16. CASTLE HEDINGHAM. (E.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. ix. S.E.)
Castle Hedingham is a village and parish about
3¾ m. N.N.W. of Halstead, in the Colne Valley.
The principal monuments are the Church and the
Castle (see Plate, p. 60).
(1). Parish Church of St. Nicholas (see Plate,
p. 47) stands in the middle of the village. The
walls generally are of flint rubble with stone
dressings; the tower, porch and parapets are of red
brick. The roofs are covered with lead and slate.
Foundations of an early 12th-century apsidal
chancel are said to have been found within the
present chancel. The Chancel, Nave and North
and South Aisles were built c. 1180. In the 14th
century the wall on each side of the first bay of the
nave was pierced by an arch. In the 15th century
the North Vestry was added. The South Porch
was added, and the parapets of the nave and
aisles were rebuilt early in the 16th century.
Early in the 17th century the nave was shortened
by one bay at the W. end, and the West Tower
was built. The church was restored in the 19th
century, and the Organ-chamber is modern.
The church is of great interest; the wheel-window in the chancel and the nave-arcades,
both of the 12th century, the 17th-century
brickwork of the tower, porch, and parapets,
and the early 16th-century roof of the nave are
especially noteworthy; among the fittings the
12th-century doors, the 15th-century stall-work
and the Vere monument of 1539 are remarkable.
Castle Hedingham, the Parish Church of St. Nicholas
Architectural Description—The Chancel (43½ ft.
by 20 ft.) is of c. 1180, and has clasping buttresses
of ashlar at the E. angles, and two moulded pilaster
buttresses against the E. wall, one of them is
carried through the string-course, while the other
stops under it, a fact which suggests some alteration
from the first design; against the middle of the
S. wall is a pilaster buttress of ashlar, and above
the buttress is a head-corbel; the corbel-table of
the N. and S. walls is modern. In the E. wall are
four windows, one being in the gable; the three
lower windows are each of one light with moulded
two-centred heads and moulded labels; the jambs
have attached and keeled shafts with moulded
bases, foliated capitals, and square moulded abaci
continued along the wall as a string-course; the
internal labels and rear arches are moulded, and
the internal splays have attached semi-circular
shafts with moulded bases, foliated capitals and
moulded abaci. Between the windows are recesses,
each with a keeled shaft which has a moulded base
and foliated capital. In the gable is a wheel window
with a moulded opening and label; the eight
radiating lights are divided by short shafts with
moulded bases and foliated capitals; the internal
jambs have shafts with foliated capitals, and the
rear arch is moulded; below the window is a
moulded external string-course, with a stop carved
as a crouching lion at the N. end, and a head-stop
at the S. end. Below the sills of the lower windows
are internal and external moulded string-courses.
In the N. wall are three small windows of similar
detail to the lower windows in the E. wall, but
without internal labels; the easternmost window
is modern, except the internal E. splay; between
the windows, and beyond them on each side,
are recesses with moulded semi-circular arches;
the jambs have shafts with moulded bases and
foliated capitals; the two eastern recesses have
been partly restored; at the sill level are internal
and external moulded string-courses. Further W.
is a modern arch, but in the E. respond is the
shafted splay of a fourth original window. Below
the third recess is a 15th-century doorway, with
moulded jambs and two-centred arch in a square
head with a moulded label. The S. wall has four
windows with recesses between them, and on the
E. side; the three eastern windows and the
recesses are uniform with those in the N. wall; the
westernmost window is modern; at the sill level
are internal and external string-courses similar to
those on the E. wall. Near the W. end is a doorway,
now blocked (see Plate p. xxviii.); it has a semi-circular arch of two orders richly carved with
foliage and zigzag ornament; the label has billet
ornament; the jambs have each two keeled and
attached shafts with moulded bases, having spur
ornaments; the capitals are foliated. The two-centred chancel-arch is of two richly moulded
orders with zigzag ornament; it was possibly
widened and rebuilt in the 14th century, with the
old stones and additional new material; the
moulded label is also enriched with zigzags on the
W. side; the responds have each three attached
shafts which have capitals with water-leaf and
stiff-leaf foliage and moulded abaci; the moulded
bases have spur ornaments, and have been partly
The North Vestry is of the 15th century, and has,
in the E. wall, a window of two cinquefoiled lights
under a square head; the label is much decayed.
In the N. wall is a lancet window of uncertain date
with a modern doorway on the W. side. In the
W. wall is a modern doorway.
The Nave (75 ft. by 22½ft.) has N. and S. arcades
of six bays; the easternmost bay on each side is of
the 14th century, but the others are of c. 1180.
In the N. arcade (see Plate p. 49) the first or
easternmost bay has a moulded and segmental-pointed arch, springing from a moulded head-corbel on the E. wall; the other bays have semi-circular arches of two moulded orders with a
label on the S. side; the piers are alternately
circular and octagonal and have square moulded
abaci, foliated capitals and moulded bases; the
original E. respond was converted into a circular
column in the 14th century, and has foliated square
ornaments on the later half of the capital; what
is now the W. respond was formerly a column
before the nave was shortened. The S. arcade
is similar to the N. arcade, but the segmental-pointed arch of the first bay is of three chamfered
orders, the inner order springing from a moulded
corbel, and the E. half of the capital of the first
pier is moulded and without foliage. Over the
first pier of the N. arcade is the upper doorway
of the former rood-loft; it is of the 14th century
and has chamfered jambs and a moulded two-centred arch with a label. The clearstorey
has brick parapets of early 16th-century date,
with moulded string-courses and sunk panels; at
each end of the S. parapet is a carved stone molet;
the E. wall has a crow-stepped gable of brick and
below the S. kneeler is a carved 12th-century
head. The N. and S. walls have each six windows;
the first or easternmost in the S. wall is of the
14th century, and of two trefoiled ogee lights
under a square head with a moulded label; the
other windows have internal splays and semi-circular rear arches of the 12th century, but the
splays were cut back in the 16th century and larger
windows of brick were inserted; they are each of
two four-centred lights under a square head, with
moulded reveals and label; over the head of each
window outside, is a square sunk panel; one panel
is blank, one is carved with a boar having a molet
on its side, and the rest are carved with molets;
below the windows inside is a moulded string-course of the 12th century.
