3. ALPHAMSTONE. (B.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xii. S.E. (b)xvii. N.E.)
Alphamstone is a parish and small village 5½ m.
N.E. of Halstead. The church is interesting.
a(1). Parish Church (dedication unknown)
stands towards the N. end of the parish. The walls
are of flint rubble, except the S. wall of the chancel,
which is partly of brick; the dressings are of limestone and the roofs are covered with tiles and
slates; the bell-turret is weather-boarded. The
Nave was built probably in the 12th century.
A West tower was added at some uncertain date and
subsequently demolished. Early in the 14th century the Chancel was rebuilt; shortly afterwards
the chancel-arch and S. arcade were built and the
South Aisle added. In the 15th century the North
Porch was added. In the 15th century the S. wall
of the chancel was partly rebuilt and the South
Porch added. The church was restored at the
end of the 19th century, when the Bell-turret was
repaired and the chancel largely refaced. There is
a considerable collection of sarsen stones in and
about the churchyard, which appear to have been
brought together by human agency.
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (34 ft.
by 18½ ft.) is faced on the E. and N. with black
flints; it has a modern E. window, with some reset
stones in the splays, rear-arch and the external
sill. In the N. wall are three windows, the two
eastern are modern except for the splays and reararches, which are of c. 1300; the westernmost
window is of c. 1300, partly restored, and of two
pointed lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred
head; it is carried down below a transom to form
a 'low side,' which is fitted with old iron grilles
and modern shutters with old hinges. In the S.
wall are two windows, the eastern is modern except
for the 14th-century splays and rear-arch; the
western is uniform with the westernmost in the
N. wall, but one of the shutters is ancient; between
the windows is a 14th-century doorway with
chamfered jambs and segmental-pointed arch. The
14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of
three chamfered orders; the semi-octagonal responds have moulded capitals and bases.
The Nave (39 ft. by 20 ft.) has in the N. wall
two windows, the eastern is of early 14th-century
date and of two trefoiled ogee lights with tracery
in a two-centred head with a moulded label; the
western window is of the 15th century and of three
cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery in a four-centred head with a moulded label; further W. is
a 12th-century round-headed window, now blocked
and only visible internally; W. of this window is
the 13th-century N. doorway, probably reset, and
with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch. The
early 14th-century S. arcade is of three bays with
two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the
octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds
have moulded capitals and bases. In the W. wall
is a modern window and on either side of it and
visible externally are the responds and springers
of a 14th-century tower-arch.
The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has an early 14th-century E. window of three trefoiled ogee lights
with net tracery in a two-centred head. In the
S. wall are three windows, the two eastern are of
the 14th century and of two trefoiled lights with
tracery in a two-centred head; the westernmost
has a 17th-century oak frame and a square head;
between the two western windows is the early
14th-century S. doorway with chamfered jambs,
two-centred arch and moulded label with headstops.
The North Porch is timber-framed on modern
dwarf brick walls. The timber-framing is partly
of the 15th century and the outer archway has
posts and a two-centred head of that period.
The South Porch is probably of the 16th or 17th
century and has a four-centred outer archway and
moulded barge-boards. In the E. wall is a plain
The Roof of the chancel is probably of the 17th
century and has plain and very light tie-beams and
posts. The roof of the nave has tie-beams, collars
and rafters probably of the 15th century. The
15th-century roof of the N. porch has a tie-beam
with curved braces. The S. porch has old rafters
Fittings—Bells: three, 1st and 3rd from the
Bury foundry, c. 1500, and inscribed "Sancte
Gorge Ora Pro Nobis" and "Sancta Maria Ora
Pro Nobis"; 2nd by Austen Bracker, c. 1550,
inscribed "In Honore Scaunte Marie." Brass:
In chancel—to Margaret Sidey, widow, 1607,
inscription only. Chests: In S. aisle—(1)
panelled, each panel in front with a lozenge ornament, early 17th-century; (2) of hutch form
with iron straps and lock, 16th or 17th-century.
Communion Table: plain with square stop-chamfered legs, 16th or 17th-century. Doors:
In N. doorway—of feathered and nail-studded
battens, strap-hinges and pierced scutcheon-plate
with drop-handle, 15th-century. In S. doorway—
similar to that in N. doorway but without scutcheonplate and handle, 15th-century. Font (Plate,
p. xxxiv): square, Purbeck marble bowl, each side
with five shallow, round-headed panels, late 12th-century, stem modern. Font Cover: of oak,
domed and panelled, with turned ball-finial with
shaped supports, probably late 17th-century,
Glass: In chancel—in N.E. window, blue and
gold roundels; in N.W. window, grisaille quarries,
14th-century. In S.W. window, similar grisaille.
In nave—in middle N. window, fragments of
figures, suns and tabernacle work, etc., 15th-century. In S. aisle—in S.E. window, borders of
yellow fleurs-de-lis and cups on a black ground,
and fragments, 14th-century. Locker: In chancel
—in N. wall, with moulded jambs and trefoiled
ogee head with finial, early 14th-century, fitted
with modern door. Paving: In chancel—slip-tiles with conventional patterns, 14th-century.
Piscinae: In chancel—in range with sedilia
with mutilated moulded and cinquefoiled head
and moulded label, octofoiled drain, 14th-century,
jamb-shaft modern; in N. wall, with chamfered
jambs and two-centred head, damaged quatrefoiled
drain, 13th-century, but probably not in situ.
In S. aisle—in S. wall, with chamfered jambs and
trefoiled ogee head, round drain, 14th-century.
Sedilia: In chancel—in range with piscina, of
three bays, with detached shafts with moulded
bases and capitals, moulded and cinquefoiled
arches with moulded labels, and horizontal string,
early 14th-century. In nave—sill of N.E. window
carried down low to form seat. In S. aisle—sill
of S.E. window carried down to form seat.
a(2). At Moat Farm, 300 yards N.E. of the
b(3). At Mosse's Farm, nearly 1 m. S.S.E. of the
b(4). Barn and moat, at Clees Hall, ¼ m. N.W.
of (3). The Barn (Plate, p. xxxvii) is timberframed and weather-boarded. It was built in the
16th century, and is of ten bays and about 120 ft.
long. The roof is of queen-post type.
The Moat is incomplete.
Condition—Of barn, fairly good.
b(5). Upper Goulds Farm, house and moat,
600 yards W. of (4). The House is of two storeys,
timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled.
It was built probably late in the 16th century with
a cross-wing at the N. end. The upper storey
projects at the W. end of the cross-wing. Inside
the building the ceiling-beams and wall-posts are
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—of house, good.
a(6). Ivy Cottage, house and moat, about
¾ m. S.W. of the church. The House is of two
storeys, refaced with modern brick; the roofs
are tiled. It was built early in the 17th century,
and has an original chimney-stack with grouped
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
a(7). Cottage, 700 yards S.S.W. of the church,
is of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered;
the roofs are thatched. It was built in the 17th
century and has exposed ceiling-beams.
a(8). Cottage, 60 yards N. of the church, is
of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the
roofs are tiled. It was built in the 17th century
and has exposed ceiling-beams.
a(9). King's Farm, house, nearly 1¼ m. W.S.W.
of the church, is of two storeys, timber-framed and
plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built early
in the 17th century, and has an original chimney-stack with grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the
building are exposed ceiling-beams.