41. HENHAM. (B.c.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xiv. S.W. (b)xxiii. N.W.)
Henham is an agricultural parish, and the village
is about 6 m. N.E. of Bishop's Stortford. The
Church is the principal monument.
Henham, Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin
a (1). Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin
stands at the N.W. end of the village. The walls
are built of flint rubble with dressings of shelly
oolite and clunch; the roofs are tiled, except those
of the aisles and spire, which are covered with
lead. The Chancel was built early in the 13th
century, and c. 1290 a S. transept was added
to the Nave; c. 1300 the South Aisle was added
and the S. transept destroyed, except the arch
opening into the nave; the North Aisle and West
Tower were built c. 1325. Late in the 15th century
the South Porch was added. The church was
restored in the 19th century, but has been little
Architectural Description—The Chancel (26 ft.
by 17 ft.) has a late 15th-century E. window of
three cinquefoiled lights with transomed tracery
in a four-centred head; the external jambs and
head are moulded, and have been repaired with
brick. In the N. wall are three windows, the two
eastern are 13th-century lancets, externally
chamfered and rebated; the second is blocked
by a monument; the westernmost window is
of late 15th-century date and of two cinquefoiled
lights with tracery in a square head. In the S.
wall are three windows; the eastern and western
are of the same date and character as the westernmost window in the N. wall; between them is a
13th-century lancet, similar to those in the
N. wall: below it is a 13th-century doorway,
with jambs and two-centred arch of two orders,
the inner moulded, the outer chamfered and with
a moulded label. The late 15th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two orders, the outer
order is chamfered on the E. face and dies into the
wall: on the W. face it is continuously moulded;
the inner order rests on semi-octagonal shafts
with moulded capitals and bases.
The Nave (51 ft. by 22 ft.) has an early 14th-century N. arcade of four bays; the columns are
quatrefoil on plan, with moulded capitals and bases,
and the responds have attached half-columns;
the two-centred arches are of two chamfered orders;
on the capital of the second column is a beautifully
carved group of two angels censing the Virgin and
Child (see Plate, p. xxxii), and on the chamfer of
two voussoirs of the second arch are carved designs
of a leopard's head and foliage; one voussoir of
the fourth arch is carved with a dragon; at the
E. end the wall is thickened for the stairs to the
rood-loft, and the outline of the doorway is visible.
The S. arcade is of four bays; the easternmost
arch formerly opened into a transept, and is of late
13th-century date; it is two-centred and of two
chamfered orders; the responds have semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and
bases of unusual profile; the three western bays
are of c. 1300; the columns are quatrefoil on plan,
with moulded capitals and bases, and the responds
have attached half-columns; the two-centred
arches are of two chamfered orders.
The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) has, in the E. wall,
a 15th-century window of two cinquefoiled lights
with tracery under a four-centred head; the external reveal is moulded. In the N. wall are two windows with 18th-century wood frames; the eastern
window was formerly similar to the window in the
E. wall, but probably of three lights; the mullions
and tracery have been removed; the opening
of the second window is possibly of the 14th
century. Further W. is the N. doorway, with a
two-centred head, probably of the 14th century,
but now blocked; externally only traces are visible;
the segmental rear arch is chamfered. In the W.
wall is an early 14th-century window of two
cinquefoiled lights with remains of flowing tracery
in a defaced two-centred head.
The South Aisle (8 ft. wide) has an E. window
similar to that in the N. aisle, but the tracery
and mullion are modern. In the S. wall are three
windows; the two eastern windows are of the 15th
century, and of three cinquefoiled lights, but the
heads and mullions are modern; the western
window is of two uncusped 18th-century lights,
of brick, apparently set in a late 15th-century opening. Between the second and third windows is
the late 15th-century S. doorway, re-cut, and of
two continuous moulded orders. In the W. wall
is a much restored window, similar to the eastern
windows in the S. wall.
The West Tower (11 ft. square) is almost entirely
of c. 1325, and of three stages with an embattled
parapet and a low lead-covered spire; the E. buttresses are carried on arched squinches in the W.
angles of the nave; they are of five chamfered
orders with an embattled moulding. The tower-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders
with square responds. The much weathered W.
window is of two cinquefoiled lights in a pointed
head, but much of the tracery has disappeared.
The second stage has, in the W. wall, a window
similar to the W. window of the ground stage.
