4. AVELEY. (B.e.)
(O.S. 6 in. lxxxiii. N.W.)
Aveley is a parish and small village on the N. bank
of the Thames, 6 m. N.W. of Tilbury. The church
and Belhus are the principal monuments.
(1). Parish Church of St. Michael stands
in the village. The walls are of roughly coursed
flint and ragstone with some Roman and 16th-century bricks; the tower and the dressings are
of limestone; the roofs are covered with tiles,
slates and lead. The Nave was built early in the
12th century and c. 1160 the South Aisle was added.
The North Aisle was added c. 1220 and about the
middle of the 13th century the Chancel was re-built
and the North Chapel added; the West Tower
is of almost the same date. In the 14th century
the S. aisle was much altered and partly re-built.
In the 15th century the N. aisle was extended
one bay to the W., the North Porch added and
the upper part of the tower re-built. The clearstorey is probably of 15th-century date but has
been largely re-built. The church was restored
in the 19th century and the chancel partly refaced
The church is of considerable architectural
interest and among the fittings the Flemish brass
and the early 17th-century pulpit are noteworthy.
Architectural Description— The Chancel (34 ft.
by 16 ft.) has a modern E. window incorporating
some old stones. The N. arcade is of c. 1240
and of two bays with two-centred arches of two
chamfered orders; the cylindrical column has a
moulded bell-capital and base, and the responds
have attached half-columns. In the S. wall are
three windows, the easternmost is modern except
the 13th-century E. splay and the 15th-century
W. splay and rear-arch; the middle window is
modern except for the 13th-century splays and
rear-arch; the westernmost window is of the 15th
century and of three cinque-foiled lights in a
square head with a moulded label; below the
middle window is a doorway with chamfered
jambs and two-centred arch, probably of the 15th
century. There is no chancel-arch.
The North Chapel (37 ft. by 9¾ ft.) has a modern
window in the E. wall. In the N. wall are two
windows mostly modern except the splays and
rear-arches, which are of 13th-century material,
re-built in the 15th century.
The Nave (41 ft. by 18 ft.) (Plate, p. 8) has a
N. arcade of c. 1220 and of three bays with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders; the
cylindrical columns have moulded bases and bell-capitals; the responds have each a semi-octagonal
attached shaft with moulded imposts; the E.
impost is modern; E. of the arcade is a round
headed opening to the rood-loft, covered with
modern plaster. The S. arcade is of c. 1160 and of
three bays with round arches; the two easternmost are of two plain orders but the westernmost
has been re-built with the original material and is
of one wide chamfered order; the piers and
responds are of the same section as the arches
and have moulded imposts at the springing level;
the impost of the W. respond is continued a
short distance along the wall and the W. wall
of the S. aisle is built against it; over the E. arch
is part of the round head of an early 12th-century
window. The clearstorey has three modern
windows on each side.
Aveley. The Parish Church of St Michael
The North Aisle (9¾ ft. wide) has in the N. wall
two partly restored 15th-century windows each of
two cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a
moulded label; between them is the modern N.
doorway. In the W. wall is a window similar to
those in the N. wall.
The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has a 14th-century
E. window, entirely modern externally and of
two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-century head. In the S. wall are two windows
all modern except the splays and rear-arches which
are probably of the 14th-century; between them
is the 14th-century S. doorway with a two-centred
head and now blocked.
The West Tower (12½ ft. by 15½ ft.) is of two
stages with an embattled parapet. The 13th-century tower-arch is two-centred and of one
continuous chamfered order. The 15th-century
W. window is of three cinque-foiled lights in a
square head with a moulded label and modern
mullions; the 15th-century W. doorway has
moulded jambs and two-centred arch. The bell-chamber has in the E. wall a window all modern
except the splays and rear-arch; the N., S. and
W. walls have each a two-light window modern
externally but with 15th-century splays and rear-arches.
The North Porch is probably of the 15th century
but has no ancient features.