The North Aisle (8½ ft. wide) has a 16th-century
parapet and string-course of brick. In the N. wall
are two windows of c. 1350; the Eastern window
has been slightly restored and is of three trefoiled
ogee lights under a square head with a moulded
label which has head-stops; the moulded internal
splays have shafts with moulded bases and capitals;
the hollow-chamfered rear arch has carved ornament and a moulded label; the western window is
similar to the other, but is less richly moulded, and
the splays and rear arch are plain. Further W. is
the late 12th-century N. doorway with a moulded
semi-circular arch now of one order, but originally
of two orders similar to those of the S. doorway;
the jambs have each an attached and keeled shaft
with moulded base and abacus and a foliated
capital; the roughness of the wall round the doorway shows where the projecting outer order has
been cut away. In the W. wall is a modern
window, and above it is a lancet window of
uncertain date and now blocked.
The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide at E. end, 8½ ft. at
W. end): E. of the S. porch the parapet is modern,
but the rest of it is of 16th-century brick and
similar to that of the N. aisle; in the parapet,
over the S. porch, are two quatrefoiled circular
panels, the western containing a carved molet.
In the E. wall is a 14th-century recess partly
restored and apparently part of a former window,
but there are no signs of it outside; the splays,
segmental rear arch and internal label are moulded.
In the S. wall are two windows of c. 1350; the first
or easternmost has been partly restored, and is
of three cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery
under a square head which has a moulded label
with head-stops; the internal splays and segmental-pointed rear arch are moulded; the second
window is similar, but of three trefoiled ogee
lights; the rear arch is less richly moulded and
the splays are plain. Further W. is the late 12th-century S. doorway with jambs and semi-circular
arch of three moulded orders set in a projection;
the innermost order is partly hidden by a modern
door-frame and the outermost order by the walls
of the porch; the moulded label has a defaced
head at the apex; each order of the jambs has
an attached shaft with remains of moulded bases
and spur ornaments; the capitals are carved with
water-leaf and stiff-leaf foliage and have moulded
abaci. In the W. wall is a 16th-century window
of two square-headed lights with a chamfered
The West Tower (15¾ ft. by 18¼ ft.), dated 1616,
(see Miscellanea) is of three stages with a S.E.
stair-turret and an embattled parapet which has a
pinnacle at each angle; the walls are of red brick
with stone dressings. The two-centred tower-arch
is of three chamfered orders with a chamfered label
on the E. side; the responds are chamfered and
have each an attached semi-circular shaft with a
moulded base, foliated capital and moulded
abacus; part of the shafts, and the bases and
capitals are of the 12th century, re-set, and
belonged to the former W. respond of the nave
arcades. The doorway of the stair-turret has
chamfered jambs and four-centred arch. The W.
window, much restored, is of five transomed and
cinquefoiled lights under a square head; the
moulded label which is not in situ is enriched from
from N. to S. with the following carved devices
of John Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, died 1512—
(1) a whistle and chain, for Lord High Admiral,
(2) a screw-jack or cranket on a diapered ground
encircled by the garter, (3) a molet in a shield,
(4) a boar (verres) grubbing for acorns under an
oak-tree, (5) an ox crossing a ford, with a scroll
above it, (6) a chair of estate, for Lord Great
Chamberlain, (7) a harpy (half only remains),
one of the Vere supporters. The N. and S. walls
of the second stage have each a loop-light, now
blocked. The bell-chamber has, in each wall,
a window of three four-centred lights under a
square head with a moulded label; the doorway
of the stair-turret has double chamfered jambs
and a moulded, four-centred arch.
The South Porch is of early 16th-century date
and of red brick with diapering of blue bricks; the
parapet is embattled; the buttresses have stone
dressings. The outer entrance has moulded
responds and four-centred arch with a label; above
it is a rectangular sunk panel. The E. and W.
walls have each a window of two four-centred
lights under a square head with a small label; the
window-sills form seats.
The Roof of the chancel is of the trussed-rafter
type with moulded wall-plates and is probably of
the 14th century. The early 16th-century roof of
the nave (see Plate, p. 49) is of twelve bays with
double hammer-beam trusses; the purlins and
upper hammer-beams are richly moulded; the
lower hammer-beams and cornice are embattled
and carved with running foliage; the side posts
have attached buttresses with crocketed pinnacles
and terminate in foliated pendants; the soffit of
the collar-beam has also a carved pendant; the
curved braces have traceried spandrels and below
the lowest purlin are carved angels with spread
wings, wearing crowns and holding shields charged
with various emblems; between two angels on
the N. side is a carved molet and in a corresponding
position on the S. side is a boar; the molet is
repeated in other parts of the roof.
