13. BROOMFIELD. (F.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xliii. N.E. (b)xliii. S.E. (c)xliv. S.W.)
Broomfield is a parish 2½ m. N. of Chelmsford.
The Church and Priors are the principal monuments.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary The Virgin
(anciently St. Leonard), stands in the village. The
11th-century walls are chiefly of lumps of brown
boulder-clay with a few flints and short courses
of Roman brick; the tower is of coursed flint with
a few pieces of pudding-stone and Roman bricks;
the remainder of the structure is largely of flint-rubble containing much re-used material; the
dressings of the 11th and 12th-century work are
all of Roman brick; the remainder are chiefly
of sandy limestone; the roofs are tiled, the spire is
The Nave and part of the Chancel were built
in the second half of the 11th century. Early in
the 12th century the West Tower was added, and
early in the 15th century the chancel was lengthened
to its present extent. The North Chapel, North
Vestry, North Aisle, and South Porch are modern.
The church is noteworthy for its round tower
and for its building materials, which include an
unusual quantity of apparently Roman brick.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (36 ft.
by 16 ft.) has in the E. wall a 15th-century
window, partly restored, of three cinque-foiled
lights and vertical tracery under a two-centred head
with a two-centred and hollow-chamfered rear-arch. In the N. wall is a modern arcade opening
into the N. chapel. In the S. wall are three
windows, each of a single cinque-foiled light under
a square head with a moulded label, probably of
early 15th-century date; between the easternmost
and middle windows is a modern doorway; E. of
the easternmost window are the Roman-brick
quoins marking the end of the 11th-century chancel.
The chancel-arch is modern.
The Nave (39½ ft. by 22 ft.) has a modern N.
arcade. In the S. wall are three windows; the
easternmost is a transomed 'low-side' window
of c. 1340 and of a single cinque-foiled ogee light;
the label has head-stops; the two western windows
are modern; between them is the 11th-century
S. doorway with partly restored jambs of Roman
brick and modern stone lintel.
The circular West Tower (15 ft. diameter) is
of two storeys, unmarked externally (Plate p. 43);
it has a conical roof rising into an octagonal spire.
The early 12th-century tower-arch has a semi-circular head and plain responds, much restored.
In the ground storey are three round-headed
windows with jambs and head of Roman bricks.
In the upper storey are three similar windows
repaired with 17th-century brick. The spire has
four gabled spire-lights.
The Roof of the W. tower is probably of the 15th
century; the octagonal spire has double chamfered
principals and four tie-beams with curved braces
forming two-centred arches.
Fittings—Book: In nave—in glass case, Bible
formerly in library of Charles I. Brass: In N.
aisle—against W. wall, to Thomas Huntleye, 1613,
two inscription plates with figure of one daughter,
indents of two figures and son or sons, and of shield
of arms. Floor-slab: In chancel—to Patrick
Younge, 1652, with defaced cartouche of arms.
Font: square, slightly tapering bowl, each face
having three shallow panels with pointed heads;
at each angle an attached shaft with rounded
base and capital carved with water-leaf; bowl
stands on a modern pier and has at each angle
a round shaft with scalloped capital and moulded
base, of old material re-cut; probably of Barnack
stone; late 12th-century. Plate: the old plate
now belongs to a church in Margate. Stoup: In
S. porch—E. of S. doorway, with hollow-chamfered
jambs and two-centred head, bowl broken, 15th-century.
Broomfield, The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin.
c(2). Homestead Moat at Belstead Hall, about
1 m. E. of the church.
b(3). Priors, house and moat, ¾ m. S.W. of the
church. The House is of two storeys; the walls
are partly of brick and partly of plastered timber-framing; the roofs are tiled. It was built of
brick, probably about the middle of the 16th century with a central Hall and cross-wings at the
N.W. and S.E. ends; late in the 16th or early in the
17th century a timber-framed staircase-wing was
added on the N.E. side of the main block, and was
extended towards the S.E. probably in the 18th
century; the original S.E. cross-wing has been
re-built in modern times. On the N.E. front the
original wall has a moulded brick plinth and between
the storeys a moulded string-course; the N.W.
wing is gabled and has an original three-sided bay
with much altered or modern windows in the ground
storey, but with original windows of three and two
lights in the front and side faces respectively of
the upper storey; the plastered mullions are of
moulded brick. On the N.W. elevation are a
similar plinth and string-course, and in each
storey are two original windows, now blocked, each
of two lights with moulded and plastered brick
jambs, mullions and heads. The S.W. elevation
was probably the original entrance front, but the
old doorway is now blocked and the whole elevation
was largely altered in the 18th century; straight
joints indicate the position of a former bay window
corresponding to that on the N.E. front; further
S.E. there are indications possibly of a former
porch of two storeys. The original central chimney-stack has a moulded capping and four partly
restored octagonal shafts on moulded bases.
