, inscription plate and four
shields, 15th-century. Chest: In tower—of oak,
painted, with three-sided lid, three locks and handle
at each end, shaped feet, probably late 17th-century. Doors: In N. doorway—(1) of studded
battens with strap-hinges, probably 16th-century.
In S. doorway—(2) similar to that in N. doorway,
but partly restored. In doorway of turret-staircase—(3) with frame in two panels, planted on,
15th-century. Font: (see Plate, p. xxix) circular
tapering bowl with band of interlacing ornament,
divided by small round and twisted shafts, early
12th-century, top cut down, base modern. Glass:
In nave—in S.W. window, quarries with flowerdesign, 14th century. Monuments: In nave—in
N. wall (see Plate, p. 20), (1) said to be to Sir John
Boutetort, 1324 or 1325, and Maude (Fitz-Otes) his
wife, arched recess probably forming canopy for
former altar tomb and entrance to former chantry-chapel, moulded and two-centred arch, cinquefoiled,
sub-cusped and carved with foliage and flowers,
points of main cusps carved with grotesques, and on
main spandrels four shields of arms alternately,
(a) a saltire engrailed, for Boutetort, and (b) bendy
with a quarter, for Fitz-Otes; crocketed and moulded
label with carved finial, moulded responds carved
with foliage; arch flanked by square panelled
buttresses with panelled, gabled and crocketed
pinnacles, on buttresses numerous small shields
of arms including Boutetort, Fitz-Otes, Boutetort
with a label of five points, Fitz-Otes impaling
Boutetort, and quarterly a bend, for Beauchamp; at
back of arch, moulded and carved springers of
vaulted roof of former chapel, or canopy of tomb,
springing from semi-circular vaulting shafts with
moulded capitals. In churchyard—S. of nave,
(2) to Anne, wife of Robert Ray, 1712, head and
foot-stones. Paintings: In nave—traces, on
whole of N. and S. walls; on N. wall, two tiers of
subjects enclosed in horizontal bands of ornament,
early 15th-century, much defaced, also lower
down, traces of texts in black-letter, palimpsest;
on S. wall, traces, including large circular border,
probably of a 'wheel of fortune,' ornamented with
roundels. Recess: (see Monuments). Miscellanea:
In second stage of tower—candlebox and holder
of wood, top and back covered with metal, back
Condition—Good, some ivy on walls.
a (2). Homestead Moat at Eyston Hall, about
1 m. N.N.E. of the church.
c (3). Moat, probably round cattle enclosure,
250 yards E.N.E. of the church.
c (4). Stone and Marble Fragments, built
into the gate-piers of Belchamp Hall, 100 yards
N.N.W. of the church. The fragments include
portions of 12th and 15th-century shafts, some
with moulded and carved capitals, carved diaper
work, and two marble shields of early 16th century date, both—a cheveron between three eagles,
a chief (defaced) impaling a cheveron between three
crosses paty, for Philip Raymond of Hunsdon
and Agnes (Sterne) his wife.
b (5). St. Mary Hall, 1¾ m. W.S.W. of the
church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and
plastered; the roofs are tiled. The kitchen
wing, standing almost detached S.E. of the main
building, was built late in the 15th century. Late
in the 16th century the main structure was built
on an H-shaped plan with the cross-wings on the
N. and S. There is a modern addition between
the wings on the E., and a small addition on the
W., also between the wings. The late 16th-century
chimney-stack at the S. end of the S. wing has three
octagonal shafts, on a rectangular base with a
moulded capping. Inside the building, the rooms
on the ground floor of the main structure have
chamfered ceiling-beams, except one room, which
has moulded beams. The ground floor of the
kitchen-wing has heavy chamfered ceiling-beams
and flat joists; the upper storey has an original
king-post roof-truss, with two-way struts and
curved braces to the tie-beam. Under the staircase in the same wing is an original door of studded
and moulded battens.
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century, and of two
storevs, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs
are tiled or thatched. Many of the buildings have
original chimney-stacks, wide fireplaces and exposed
Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless noted.
b (6). Hopkin's Farm, house, about 1¾ m.
W.S.W. of the church, was built in the 15th century,
on the mediæval plan with a central Hall, a Buttery
on the N., and a Solar on the S. side. Early in the
17th century the Hall was divided into two floors,
and the central chimney-stack was inserted.
There is a modern addition on the E. side. The
early 17th-century central chimney-stack has four
engaged octagonal shafts. Inside the building
are remains of an original king-post truss over the
Hall; it has a steeply cambered tie-beam with
b (7). Cottage, two tenements, about 1½ m. W. of
the church, with a modern addition at the W. end.
c (8). Rippingale's Farm, house, about ¾ m.
W.N.W. of the church. The E. front has two
projecting gables, each with original moulded and
carved bressumer and shaped brackets. The
original central chimney-stack has grouped diagonal
shafts. Inside the building are two original
fireplaces with chamfered jambs and three-centred
a(9). Clark's Farm, house, ½ m. N. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics. It was built
late in the 16th century, on an L-shaped plan with
the wings extending towards the N.W. and N.E.
Between the wings are extensive 18th-century
and modern additions. The S.W. front has two
gables with original barge-boards carved with
vine and leaf-ornament. Between the gables is a
gabled dormer with original carved barge-boards.
The original central chimney-stack has four
octagonal shafts, restored at the top. Inside the
building, on the first floor, is an original fireplace
with chamfered jambs and three-centred head.
a(10). Rockery Farm, house, 1¼ m. N.E. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics, and has a
modern addition at the N.W. angle. The E. front
has a slightly projecting gabled wing at the
N. end. Inside the building, on the first floor, is
an original fireplace with chamfered jambs, four-centred arch and a moulded oak curb.
c (11). Mount Farm, house, 100 yards N. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics. It is of
L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards
the N. and E. There is a modern addition on the
N. side of the E. wing. The original chimney-stack at the back of the N. wing has three brick
offsets. The original central stack has a shaft
cross-shaped on plan.
c (12). Cottage, now two tenements, on the
E. side of the road, 120 yards S. of the church, with
a modern addition at the S.W. end. The upper
storey is gabled, and originally projected at the
S.W. end of the N.W. front; it has now been
c (13). House, now two tenements, near Belchamp
Mill, 220 yards S. of the church. There are modern
additions on the N.E. and N.W. sides; the roof
is covered with slate, and is hipped at the ends.
c(14). Springate Farm, house, 720 yards W.S.W.
of the church, was built c. 1500, with a Hall in the
middle. There is a modern addition on the S.
side. The upper storey originally projected on the
N. front, but has been under-built. Inside the
building, the former Hall and the room W. of it
have original moulded ceiling-beams and joists. In
the E. wall of the Hall is a doorway, now blocked,
with a four-centred head. At the foot of the
staircase are two original, four-centred archways
with moulded jambs, and spandrels carved with
foliage and shields; the central newel of the staircase is apparently original. On the first floor, the
room above the Hall has, in the E. wall, a blocked
doorway with a four-centred head.
c(15). Cottage, of central chimney type, now two
detached tenements, on the E. side of the road,
1,100 yards S.W. of the church. The middle part
of the cottage has been destroyed.
c(16). Largess Farm, house, about ¾ m. S.W. of
of the church, with modern additions at the W. end.
The original central chimney-stack is of T-shaped