Fittings—Bells: five and clock - bell; 5th by
Richard Hille [1423–1440], inscribed 'In Multis
Annis Resonet Campana Johannis'; clock-bell,
dated 1697. Chest: In S. aisle—with panelled
front, each panel containing a lozenge, carved
upper rail, lower rail retaining one carved bracket,
three locks, early 17th-century. Cupboard: In
tower—against W. wall, made up of panelling,
carved with various designs and patterns, one
bearing initials E.S., early 17th-century, two panels
of later date, representing Daniel in the lions' den,
and Jonah beneath the gourd (?). Doors: In
chancel—in doorway to vestry, of studded battens
with strap-hinges, 15th-century; in blocked doorway in S. wall, of three massive battens with fine
ornamental ironwork, upper hinge with conventional heads, late 12th-century, lower hinge
apparently 15th-century. In N. doorway, of
massive battens with ornamental hinges and straps,
late 12th-century. In S. doorway, similar to that
in N. doorway, one strap carved with small animal,
late 12th-century. The three 12th-century doors
have joggled boarding. In tower—in doorway to
stair-turret, with strap-hinges, early 17th-century.
Locker: In chancel—in N. wall, rectangular, with
rebated jambs and head, late 12th-century.
Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—against N. wall, not in situ, (1) of [John,
fifteenth Earl of Oxford, 1539, and Elizabeth
(Trussell) his wife], altar tomb (see Plate, p. 50) of
unpolished touch with polished moulded slab, also
of touch, having two panels in high relief; in
lower panel two kneeling figures, of man in fluted
plate armour with a tabard of arms as on first half
of shield in upper panel, mantle of the Order
of the Garter, the Garter scocheon being on the
right shoulder, and rich chain; of woman in
pedimental head-dress and heraldic mantle with
the same arms as the tabard; in upper panel the
initials I. O. (John Oxford) and shield of arms
surrounded by the Garter, supporters, crest, etc.,
shield—quarterly of eight (a) quarterly a molet
in the quarter, for Vere; (b) a lion and over all
a fesse with three crosses formy fitchy thereon, for
Colbroke; (c) three chevrons with a label, for
Clare; (d) a saltire between twelve cherries, for
Sergeaux; (e) a fesse between two gemel bars,
for Badlesmere; (f) barry wavy, for Samford;
(g) a lion, for Fitz Hamon; (h) Vere, impaling
Trussell quartered with Burley; with bezants at
the crossings for Trussell; sides of tomb panelled,
with kneeling figures of four sons (now against the
wall) and four daughters with their names, and
mottoes on the end pilaster; at E. end a gartered
shield as on slab, and, at W. end, a Vere shield of
eight quarters. When the tomb was moved
to its present place it was reversed, and the
children now face west instead of east. In organ-chamber—on W. wall, (2) to Dominic van Heila
of Flanders, 1608, and his wife Wilhelmina
(Haleme), 1605, painted stone tablet with Corinthian pilasters and shields of arms, formerly in the
church of All Hallows, London Wall, and removed
to present position in 1766. In churchyard—S.E. of
chancel, (3) to Thomas Unwin, 1689, slab on
modern tomb. Floor-slab: In N. aisle—now
set in N. wall, to Christopher Langton, 1619,
incumbent of the parish, with shield of arms.
Niche; In N. aisle—in N. wall, small, with
moulded jambs and trefoiled sub-cusped head,
14th-century. Painting; On semi - circular
stone, now kept at vicarage, crowned head,
with background powdered with stars, 13th
or 14th-century. Screen: Under chancel arch—
of six bays, the two middle bays forming doorway
with trefoiled and sub-cusped head having crockets
and finial and tracery above it; side bays with
similar cinquefoiled heads, close lower panels
with sub-cusped and trefoiled heads having
foliated bosses and spandrels, bays divided by
moulded and buttressed posts, and moulded
cornice enriched with carved bosses, late 14th or
early 15th-century. Sedilia; In S. aisle—sill
of S.E. window carried down to form seat, the
straight jambs having trefoiled and sub-cusped
ogee heads supporting splays of window over it,
14th-century, seat removed. Stalls: In chancel—
on S. side, range of five, with moulded elbow-rests
and moulded and carved standards having small
attached shafts in front, misericords with moulded
edges, third seat also having carved ornament on
the edge, all with carved baberies as follows—
(a) three plain shields. (b) large leaf and two
leopards' heads, (c) a wolf carrying off a monk (?), a
fox with a distaff in mouth, and a leopard's head
(see Plate, p. xxxiii), (d) three shields each with a
cross, (e) a man's face and two leopards' heads,
first half of 15th century, third seat possibly
14th-century. Stoups: In S. aisle—E. of S.
doorway, square bowl in form of cushion capital,
richly carved with foliage and a beast's head, early
12th-century (see Plate, p. xxxii), recess and pillar
modern. On S. porch—outside entrance archway,
plain, 16th-century. Table: In vestry — with
turned legs, moulded upper rail and shaped brackets,
17th-century. Miscellanea: In S. aisle — built
into S. wall, carved stone with half figure of a
woman with hands folded in prayer, probably
early 12th-century. Built into tower—over W.
window, stone inscribed 'Robert Archer the
master builder of this stepell 1616'; in stair-turret, stones with various initials; in wall of bell-chamber, stone with carved initials C. P. On S.
buttress of chancel—scratched sundial; on S.
parapet of porch—another sundial.
Condition—Good: tower arch slightly out of
shape owing to settlement.
(2). Priory of St. Mary, St. James, and
the Holy Cross, remains, about 750 yards
W. of the church, and W. of Nunnery Farm. The
Priory was founded late in the 12th century by
Aubrey de Vere, first Earl of Oxford, for Benedic
tine nuns. All that remains is a small fragment o
flint-rubble masonry almost level with the ground.
(3). The Castle, stands on a hill N.E. of the
village. It consisted of an inner bailey or mount
surrounded by a curtain-wall, with the Keep or
great tower in the middle, and the Great Hall and
other buildings on the S.W. The outer bailey
lay to the N.E. and had a Bridge connecting
it with the inner bailey.