Inside the building the original Hall was of three
bays divided by moulded ceiling beams. In
various rooms are pieces of late 16th and 17th-century panelling, and in the upper storey is a
plain late 17th-century mantel-piece. The staircase-wing is entered by a 16th or early 17th-century oak doorway with moulded jambs and
lintel; the staircase (Plate p. 39) is of c. 1600
and of the wall-type, with moulded handrail and
string, turned symmetrical balusters, and square
newels having moulded and panelled heads.
The Moat is incomplete.
Condition—Of house, good.
a(4). Partridgegreen, house and moat, over
1 m. N.W. of the church. The House is of two
storeys, timber-framed and weather-boarded; the
roofs are tiled. It was built probably in the 16th
century on a half H-shaped plan with the wings
projecting towards the N., but a modern addition
between the wings makes the present plan rectangular. The wings are gabled on both the S. and
N. elevations. Inside the building are exposed
ceiling-beams and a wide open fireplace.
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, good.
b(5). Broomfield Hall, 100 yards S.W. of the
church, is of two storeys with basement and attics;
the walls are of plastered timber-framing with
some modern brick; the roofs are tiled. It was
built probably in the 15th century on a half
H-shaped plan with the wings extending towards
the S.; late in the 17th century the S.E. wing
appears to have been re-built, and a small wing
was added at the W. end of the main block; the
S.W. wing has been partly re-built in modern
times and there are modern additions between the
main wings. Two chimney-stacks are of late
16th or 17th-century date; one has two conjoined
shafts, the other has a large shaft with diagonal
pilaster-strips on a base with a moulded capping.
Inside the building are chamfered ceiling-beams,
and part of the central newel of a former circular
staircase. The roof retains an original king-post
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two
storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs
are tiled. Some of the buildings have original
chimney-stacks and exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good, or fairly good, but much
b(6). House, 50 yards E. of the church, was
built probably early in the 16th century on a
half H-shaped plan with the wings projecting
towards the N. and a central Hall of one storey;
the N.E. wing was lengthened in the 17th century,
and there is a small modern addition at the W.
end and at the back of the main block. The S.
front is gabled at each end. The upper storey
of the N.W. wing appears to have projected on the
W. and N., but has been under-built with modern
brick. Inside the building, in the original N.
wall of the main block is an old window, now
blocked, of two lights with a square mullion having
b(7). Well House, on E. side of main road 200
yards E.S.E. of the church, was built probably
late in the 16th century with a cross-wing at the
N. and S. ends; at the back are extensive modern
additions. At each end of the W. front is a gable;
under the N. gable the upper storey projects.
The original S. chimney-stack is stepped and has
two conjoined hexagonal shafts. Inside the building, in the lower storey of the main block and in
both storeys of the S. wing the original ceiling-beams are moulded; this wing also retains two
original overmantels, each of two moulded panels,
divided and flanked by carved pilasters and surmounted by a carved frieze. In the upper storey
massive tie-beams are visible.
b(8). Angel Inn, on E. side of main road 600
yards S.S.E. of the church, was built in the 15th
century with a central Hall of one storey and a
cross-wing at the N. and S. ends; in the 17th-century an upper floor was inserted in the Hall,
and at the back are modern additions; the roof
of the former S. cross-wing is now ridged continuously with the main block. Inside the building, the roof of the former Hall is of two bays
divided by an original king-post truss; of the
king-post, only the moulded base is now visible.
The N. cross-wing is of three bays divided by
trusses with curved braces. The central chimney-stack contains a fireplace of the 16th century with
a three-centred arch of brick.
b(9). House, now three tenements, on W. side
of main road 150 yards S. of (8), has modern additions at the back. On the E. front it was originally
gabled at each end, but only the N. gable remains.
Inside the building the original staircase retains a
few turned balusters.
b(10). Gutter's Farm, cottage on E. side of main
road nearly 1 m. S.S.E. of the church, has been
refronted and has modern additions at the back.
The original central chimney-stack has three conjoined diagonal shafts. Inside the building is
an original fireplace with a three-centred head of
b(11). Cottage, 10 yards S. of (10), has an original
chimney-stack with a shaft rebated at the angles.
b(12). Cottage, now two tenements, S. of Chobling's Farm about 1¼ m. W.S.W. of the church,
with modern additions at the back and at the