The Roof of the nave is of the 16th century and
of three bays but the trusses have been cased
except the westernmost which has a tie-beam with
curved braces forming a four-centred arch. The
tower has the framing for the old roof.
Fittings—Bells: five; 1st and 2nd by John
Waylett, 1712; 3rd by William Culverden, early
16th-century and inscribed "Sancte Petre Ora
Pro Nobis"; 4th by James Bartlct, 1692; 5th
by Thomas Bartlet, 1618. Bracket: In nave—on
S.W. respond, moulded corbel for image, 15th-century. Brasses: In chancel—(1) groups of
six sons and two daughters and four shields-of-arms, (a) and (d) crusily fitchy three lions, (b) a
fesse and a pierced molet in chief impaling three
eagles, (c) (a) impaling the two coats of (b), indents
of figures of man and wife, and marginal inscription,
c. 1520; (2) (Plate, p. 160) of Ralph de Knevynton,
1370, rectangular plate with figure wearing mail
hauberk with pointed skirt, rivet-studded haketon on breeches; plate pauldrons, arm-pieces,
knee-cops, bainbergs, and sollerets with chains
attaching the hilts of the sword and dagger to the
plastron of the haketon, head bare, feet on dog,
cusped canopy with traceried spandrels, Flemish
work, indents of two shields; (3) of Nathaniell
and Elizabeth, infant children of Edward Bacon,
1588, with small figures of children, shield-of-arms
and two crests; (4) to Edward Barette, 1585,
with one shield and one lozenge-of-arms. In N.
chapel—(5) to Charles Barett, 1584, with shield-of-arms; palimpsest on the reverse of inscription, part
of a Flemish inscription of c. 1420. See also
Monuments. Chair (Plate, p. xlii): In chancel—
with carved back, shaped arms and turned front
legs, c. 1620. Coffin-lid: In nave—with raised
ornamental cross, late 13th or early 14th-century.
Communion Table: In tower—with turned legs,
cut down, 17th-century, modern top. Font:
square bowl with four shallow round-headed
panels on each face, cylindrical stem with a small
detached shaft at each angle, late 12th-century.
Glass: In tower—in W. window, four quarries
with small quatrefoils and fragments of tabernacle
work, head, etc., 14th-century and later. Monuments and Floor-slab. Monuments: In N. chapel
—on E. wall, (1) of Elizabeth, infant daughter of
Edward Bacon, 1583, Purbeck marble tablet
with side columns of Gothic type with round arch,
initials E.B. in spandrels, at back brass of a
swaddled infant, head and feet missing, indent
of a small lozenge-shaped plate; on N. wall, (2)
Purbeck marble tablet with side columns and round
moulded arch, indents of man and woman, one
son and one daughter, inscription-plate, Trinity,
scrolls and two shields-of-arms, c. 1520. In
churchyard—W. of tower, (3) to James Jeffery,
1703, and seven children, head-stone. Floor-slab:
In nave—to Rafe (R ?)ingsall, 1632. Niche: In
nave—in S.E. respond, with trefoiled head and
moulded sill, late 14th or early 15th-century.
Piscinae: In chancel—sunk in wall, pillar-piscina
with scalloped capital, 12th-century, trefoiled
ogee recess, 14th-century. In N. chapel—in S.
wall, with moulded jambs and unusually cusped
head, octofoiled drain partly broken, 14th-century.
In S. aisle—in S. wall, with moulded jambs and
trefoiled head, 14th-century. Plate: includes cup
and cover-paten of 1620 and late 17th-century
alms-dish given by Thomas Latham, who died
1726. Pulpit: hexagonal, pilasters at the angles
with strap-ornament, moulded cornice with carved
frieze, on S.E. face reversed panel with date
1621, stem springing from hexagonal fluted shaft
with moulded base; hexagonal sounding-board
with strap-work frieze and consoles at the angles,
panelled soffit with arabesque panel in the middle.