The Keep was built c. 1130–40, and the Fore-building was added shortly afterwards. Late in the
15th or early in the 16th century, most of the
other buildings were rebuilt, including the Bridge,
Curtain, Great Hall and various towers, etc. Three
towers are said to have been destroyed late in the
16th century. The remaining buildings, except
the Keep and Bridge, were probably destroyed
during the 17th and 18th centuries, some of the
materials being re-used c. 1718, when the present
house was built in the outer bailey. The foundations of some of the buildings destroyed were
excavated in 1853 and 1869.
The earthworks are important and extensive,
and the Keep is among the finest and most
complete examples of 12th-century military architecture in England. The condition of the tower
is extraordinarily perfect, and the walls and
arched recesses to a great extent retain internally
the original plastering.
The Earthworks, now consist of the mount
forming the inner bailey, and the outer bailey,
with slight traces of what was probably a town
enclosure on the W. The mount and outer
bailey are a partly natural hill with the ground
sloping away on all sides except the E., where
it is separated from the high ground by a
ravine which has been artificially scarped. The
mount, approximately oval in shape and flat-topped, has an area on the top of about two
acres. It is surrounded on the N., W., and S.W.
sides by a deep ditch with a strong bank on the
counterscarp. On the S.E. side the ditch and
bank have entirely disappeared, and on the E.
side the mount is separated from the outer bailey
by a shallower ditch, of which both banks are
revetted with a Tudor brick wall. The summit
of the mount is 27 feet above the bottom of the
ditch on the N. side, 34 feet on the W. side, and
38 feet on the S. side; the counterscarp bank is
8 feet high on the N. side and 10 feet on the W.
The ditch is about 90 feet wide. Towards the N.W.
corner the bank and ditch turn outwards for a
short distance, probably indicating the former
presence of a town enclosure. There is an old
well on the mount. The outer bailey, E. of the
mount, has a strong rampart with a modern berm
along the E. arm, but no ditch, except on the N.E.
and E. sides where a natural ravine has been
artificially scarped. The low-lying ground between
the N.W. corner of the bailey and the natural
spur was probably at one time marshy, and would
have afforded a defence for that corner of the work.
On the N. side the rampart has no berm and
diminishes in strength towards the W. end of the
enclosure, which is occupied by buildings. Part
of the S. arm of the defences has been totally
obliterated by the gardens and terraces of the
house which stands within the enclosure. On
the E. side the rampart is 17 feet above the interior
level and the berm is 13 feet wide. The rampart
is about 27 feet above the exterior level.
The Keep or Great Tower (58 ft. by 53 ft., externally) is of four storeys (see Frontispiece); the
walls (average thickness on ground floor, 11 ft.) are
of flint rubble faced with Barnack stone. It was
built c. 1130–40.
At the angles are wide, flat pilaster buttresses,
and there is a narrower flat buttress in the
middle of each side. The walls have a chamfered plinth, below which is a battering base
with a slight roll-moulding in the alternate courses;
this base is returned round the angle buttresses,
but the middle buttresses spring from it. Originally each angle carried a square turret, but only
those at the N.W. and S.E. angles remain. Putlog
holes remain in all the walls. Each elevation
has a similar arrangement of windows:—in the
basement are two narrow loops with chamfered
jambs and very deep internal splays; in the second
storey, except on the W. front, which has only
one window, are two narrow single-light windows
with moulded semi-circular heads, and shafted
jambs with moulded bases, scalloped capitals and
chamfered abaci; the third storey has a lower
range of windows similar in number and detail
to those in the second storey, but wider, and
an upper range of two pairs of coupled windows,
each of similar detail to those below, but all partly
restored in modern brick; in the fourth or top
storey, are two elaborate single-light windows which
have shafted jambs with moulded bases, scalloped
capitals and moulded abaci, and semi-circular
arches of two orders, the outer order carved with
cheveron ornament, and the inner order of plain
curved section. In the angle buttresses, loops and
small windows with semi-circular heads light the
staircase and the chambers in the thickness of the
walls. The N.W. and S.E. turrets are faced with
ashlar, except the upper parts, which are of
flint rubble with Barnack stone dressings. The
N.W. Turret has, on the E. and S. sides, original
plain windows with semi-circular heads; on
the N. side is a rough opening of later date
with one jamb of modern brick. The S.E.
Turret has, on the N. side, an original window, but
those on the other sides are of modern brick;
there are remains of a brick dome, probably of the
16th century. The embattled parapet which
formerly finished the walls is missing, except
small fragments which remain against the S. side
of the N.W. turret, and against the N. side of the
The remains of the Fore-building consist of a
rectangular projection extending to the height of
the basement storey with walls of flint rubble from
which all the facing has been removed. At the N.
end is a rough opening, now blocked. The stone
stairs against the tower, S. of the fore-building, are
enclosed by a wall of flint rubble which is also
stripped of its facing; at the S. end of the wall
appears to have been a turret or buttress. The
N.W. and S.W. angles of the keep are toothed for
the bonding of the former walls of the fore-building;
the toothing at the S.W. angle was apparently
for a wall which enclosed the staircase at the S.W.
end, and the springers of a former arch are visible.
On the W. Front, in the basement the loop-lights
are blocked by the fore-building and the flight of
steps leading to the entrance. In the N. half of
the second storey is the entrance archway; the
jambs have attached shafts with moulded and
carved bases and scalloped capitals with moulded
abaci; the arch is semi-circular and, of two
orders; the plain inner order has a groove for the
portcullis; and the outer order is enriched with
zigzag ornament; over the archway are grooves
cut in the ashlar for the roofs of the fore-building
and the staircase. In the third storey the window
over the entrance, with the masonery and brickwork between it and the entrance archway are
modern. In the fourth storey the twin windows
have been considerably restored with modern
On the S. Elevation the western loop in the base
ment has modern stone jambs. In the second
storey both the jambs of one window and one jamb
of the other window have been renewed. In the
fourth storey the western of the twin windows has
been restored. On the E. Elevation, in the basement,
are two modern openings with remains of the
original loop over each. In the second and third
storeys the windows have been restored. On the
N. Elevation one of the loops in the basement has
been restored with modern brick, and one of the
windows in the second storey is now blocked. The
twin windows in the fourth storey have been
restored with modern brick.
