30. GOLDHANGER. (C.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xlv. S.E. (b)liv. N.E.)
Goldhanger is a village and parish on the N. side
of the Blackwater estuary and 3½ m. E.N.E. of
Maldon. The church is interesting.
b(1). During the excavation of a Red Hill
in 1908 and 1909 near the outlet of the
creek, in the northern part of Fish Pit Marsh,
evidence of the intrusion of a Romano-British
settler was disclosed. Below the extreme
eastern edge of the red earth on the old
salting surface was found a kitchen midden of
considerable size, containing masses of oyster and
mussel shells, animal bones, many of which had
been cut and split, and Roman pottery, including
"large jars with a heavy roll rim." Over this had
been spread red earth from the mound on the
west side, and over this again was a layer of brown
mould. In the red earth and mould of the mound
had been built some seven flues, and three or four
fire-floors filled with Roman pottery. The flues
were chiefly in parallel pairs, and were from 18 to
30 in. wide, 2 ft. deep and from 5 to 8 ft. long.
They were carefully made and lined with puddled
clay about an inch thick and were filled with
black ash and burnt clay. Some of the flues
were laid on the floors, some below them. The
floors consisted of hard material burnt yellow,
and from 1 to 3½ ft. in thickness, and measured
from 9 ft. by 13 ft. to 12 ft. by 18 ft. 'Samian' and
other ware, bones of domestic animals and shells
were abundant in and about the flues, but details
of the smaller finds are lacking, and the date of
the occupation cannot be fixed. It was the opinion
of the excavators that while the Red Hill itself had
been built on the open marsh, the mould could
only have formed after the sea-wall had been constructed. Hence they would assign a pre-Roman
date to the Hill itself, and conjecture the seawall to have been built possibly in Roman times.
The Roman occupation of a Red Hill, of which
this is the only recorded instance, may possibly
have been due to a recrudescence of the industry—
whatever it may have been—with which the
original formation of the Red Hill was connected.
(Proc. Soc. Ant., XXIII, 69–76.) (See Sectional
Preface, p. xxiii.)
b(2). Parish Church of St. Peter stands
in the village. The walls are of coursed flint-rubble with dressings of Roman brick and limestone; the roofs are tiled. The Chancel and Nave
were built in the 12th century and there are some
indications that a S. aisle existed at the same time.
The South Aisle was probably rebuilt late in the
14th century. In the second half of the 15th
century the West Tower was added and the W.
end of the church rebuilt. The South Chapel was
added shortly afterwards. The church was restored
in the 19th and 20th centuries when the chancelarch and S. arcade were rebuilt and the South
The Church, Plan
Architectural Description—The Chancel (21 ft.
by 16½ ft.) has E. quoins of Roman brick. The
E. window is modern. In the N. wall is a 12th-century window with jambs and round head of
Roman brick. In the S. wall is a late 15th-century
four-centred arch of two moulded orders; the
responds have semi-octagonal shafts with moulded
capitals and bases. The chancel-arch is modern.
The South Chapel (20 ft. by 11¾ ft.) has in the
E. and S. walls a window all modern or completely restored.
The Nave (45¾ ft. by 18½ ft.) has in the N. wall
three windows, the easternmost and westernmost
are modern; the middle window is of the 12th
century and is similar to that in the N. wall of
the chancel; between the two western windows
is the N. doorway, possibly of the 12th century
but much altered and with a two-centred arch
of the 15th century. The E. quoins of the wall
are of Roman brick. The S. arcade is modern.
The South Aisle (10¼ ft. wide) has in the S.
wall two modern windows; between them is the
late 14th-century S. doorway, partly restored,
and with stop-moulded jambs and two-centred
arch with a moulded label.
The West Tower (10 ft. square) is of the 15th
century and of three stages, with an embattled
parapet. The two centred tower-arch is of two
hollow-chamfered orders; the responds have each
a half-round shaft with moulded capital and base.
In the N. wall is the doorway to the turret staircase, with a two-centred head. The W. window
is of two cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery
in a two-centred head with a moulded label;
below it is the W. doorway with moulded jambs,
two-centred arch and label. The second stage
has in the N., S. and W. walls a window of one
trefoiled light. The bell-chamber has in each wall
a window of two cinquefoiled lights in a square
head with a moulded label and partly restored.
The Roof of the nave is of the 15th century
and of three bays with moulded wall-plates, and
tie-beams with curved braces and king-posts
with four-way struts. The ground stage of the
tower has 15th-century moulded ceiling-beams.
Fittings—Bells: six; 4th by Miles Graye, 1652.
Brass: See Monument. Door: In second stage
of tower—of battens with strap-hinges, probably
15th-century. Monument: In S. chapel—in N.E.
angle to [Thomas Heigham, 1531, and Alys,
Awdrie, and Frances, his wives] altar-tomb of
Purbeck marble, sides, of disarranged stones,
panelled with cinquefoiled and traceried heads
and traces of former buttresses, each bay on
S. side with shields having defaced charges (a)
a pall with a cross erect; (b) a fesse between three
(roses ?); (c) a cheveron between three . . . . . . ; on
N. side one plain shield and one with the letters
IHC; slab with moulded edge and brass figure
of woman in pedimental head-dress, indents of
man in armour and two other wives and four
shields of arms; inserted later at top, brass
inscription to Anthony Heyham, 1540, and Anne,
his wife, with two shields of arms inserted in
earlier indents—(a) a cheveron, over all a bend (b)
(a) impaling a lion within a border engrailed; tomb
either rebuilt or made up of pieces from another
monument. Painting: slight traces on roof
timbers of nave. Piscinae: In chancel—with
chamfered jambs and two-centred head, foliated
drain, probably 13th-century. In S. chapel—in
S. wall, with moulded jambs and ogee head,
octofoiled drain, 15th-century. Miscellanea: In
chancel—W. of S. arch, piece of carving with figures
of angel bearing away soul of a bearded man, ivy
foliage and dragon, possibly 14th-century, but of
b(3). Cobb's Farm, house, ¾ m. W.S.W. of the
church, was built in the 17th century but has
been almost entirely rebuilt except for the central
a(4). Falcon's Hall Farm, house, about ½ m.
N.N.W. of the church, is of two storeys with
attics; the walls are timber-framed and plastered,
and the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the
16th century with cross-wings at the E. and W.
ends. The upper storey projects at the N. end
of the cross-wings; the gable of the W. wing also
projects and has a moulded and carved bressumer;
in the wall of the ground floor is an original window
with moulded mullions and now blocked. Two
chimney-stacks are of the 17th century and have
diagonal shafts. Inside the building are exposed
ceiling-beams and some 16th-century doors with
strap-hinges. The roof of the W. wing has curved
braces to the tie-beams and curved wind-braces.
a(5). Folly Faunts Farm, house, 200 yards
E. of (3), is of two storeys with attics. The walls
are timber-framed and the roofs are tiled. It
was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th
century and has a modern block on the S. front.
The wing at the back was added c. 1700. Inside
the building, is some exposed timber-framing
and some of the ceiling-beams are also exposed.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(6). Red Hill, in Fish Pit Marsh, west of Goldhanger Creek. There are many others along the
line of the sea-wall.