Screen: Between chancel and nave—moulded
head, middle doorway with modern posts, moulded
middle rail, on either side of doorway five open
panels with cinque-foiled and traceried heads, similar
head divided and re-used under lintel of doorway,
early 15th-century, lower part modern. Stoup: In
nave—W. of N. doorway, round bowl with triangular brick head, early 16th-century.
(2). Chapel de la lee, about 150 yards N.E.
of the church, has been completely demolished
except for a length of about 50 ft. of the N. wall
adjoining the main road. It is built of ragstone-rubble repaired with brickwork of varying dates
and has a chamfered stone plinth. It is possibly of
(3). Homestead Moat, immediately E. of the
(4). Kenningtons, house and moat, about
1 m. N.N.W. of the church. The House is of two
storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs
are tiled. It is possibly the end wing of a 15th-century house, the major part of which has been
demolished, and has 17th-century alterations, and
modern additions at the back. The central chimney-stack is of 17th-century brickwork. Inside the
building some of the timber-construction is exposed
and on the first floor is a heavy cambered tie-beam
with curved braces.
The Moat is fragmentary.
Condition—Of house, good.
(5). Bretts, house and moat, about 1¼ m.
N.N.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys;
the walls are of plastered timber-framing and
brick and the roofs are covered with slate. It was
built possibly in the 14th century and is of half
H-shaped plan with the cross-wings extending
towards the E. Alterations were made in the 16th
and 17th centuries. Modern work includes the
one-storey addition on the E. front and considerable alterations to the roof. The re-set 15th-century entrance doorway has a four-centred head
with trefoiled spandrels, within a square moulded
frame. The 17th-century chimney-stacks are rectangular and have moulded stringcourses just above
the ridge of the roof. Inside the building some
of the main ceiling-beams are exposed and the
passage in the N. wing has the joists showing, and
a four-centred archway. In the E. wall of the
original hall are two blocked windows, each of two
cinque-foiled lights in a square head with a moulded
label; they have stone dressings and are of 15th-century date. There are two moulded batten
doors of early 17th-century date and the N.W.
room has a fireplace with a segmental-pointed
head. On the first floor some of the timber-construction is exposed. In the E. wall are two
blocked windows with diamond-shaped mullions
and two of the rooms have open fireplaces with
four-centred heads. The hall was divided into three
bays and had curved braces to the roof-trusses,
forming two-centred arches. The wall-plates to
the middle bay are richly moulded but are
apparently not in situ. The roof over the N.E.
wing is of central-purlin type with curved braces.
The Moat is incomplete. The N. and W. arms
remain and are still filled with water and on the
E. side is a sunk wall of old brickwork which was
possibly a retaining wall to the E. arm.
Condition—Of house, good.
(6). Belhus, house, stables and outbuildings,
¾ m. N.N.E. of the church. The House is mainly
of three storeys; the walls are of brick with some
stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The building
to which reference is made in the will of John
Barrett, who died in 1526, as "my place called
Bellhouse Hall, alias Barretts, which I have
newly builded," forms the nucleus of the present
house, but it seems probable that only part of
the building was completed at the time of his
death. It was built round a rectangular court-yard with the principal front facing the S. and
the N. range extending eastwards some distance
beyond the E. wall of the main building. The
Hall was in the middle of the S. range and had
at the S.E. corner a tower; in the S.E. angle
of the courtyard was the staircase-block. Late
in the 16th century an extension or rebuilding
was made of the N.E. wing and about the same
time a bay-window of two storeys was built on
the S. side of the Hall, when it is probable that
the S. wall of the original building was raised to
its present height. Very considerable alterations
and additions were made during the 18th and 19th
centuries which include the rebuilding of the
whole of the W. wall and redecoration of the rooms
in the W. range, the building of a staircase and
rooms on the S. and W. sides of the courtyard,
the extending eastwards of the S. range and the
widening of the middle part of the E. range by
the removal and rebuilding of the E. wall further
towards the E. In recent years one storey additions
have been made at the E. end of the N. and S.