Castle Hedingham, Section Through the Keep Looking South
Interior—None of the original floors remain.
The soffits of some of the windows and the vaults
of small chambers show the board-marks of the
centring, and retain their original plastering.
The Basement is divided into two rooms by a
modern brick wall. In the S.E. and S.W. corners
are small chambers formed in the thickness of the
walls. The splays of the windows have been
considerably denuded and are partly plastered.
The entrance to the stair-turret in the N.W. angle
is almost entirely of modern brick.
The Entrance or First Floor was originally
spanned from E. to W. by a plain segmental arch
but the middle part of the arch and the wall above
it have been destroyed, and the rest of the opening
is now filled by a modern brick wall; the plain
pilaster jambs of the arch each have a moulded
abacus. The angles of the internal jambs of the
entrance doorway are shafted and have moulded
and carved bases, and scalloped capitals with
moulded abaci; the semi-circular arch is of the
same section as the jambs; in the S. jamb is a
long hole for a draw-bar. All the window recesses
have moulded semi-circular arches and shafted
jambs with scalloped capitals and moulded bases.
At the N.E. corner, in the thickness of the wall,
is an entrance passage with groined vaulting to a
garderobe. In the middle of the S. wall is an
original fireplace consisting of a segmental recess
which has shafted jambs, each with a moulded
base, scalloped capital and moulded abacus,
ornamented with billet-moulding; the semi-circular arch is moulded and enriched with cheveron
ornament; the segmental back of the fireplace
is of bricks 13/8 in. thick; the flue is short and
cone-shaped, and the outlet for the smoke was
formed by leaving a rectangular opening in each
side of the middle buttress of the wall. In the
middle of the N., E. and W. walls, and in the S.E.
and S.W. angles, are small chambers in the thickness of the walls; all these chambers are barrel-vaulted and are entered through doorways in the
window recesses; the doorways have plain or
rebated jambs and semi-circular arches.
The Second Floor is of two storeys, and forms the
Hall (see Plate, p. 55). It is spanned by a massive
and richly moulded semi-circular arch springing, in
the middle of the E. and W. walls, from a shafted
pilaster which has a moulded and beaded base and
scalloped capital with moulded abacus. All the
window-recesses have angle-shafts with moulded
bases and scalloped capitals, some of them enriched
with bead ornament; the semi-circular arches
have rich zig-zag moulding; the abaci of the
capitals are continued as a string-course along the S.
wall and over the arch of the fireplace; the splays
of the original windows have angle-shafts with
moulded bases, and scalloped capitals with moulded
abaci; the semi-circular arches have rich zig-zag
moulding. In the middle of the S. wall is an
original fireplace, similar to that on the first floor,
but with slightly different detail in the scalloped
capitals. The entrance archway from the stair-turret has a continuous roll-moulding. In the N.E.,
S.E. and S.W. angles of the room are shafts with
moulded bases and scalloped capitals (one missing);
they originally supported wall-plates of the original
ceiling; some plain corbels for the same purpose
remain in the walls. At the N.E. corner, in the
thickness of the wall, is a garderobe similar to that
on the first floor, but with a small recess next to it in
the wall; the narrow passage leading to it has a
groined vault. The arrangement of the other
chambers in the thickness of the walls is similar to
that of the floor below. The chamber immediately
above the entrance formed the Portcullis Chamber.
The upper storey of the Second Floor consists of the
Gallery of the Hall. A continuous passage is
formed in the thickness of each wall, and is entered
from the E. and S. sides of the stair-turret; the S.
entrance has double-shafted jambs continued in the
semi-circular arch, the shafts of the jambs being
enriched with spiral bands of bead ornament; the
N. entrance has shafted jambs each with a moulded
base, scalloped capital and moulded abacus; the
semi-circular arches are of the same section as the
jambs; on each side, opening into the Hall, are two
arches similar in detail to those of the N. entrance.
The passages have barrel-vaults intersecting at the
On the Top Floor the window-recesses are plain,
with semi-circular soffits; holes for the original
shutter-hinges remain, and provision is made in the
soffits to allow the shutters to open. In the middle
of each wall is a recess, with a plain semi-circular
head, and at the N. end of the E. wall is a smaller
recess. In the N.E., S.E. and S.W. angles there are
small chambers in the thickness of the walls, entered
from the window-recesses as on the other floors.
The Stair-Turret in the N.W. angle has a central
stone newel 1 ft. 9 in. in diameter, and steps
5 ft. 2 in. wide, almost entirely restored in brick.
In the Hall are two funeral helms and a pair of
gauntlets—one incomplete—of the 16th century.
There is also some early 17th-century furniture.
Castle Hedingham, Plans of Keep
The Great Hall of the Castle (about 83 ft. by
37 ft.), stood S.W. of the Keep, and had sub-vaults
underneath it. The 19th-century excavations
showed a porch at the N.W. end of the S.W. side and
a rectangular oriel at the S.E. end of the same side;
traces were also found of the butteries adjoining the
Hall on the N.W., and of other buildings on the
S.W. and S.E.; all these foundations are now
overgrown, except part of the oriel of the Hall and
part of the building on the S.W. Immediately S. of
the Keep traces were found of the E. end of the
Chapel, but they are also overgrown. Fragments of
the brick Curtain remain at intervals round the
inner bailey. Facing S. and outside the curtain,
are the bases of two of the angle-turrets of the
Great Brick Tower; one is octagonal and one
square, and both are hollow and have shallow
pits at the bottom, probably connected with
former garderobes. Traces of a second tower
further N. and of the gatehouse at the inner
end of the bridge were also found, but nothing
of them is visible. All the foundations which
remain exposed are of late 15th or early 16th-century date.