The E., N. and S. walls of the bell-chamber have
each a 15th-century window of two cinquefoiled
lights in a square head; in the W. wall is a window
similar to those in the lower stages.
The South Porch is of late 15th-century date,
and has an entrance archway of two moulded orders,
the inner order pointed, and the outer order square
with a moulded label; the spandrels have cusped
panels and small shields; the eastern shield is
charged with a fesse between two cheverons, and
the western shield with a saltire. The side-walls
have each a blocked window of two cinquefoiled.
lights with moulded external reveals and a square
head with a moulded label and head-stops.
The Roof of the chancel is ceiled with plaster,
but one cambered tie-beam, of the 15th or 16th
century, is exposed. The roof of the nave is plain,
but elaborately framed, with trusses of unusual
type; there is some indication that it was altered
at the W. end when the tower was built.
Fittings—Bells: four; 1st, blank; 2nd, by
Miles Graie, 1636; 3rd, by Miles Graie, 1641; 4th,
by Thomas Harrys, 15th century, inscribed 'Sit
Nomen Domini Benedictum T H.' Brasses and
Indents. Indent: In S. aisle—in front of S. doorway, slab with brass rivets. Communion Table:
with turned bulging legs, early 17th-century.
Door: In S. doorway—battened, possibly 15th-century. Font: octagonal bowl, each side with
quatrefoil panel and shield—((a) a scratched cross;
(b) an engrailed cross, for Ufford; (c) the emblems
of the Passion; (d) a fesse between two cheverons,
for Fitzwalter, impaling a quartered coat, the
third quarter, quarterly palewise and fessewise
indented, for Fitzwarren; (e) a cross engrailed
between four water bougets, one missing, for
Bourchier; (f) ermine a cheveron with three crescents
thereon, for Durward; (g) barry; (h) three cheverons
ermine; stem with trefoiled panels and moulded
base, 15th-century. Glass: In chancel—in E.
window, shield of the emblems of the Trinity,
and fragments of foliage, 15th-century; in N.W.
window—border of crowns, 15th-century; in
S.E. window, incomplete quartered shield, 16th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Floor-slab: In chancel—near S. doorway, partly covered
by seating, of Thomas Kyrbie, 1603, and Anne
(Brewster) his wife, slate slab, inlaid with white
stone, and said to have had an incised effigy. Niche:
In S. aisle—high up on S. wall at E. end, with
pointed head, and, at the back, traces of painting,
possibly a figure, probably 15th-century. Paintings: In porch—on E. wall, traces of decoration,
possibly a cross (see also Niche). Piscinæ: In
chancel—with trefoiled ogee head, late 15th-century.
In N. aisle—with chamfered, pointed head, 15th-century. In S. aisle—with trefoiled head, late
13th-century. Pulpit: of oak, hexagonal, painted
and grained, panels with cinquefoiled heads and
blind tracery, buttresses at each angle with
carved pinnacles, 15th-century; carved book-rest,
17th-century (see Plate, p. xxxi). Screen: Under
chancel-arch—with central archway and septfoiled
side-lights with embattled transoms and tracery in
obtuse main heads, close lower panels with blind
tracery, mullions with panelled buttresses, late
15th-century. Stalls: In chancel—desk, painted
and grained, in front, arched panel with guilloche
ornament, two turned corner-posts, mid 17th-century.
Condition—Structurally sound, but external
stonework and plaster in a bad state of repair.
a (2). Homestead Moat, at 'The Hall', 200
yards N.W. of the church.
a (3). Pledgdon Hall and moat, ¾ m. S.E.
of the church. The House is of two storeys,
timber-framed and covered with plaster; the roofs
are tiled. It was built in the 17th century, on the
site of the S. arm of the moat, and a low modern
wing has been added at the back. The plaster
on the walls is pargetted, and on the S. front
are two half-gables. One original chimney-stack
remains. Inside the house are some original
The Moat lies N. of the house.