The house is interesting as an example of an
early Tudor mansion, but the mid 18th-century
and later alterations in the 'Gothic style' have
robbed the building of its original character.
The S. Front (Plate, p. 9) is flanked at either
end by modern towers and includes, at the E. end,
the modern S.E. addition. The rest of the front,
including the tower in the middle, is mainly of
16th-century date and of red brick with the original
walling diapered with black headers. It has a
plinth with a moulded stone offset, and, on either
side of the tower, a plain continuous parapet with a
moulded brick coping. The S. walls of the side
ranges project beyond the face of the Hall block
and were originally gabled; the moulded brick
corbelling which carries the upper part of the
return wall on the E. side of the W. wing probably
indicates the eaves-level of the original gable. The
tower is of four storeys, undivided externally, and
has at the N.W. corner an octagonal stair-turret
leading from the second floor and carried up
above the parapet; it rests on a four-centred
arch across the external N.W. angle. At the
other angles are polygonal clasping buttresses
which rise above the parapet and terminate in
conical caps. The windows to the ground-storey
are modern, the southern one replacing the original
entrance-doorway; the remaining windows are
original and each of one or two four-centred lights.
The stair-turret has nine small loops, mostly
blocked. The bay-window to the hall is of late
16th-century date and has two four-centred lights
in each face; the remaining windows are modern
except for some small blocked lights. Inserted
in the plinth W. of the tower are five square panels
of plastered brick with heraldic figures in relief;
two with a double-headed spread-eagle, two with
a swan and one with a fleur-de-lis.
The N. Elevation (Plate, p. 9) is unsymmetrical
and of two storeys except the modern N.W. tower
and the N. ends of the cross-ranges which are of
three stages. The W. bay is semi-hexagonal on plan
and is flanked on either side by a buttress which
is surmounted by a twisted shaft with a moulded
capping; the parapet of the N. wall has a finial
of a similar twisted form. On the remainder of
the front are three original projecting bays each
with crow-stepped gables, the westernmost forming
a porch with a four-centred entrance - archway,
internal side-recesses or seats, and an inner doorway, now blocked. Most of the small single-light
windows are original and have four-centred heads
but only two of the larger ones are entirely of
The E. wall of the N.E. Wing is gabled and the
S. wall has some diaper-work on the early 16th-century part of the wall. The windows are square-headed and in the S. wall are two doorways, one
blocked, the other which has a four-centred head
is covered by a modern porch. The E. wall of
the E. cross-wing is modern but, inside the building, part of the original wall remains and has
in the N. end a blocked square-headed window
to the kitchen (H). Re-set in the modern porch
is a 16th-century doorway (Plate, p. 64) with
richly carved frame and head; the frame has two
female figures, one holding a bird, the other a
looking-glass and both standing on corbels; carved
on the head of the doorway is a cherub and
various emblematic figures, now much defaced.
The door is divided into eight panels by moulded
and nail-studded rails and muntins and is hung
on three strap-hinges with fleur-de-lis ends.
The elevations to the original courtyard have
been almost completely covered by later additions
but in the S. wall is a large window of four four-centred lights in a four-centred head and now
Interior. The Ground Storey of the tower (A)
originally formed the main entrance porch and
has a quadripartite vault now plastered over.