The Bridge, E. of the Keep (see Plate, p. 57), is of
brick, and of late 15th or early 16th-century date,
much restored with modern brick. It is of four
spans with four-centred arches of two chamfered
orders; the piers are of 'cut-water' form on the S.
side, and the E. and W. spans have been blocked at
the N. end; the middle pier is pierced by a small
opening with a four-centred head. Adjoining the
bridge on the N.W. side is a considerable length of
brick retaining-wall, probably of the 16th century.
Condition—Of earthworks, fairly good; of
Keep, very good; of exposed foundations, fragmentary; of bridge, good.
(4). Kirby Hall, over 1 m. N.N.W. of the
church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are
partly timber-framed and plastered, and partly of
modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was built late
in the 16th century, on an L-shaped plan with the
wings extending towards the W. and N. There is
an 18th-century outhouse on the E. side, and the W.
wing has modern additions. The S. front has been
re-faced with modern brick. At the N. end of the
N. wing is a half-hipped gable. The original chimney-stack at the E. end of the W. wing has four
octagonal shafts. The chimney-stack in the N.
wing has a number of weathered offsets. Inside
the building, on the ground floor, the S.E. room has
a moulded ceiling-beam, and the walls have early
17th-century panelling. In the N. wing the
ceiling-beams are stop-chamfered.
(5). Trinity Hall, in Queen Street, 220 yards
S. of the church. The house is of two storeys with
attics and cellar; the walls are partly of brick and
partly of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are
tiled. It was built early in the 18th century with
a projecting wing on the S. side, and there are
modern additions at the E. and W. ends. The N.
front has a wooden eaves-cornice with modillions
set in pairs, and three original dormers with horizontal moulded cornices. Three chimney-stacks
are original, but two of them are modern at the
Interior—Many of the rooms have exposed
ceiling-beams. In the hall is some original deal
panelling, and three arched openings with classic
details; the jambs of the original fireplace are
lined with Dutch tiles illustrating scriptural
subjects. The parlour has deal panelling and
a semi-circular headed recess cased with deal.
Over the entrance to the cellar is a beam incised
with the date 1582, said to have been taken from
a cottage on the site. The original staircase has
square newels with moulded caps and bases, twisted
balusters, a handrail moulded on one side, and a
moulded close string; the walls have deal panelling
and a small moulded dado rail. There are several
old doors; three of them have bolection-moulded
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. Many of the buildings have
exposed ceiling-beams, wide fireplaces and original
Condition—Good, or fairly good, unless specially
(6). House, 100 yards S.S.W. of (5), on the S.E.
side of the Sible Hedingham Road, is of two storeys
with attics and cellar. It was built late in the
17th or early in the 18th century, but has modern
additions at the E. and W. ends, and the original
plan cannot be distinguished. The gable at the
W. end, and the two western gables on the N.
front have old carved barge-boards, re-fixed.
Inside the building, one of the ceiling-beams is
moulded, and one room contains some early 17th-century panelling, said to have been brought from
the former stables. In another room is a carved
oak chimney-piece of the 17th century, said to
have come from the old vicarage at Great Saling.
There are two old doors of moulded battens.
(7). Cottage, now two tenements, in the N.W.
corner of the churchyard, has been partly rebuilt with modern brick. The original chimney-stack at the E. end has diagonal pilasters on two
Church Ponds, N. side
(8). House, now two tenements, 50 yards N. of the
church, has 18th-century and modern additions
at the back, and has been partly re-faced with
modern brick. At the E. end of the S. front the
upper storey projects and is gabled.
Castle Hedingham, Plan Shewing Position of Monuments Described
(9). Cottage, 40 yards E.S.E. of (8), has a modern
addition at the back, and has been partly re-faced
with modern brick. The original chimney-stack
at the E. end has three pilasters on each side.
(10). House, now two tenements, 40 yards S.E.
of (9), has a slightly projecting wing at the S.E.
end of the back, and modern additions at the S.E.
end of the building.
(11). House, with shop, S.E. of (10), was built
probably early in the 16th century, but the original
plan has been obscured by modern alterations and
additions. On the S.W. front are three gables.
At the back is a wing, of which the upper storey
projects on the N.W. side; under the projection is
a carved oak head, much damaged, said to have
been removed from the front of the house. Inside
the building, two of the exposed ceiling-beams are
moulded. In the front wall are remains of an
original window with a moulded mullion, now
(12). The Falcon Inn, S.E. of (11), was built probably in the later part of the 15th century, but
was extensively altered in the 16th century, and has
18th-century and modern additions at the back.
A carved stone shaft of the 12th century in
the cellar, and the 15th-century doorways in the
central passage deserve notice.
On the S.W. front the upper storey projects and
is supported by five brackets, of which two are
carved. The central chimney-stack is apparently
of the 16th century, but has been mutilated and
covered with cement.