Condition—Of house, good.
b (4). Broom House (see Plate, p. xxv), now a
farmhouse, and barn, nearly 1½ m. S.W. of the
church. The House is of two storeys, timberframed and partly covered with plaster; the roofs
are tiled. It was built on a plain rectangular plan
in the second half of the 16th century; on the
ground floor, the middle part was probably the
Hall, now divided by modern partitions; on the
N. was the original Buttery, and on the S. two
rooms; one of them is now the kitchen. On the
W. front the timber-framing is partly exposed, and
there is a gable at each end; in the middle the
upper storey projects and rests on a carved bressumer. The base of the chimney-stack at the N.
end is original. At the back are two gables,
corresponding to those in front, and a third smaller
gable. Inside the building, many of the rooms have
exposed ceiling-beams and original panelled doors,
some with cock's-head hinges; on the ground floor
are also three plain original doors; the entrance
passage represents the Screens, and is lined with
original oak panelling which has a fluted frieze.
On the first floor the ceiling of one room has a
plaster rose, and three rooms are lined with panelling similar to that in the passage, but with fluted
The Barn, E. of the house, is timber-framed
and weather-boarded; the roof is thatched. The
building is of the 17th century and of three bays,
with a small wing on the N. side.
The following buildings are generally of two
storeys and of the 17th century; all of them are
timber-framed and covered with plaster; the roofs
are tiled or thatched. Many of the buildings have
exposed ceiling-beams, wide fireplaces and original
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
Main Road, W. side
a (5). Cottage, now two tenements, with an
18th-century addition making a third tenement,
stands about 80 yards N. of the church. The
chimney-stack has two original octagonal shafts,
and a third shaft has been added.
a (6). Cottage, 100 yards N.E. of the church,
was built c. 1600, and has a modern addition at
the back. On the S. front the upper storey
projects. Inside the building the closely set
vertical timber-framing is visible.
a (7). Mount House, 130 yards E. of the church, is
of two storeys with attics. It has been much
altered and at the back is a low modern addition.
a (8). Cottage, 20 yards E. of (7), is of one storey
with attics. Inside the building the timberframing is visible in the walls.
a (9.) Parsonage Farm, 80 yards S. of the church.
The house has been restored, altered and enlarged.
a (10). Cottage, 60 yards E. of (9), much restored
and altered. Inside the building some vertical
timber-framing is exposed.
Crow Street, W. side
a (11). Bacon's Farm, ¼ m. S.S.E. of the church.
The house is of T-shaped plan with the cross-wing at the W. end.
a (12). Cottage, now two tenements, 150 yards
S.S.E. of (11), with a low modern addition at the
a (13). The White Cottage, 60 yards N. of (12).
Inside the building the original vertical timberframing with curved braces is exposed.
a (14). House, now two tenements, 220 yards
N. of (13), was built c. 1600. The plan is T-shaped;
the upper storey of the cross-wing projects at each
Rotten Row, S. side
a (15). Cottages, a range of five, 400 yards S.E.
of the church. In front, part of the upper storey
a (16). Cottage, now a shop, 20 yards E. of (15),
with modern additions on the E. side.
a (17). Cottage, 30 yards E. of (16).
Woodend Green, N. side
a (18). Cottage, now two tenements, 800 yards
E. of the church, with a modern addition at the
a (19). Cottage, about 250 yards E. of (18).
a (20). Greenend Farm, about ¾ m. E.S.E. of
the church. The house was built probably late
in the 16th century, and has a low 17th-century
addition at the back. The central chimney-stack
has four diagonal shafts. Inside the building
are some original doors of oak battens. On
the ground floor one room has some carved oak
panelling with the date 1589 roughly cut on it.
On the first floor is a fireplace with a richly ornamented overmantel of plaster; in the middle is
a blank shield and on each side a panelled pilaster.
a (21). Henham Lodge, about ½ m. N.E. of the
church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings extending towards the W. and N.; in the angle
between the wings is a square staircase wing.
There are modern additions on the S. side.
a (22). Parsonage Cottage, about 1½ m. N.W.
of the church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings
extending towards the E. and S.
a (23). Old Meads Farm, about 1 m. S.W. of
the church. The house was originally of plain
rectangular plan with a projecting porch in the
middle of the E. front, but an 18th-century wing has
been added at the back. There is a gabled room
above the porch. The ends of the house have half-hipped gables, and the central chimney-stack has
four diagonal shafts.
b (24). Pennington Hall, about 1 m. S. of the
church, is of L-shaped plan with the wings projecting towards the W. and S. Part of the E.
wall has been re-faced with modern brick; the
plaster is ornamented with a rough zig-zag
a (25). Windmill, at Mill Farm, ¾ m. S. of the
church, was built probably late in the 17th century,
but has been completely rebuilt, except the lower
courses of the walls, which are of original brick.