The original Hall (C) contains some fragments
of 16th and 17th-century panelling but the screen
is modern. Between room (E) and the W. porch
are two large doors of c. 1540; they are remarkably
fine examples of Flemish workmanship with the
lower part of carved and linen-fold panels and the
upper divided into open trefoiled lights by richly
carved posts. At the sides are re-used panels
carved with tracery and figures. In room (F)
is some re-used panelling and some tapestry of
c. 1700. The original main beams are exposed
in the ceilings of the Kitchen (H) and the rooms
adjoining on the S.; the W. fireplace in (H),
though partly bricked up, retains an original
four-centred arch-recess. In the N. wall of room
(I) is a re-used mantelpiece and overmantel of
c. 1600 (Plate, p. 65). The overmantel is carried
on two fluted pilasters and is divided into two
main panels by tapering pilasters supporting a
moulded cornice and frieze carved with strapwork ornament; each panel has a raised and arched
recess containing a small obelisk. Room (J) has
some 17th-century panelling and incorporated in
the window of the staircase (K) are some fragments of carved woodwork from a doorway or
fireplace. The projecting bay (M) originally contained a staircase, since removed. On the First
Floor, in the room over (F), is some early
18th-century tapestry and on the N. wall of the
passage or gallery, on the N. side of the court-yard, are the remains of an early 16th-century
painting in black and red probably historical and
representing numerous mounted figures of men
and women in contemporary costume; some
of the men carry shields one of which has
a double-headed eagle. Only part of the painting
is exposed the remainder being covered with
plaster. The room over the W. end of (L) is
entered from the adjoining passage through a four-centred doorway and there is a blocked doorway
in the E. wall, the timber-framing of which is
exposed. There is some 17th-century panelling
in the modern staircase leading to the second
floor of the tower and the staircase between the
third and fourth stage has its original treads and
circular newel. The Roof over the Hall block
has tie-beams with curved struts supporting
purlins with curved wind-braces and collar-beams;
the roof over the N.E. wing is of similar construction. The roof of the W. range is now inaccessible.
A considerable amount of glass of varying
dates is incorporated in the windows. In the
Library (B) is a panel with an early 17th-century
portrait and arms of Sir Francis Bacon. In the
ground-floor of the Tower in the S. window (brought
from Hurstmonceaux) are two shields (a) Fiennes
impaling Holland; (b) France; in the E. window
are two roundels with the Fiennes badge, a wolfhound, contained in a wreath of foliage and
pomegranates; set in fragmentary quarries with
the initials R. and E. (for Roger Fiennes and
Elizabeth Holland), all within a border of dog
collars and chains and fragments of the Fiennes
motto. In the W. window is similar glass, all
15th-century. In the Hall (C) in four middle
lights of bay-window are (1) a roundel within a
bay chaplet with the quartered shield of Norris
and Mountfort impaling Vere quartering Howard;
some of the glass is diapered, and some has small
modern repairs; (2) a strap-work medallion with
the arms of Barrett, parted palewise barry of four
argent and gules counterchanged quartering Belhouse
argent crusily fitchy sable with three lions gules;
(3) similar medallion to (2) with the arms of Norris
quartering Mountford and impaling Lovell quartering Deyncourt, Burnell and Holland; (4) a
circular medallion of green bay-leaves with the
quartered arms of Lovell impaling Beaumont
quartering Comyn of Badenoch, Bardolf and
Phelips Lord Bardolf, all 16th-century. In the
Dining room (D) are (a) a repaired 16th-century
shield with the arms of Barrett and Belhouse
quarterly impaling Dineley; (b) a medallion with a
Tudor rose on a shield within a chaplet and a strapwork frame, 16th-century; (c) quartered shield of
Barrett and Belhouse, mainly 16th-century; in
the heads of two lights are figures of cherubs,
17th-century. In the windows of the modern S.W.
tower are some fragments of 15th-century heraldic
glass incorporated in a modern setting and in the
S. drawing room is a gartered shield of Vere, 16th-century, but partly modern. In the W. porch
are two circular medallions, (a) a representation
of the Marriage at Cana, probably Flemish; (b)
a domestic scene of unknown significance; both
16th-century. In Room (N) is a 17th-century
quartered shield of Barrett. In Room (F), some
fragments of canopy-work in brown line on white
glass, green diapered glass, 15th-century and some
older pieces of ruby. On the first floor in room
above (D) are two 15th-century roundels with the
Fiennes badge, a large subject panel of c. 1630-40
and of foreign workmanship, and some miscellaneous glass. In the small room above (E) are
two medallions, probably of German origin and
representing (a) Joseph's brethren casting him into
a pit, 16th-century, and (b) a nimbed saint, probably
St. Matthew, 17th-century.