Interior—The central pasage has two original
doorways with four-centred heads; one has sunk
spandrels, the other is now blocked. In one
room are remains of an original moulded and embattled ceiling-beam, and in another room is a
moulded ceiling-beam resting on a shaped wall-post. In a third room the ceiling-beam is supported
by a curved strut. In the front wall are remains of
original windows with moulded mullions, now
blocked. On the N.W. wall are two 16th-century
plaster panels with remains of a rough pattern
in black and white paint. The cellar is probably
of 16th-century brickwork: in the walls are two
original segmental-headed recesses; the main
ceiling-beam rests on a 12th-century stone shaft
of square section, with hollow-moulded angles
which have small bosses at intervals; it is elaborately carved with a floral pattern on all four sides,
and possibly formed part of a cross.
(13). House, called "Porter's," 30 yards E.S.E.
of (12), is of two storeys with a cellar. It was
built, probably in 1675, on an H-shaped plan with
the cross-wings at the N.W. and S.E. ends. On
the S.W. front the main block and part of the
N.W. wing have a parapet with a wooden cornice.
The original central chimney-stack has grouped
diagonal shafts on a rectangular base, which has
a sunk panel carved with the date 1675. Inside the
building, in the N.E. wall of the hall, is an original
semi-circular recess, with a domed head of wood.
(14). House, 15 yards S.W. of (13), is of two
storeys with attics. It was built apparently on
an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards
the E. and S. In the 18th century the S. wing
was extended towards the E. Inside the building, in the upper storey, an original steeply cambered tie-beam is visible.
(15). House, now two tenements with shop,
on the E. side of the churchyard, was built apparently in the 16th century, but has been partly
re-faced with modern brick. On the E. front are
three gables, of which the northernmost projects,
and is supported by two shaped brackets. Inside
the building, one of the ceiling-beams is supported
by a shaped bracket.
(16). House, formerly almshouses, but now a
club, N. of (15).
(17). House, formerly an inn, 60 yards S. of
the church, at the S.W. corner of King Street,
was built, late in the 16th or early in the 17th
century, on a modified L-shaped plan with the
wings extending towards the S. and W. At the
back of the S. wing are modern additions. On
the E. front the end of the W. wing projects, and
one angle of the wing is recessed below the first
floor to form a porch; the part of the upper
storey which thus overhangs is supported by two
plain brackets and a modern post. On the S.
side of the W. wing the upper storey projects.
(18). The Wheat Sheaf Inn, S. of (17), is of two
storeys with a cellar. It was built early in the
16th century, with a central Hall and with a small
staircase wing in the middle of the W. side. In
the 17th century a N.W. wing was added, and
there are small modern additions at the back.
On the E. front the upper storey projects and is
supported by three moulded brackets; at the
top of the lower storey are remains of a moulded
beam. Inside the building, in the middle of
the original block, are original moulded joists
and ceiling-beams, carved with running foliage.
In the wall between the former Hall and the staircase wing is an original doorway, with a four-centred head, now blocked. The N. wall of the
original block is covered with old panelling, now
St. James's Street, S. side
(19.) House, now two tenements, with shops,
at the S.W. corner of the street, opposite (18),
is of three storeys with a cellar. It was built
early in the 16th century on a half-H-shaped plan,
with the wings extending towards the S.
The panelled room, with early 17th-century
carving of the Beatitudes and other texts, is of
Interior—On the ground floor, in the N.W.
room, is an original moulded ceiling-beam. The
middle room is lined with early 17th-century
panelling, partly re-set, with incised scriptural texts
in the frieze panels; only the E. wall has a cornice;
the fireplace has an early 17th-century panelled
overmantel, with enriched semi-circular arches
carved with flowers; on each side of the fireplace is a cupboard with panelled doors of late
17th-century date; the ceiling has an original
moulded beam carved with running foliage. A
cupboard near the W. staircase has a door made
up of linen-fold and plain panelling, and in the
S.E. wing is some 17th-century panelling. On
the second floor are two 17th-century doors, and
a moulded ceiling-beam.
(20). House, with shop, 10 yards E. of (19), was
built early in the 16th century, on an L-shaped
plan with the wings extending towards the W.
and S. There are modern additions at the back
of the W. wing. On the N. front, in the upper
storey, are three window-frames probably of
early 18th-century date. Inside the building,
the ground floor of the W. wing appears originally to
have formed a large Hall; one of the ceilingbeams is moulded and re-used. In one of the
rooms is some 16th-century panelling, re-set.
In the S. wing is a cupboard with two doors of
(21). The Bell Inn, house and outbuildings, E.
of (20). The House was built in the second half
of the 16th century on an L-shaped plan, with the
wings extending towards the E. and S. At the
ends of the wings, and at the back of the E. wing
are modern additions. At each end of the N.
front the roof is hipped. Inside the building,
in the E. wing, is an original moulded ceiling-beam and joists.
The Outbuildings, S. of the house, are probably
of the same date.
(22). House, now two tenements, 15 yards E.
of (21), originally extended further towards the E.
The present plan is T-shaped, with the cross-wing at
the W. end. At the back is a modern addition, and
a passage has been cut through the ground storey.
(23). House, now two tenements, 35 yards E.
of (22), is of two storeys with attics. It was built
early in the 16th century, with a central hall, and
cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. In the first
half of the 17th century a wing was added on the
W. side of the W. wing, and there is a modern
addition on the E. side of the E. wing. Inside
the building, on the ground floor, in the original
central block, is a moulded ceiling-beam with
leaf-stops. In the N.W. room of the original
building is a dado of early 17th-century panelling.
(24). House, opposite (23), has been almost
entirely re-faced with modern brick, and the
original plan is obscure.
(25). House, 50 yards W. of (24), is of two storeys
with attics and cellar. It is of L-shaped plan with
the wings extending towards the E. and N., but
the original plan is obscured by alterations. At
each end of the S. front is a gable.
(26). House, 60 yards W. of (25), was built on
an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards
the E. and N. At the back of the E. wing is a
modern addition, and the walls have been partly
re-faced with modern brick.
Castle Lane, N.W. side
(27). House, 120 yards E.N.E. of the church.
The S.E. front was rebuilt in the 18th century,
and there are modern additions at the back. The
S.W. gable projects, and is supported by a plain
bracket. Inside the building, in the 18th-century
block, is a moulded ceiling-beam, re-used.
(28). Cottage, two tenements, 20 yards N.E.
of (27), with a modern addition at the back.
Bayley Street, S.W. side
(29). House, 30 yards N. of (28), was built
c. 1500, with a central Hall and cross-wings at the
N.W. and S.E. ends. At a later date an upper
floor was inserted in the hall, and there are modern
additions at the back. The S.W. front has been
re-faced with modern brick and tiles. Inside
the building, in the former Hall, are two doorways with original four-centred heads. On the
first floor cambered tie-beams are visible, and in
the roof of the S.W. wing is a king-post truss.
Nunnery Street, S. side
(30). Cottage, two tenements, ¼ m. N.N.W. of
the church, with 18th-century and modern additions at the back.
(31). Cottage, three tenements, W. of (30), was
built in the first half of the 17th century; probably at the end of the 17th century the S.W.
wing was added, and there is also a modern addition At the E. end of the front is a gable.
(32). House, 90 yards W. of (31), is of the
18th and 19th centuries, except the S.E. wing,
which is of the 17th century. The W. side of
the wing has been extended. Inside the building,
in the original block, are shaped wall-posts and
remains of original herring-bone brick paving.
(33). The Rising Sun Inn, 60 yards W. of (32), was
built, probably in the second half of the 16th century, on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the E. and S.; there are modern
additions at the back. At each end of the N.
front is a gable.
(34). Nunnery Farm, house, 200 yards S.W. of
(33), was built probably in the middle of the 16th
century. A wing was added, probably in the 17th
century, at the N.W. end of the S.W. side, and
there are 18th-century and modern additions at
the end of the original block, and at the back of
the 17th-century wing. At the N.W. end of the
N.E. elevation is a gable. At the N.W. end of
the original block the upper storey projects, and
is supported by exposed joists and curved brackets.
Inside the building, in the original block, some of
the ceiling-beams are supported by curved braces.
At the E. side of the fireplace is an original doorway with a four-centred arch under a square head;
the jambs are moulded, and the spandrels carved
with leaf-ornament and a molet.
(35). Cottage, now two tenements, 120 yards
N. of (34), has modern additions at the back, and
the walls have been rebuilt with modern brick.
(36). Cottage, now four tenements, 200 yards
E.N.E. of (35), was built on an L-shaped plan
with the wings extending towards the W. and N.
(37). Cottage, E. of (36), has a modern addition
at the E. end, and has been re-fronted with modern
(38). Cottage, now three tenements, 20 yards
E. of (37). The two halves of the structure
are evidently of slightly different date, but both
of the 17th century; the plan of the whole building
is half-H-shaped, with the wings extending towards
the S. At the back are modern additions.
(39). Little Lodge Farm, house, ½ m. S.E. of
the church, was built possibly in 1588, on a Tshaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.W. end.
It has modern additions on the E. side. The
original central chimney-stack has a modern
cement panel with a molet, the initials i.v. and
the date 1588 Sept. 14.
(40). Cottage, now two tenements, about 1,000
yards W. of the church, on the S. side of the road,
with an 18th-century addition at the W. end,
and a modern addition at the back.
(41). Pannelsash Farm, house, about 1 m.
E.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics.
It has a modern addition in the middle of the S.
side. Inside the building, on the ground floor,
one room has early 17th-century panelling, now
painted, and with a carved frieze. Another
room has an original nail-studded door of moulded
battens. On the first floor are shaped wall-posts
and cambered tie-beams, and the E. room has
early 17th-century panelling with a fluted frieze.
(42). Lawrence's Farm, house, about ¾ m. N.E.
of the church, was built c. 1600 on a T-shaped
plan with the cross-wing at the S.E. end. The
cross-wing has a modern addition at the S.W. end.
(43). Great Lodge Farm, house, about 1 m. N.E.
of the church, is of two storeys with attics. It
was built c. 1500, with a central Hall on the first
floor, and with cross-wings at the N.W. and S.E.
ends. An attic floor has been inserted in the
original Hall, and there are modern additions at
the back and at the N.W. end. On the S.W.
front the upper storey of the S.E. cross-wing
projects and is supported by two curved brackets.
Inside the building the roof of the middle block
is of two bays with original king-post trusses, and
there is a similar truss in the S.E. wing. The
stairs to the attics have solid oak steps.
(44). House, now three tenements, ½ m. N.N.E.
of the church, was built, probably in the second
half of the 16th century, on a T-shaped plan with
the cross-wing at the S.W. end. Inside the building, in the N.W. wall of the N.E. wing two original
windows are visible, each of three lights with
moulded mullions, and now blocked.
(45). Cottage, 1,000 yards N.N.E. of the church,
with a modern addition at the back.
(46). Lippingwell's Farm, now two tenements,
nearly 1 m. N.N.E. of the church, with 18th-century and modern additions at the S. end, and on
the W. and E. sides. The original central chimney-stack has two octagonal shafts. Inside the building
is an original nail-studded door of moulded battens.
(47). Newhouse Farm, house, now two tenements,
nearly 1¼ m. N. of the church, was built on a
T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the S.W.
end. On the N.E. side of the cross-wing is a
modern addition. On the S.W. front, on the
first floor, are two original oriel windows with
moulded bressumers; the southern window is
now blocked. The original central chimney-stack
has six octagonal shafts.
Chesterford, Great and Little, see Great
Chesterford and Little Chesterford.