The Stable (Plate, pp. 56–7), to the S.E. of the
house, is a rectangular building of two storeys with
attics. The walls are of brick; the roofs are tiled.
It was built late in the 16th century with N. and
S. gabled walls and is now connected on the E. by
a modern addition with another stable. It has a
plain plinth, projecting string-courses of brick
at the floor-levels and shaped kneelers of moulded
bricks to both gables. The clock-turret and
chimney-stack are modern. Inside, the building
is divided into three bays by heavy ceiling-beams.
The Stable adjoining on the E. is also of two
storeys with attics and has brick walls and a tiled
roof. It was remodelled early in the 18th century
and has a projecting plinth and plain string-course
at the first-floor level. The roof is hipped and has
a modillioned cornice at the eaves. With the
exception of a five-light window with diamond-shaped mullions in the W. wall all the windows
are 18th-century or later insertions. The roof is
of collar-beam construction.
The Stable to the S. is of brick and timber-framing and though almost entirely re-built incorporates some re-used 17th-century timber and
Condition—Of house and stables, good but much
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of the 17th century and of two
storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs
are tiled. Many of the buildings have exposed
ceiling-beams and original chimney-stacks.
Condition—Good or fairly good.
Main Street, S. side
(7). House, now two shops, 60 yards N. of the
church, is part of a 16th-century house and has
a modern addition at the back. The upper storey
projects on the N. front and is gabled at the
E. end, it also projected at the E. end of the
S. elevation but has been under-built.
(8). House, now three tenements, 20 yards E.
of (7), has gabled cross-wings at either end and
has been much altered and partly refaced with
(9). House, now two tenements, E. of (8), is of
two storeys with attics. The walls are of brick
and the house was built probably late in the
16th century. The entrance door to the W.
tenement is of three vertical moulded panels.
In the S. wall are two blocked windows each of a
single light with chamfered jambs and the S.
chimney-stack is original and has two diagonal
shafts set on a rectangular base.
(10). House, now tenements, E. of (9), has
modern additions at the back.
(11). House, now tenements, E. of (10), has
walls of weather-boarded timber-framing and was
built probably in the 16th century on an L-shaped
plan with the wings extending towards the S.
and E. The upper storey projects at the W. end
of the N. front on three brackets. The original
W. chimney-stack has three diagonal shafts.
Inside the building some of the timber-construction
(12). House, 20 yards E.N.E. of (11), is of two
storeys with attics. It was built probably in the
16th century and has modern additions. The
upper storey of the original building projects along
the whole of the N. front and has a bracket at
(13). House, now two tenements, 60 yards
E.N.E. of (12), was originally of the centralchimney type but has a later S.W. extension and a
modern addition at the back.
Main Street, N. side
(14). Prince Albert Inn, 60 yards N.W. of (7),
is of two storeys with attics and was built in the
16th century on an L-shaped plan with the wings
extending towards the N. and E.; it has been
added to on the N. and E. The roof over the front
block has been raised and in it are three gabled
dormers. The main chimney-stack is of cruciform
plan, set diagonally on a square base.
(15). House, now three tenements, and garden
wall, 20 yards W. of (14). The House was built
on an L-shaped plan with the wings extending
towards the N. and E. but a later addition in the
angle and modern additions on the N. make the
existing plan very irregular. The W. wing is
gabled at either end and the E. end of the S. front
has been refaced with modern brick. Inside the
building, on the first floor, is some early 17th-century panelling. The Wall running N. from
the W. end of the house for a length of about
20 ft. is of old flint-rubble.
(16). House, now two tenements, at W. corner
of road running N., ¼ m. W.N.W. of the church,
is of one storey with attics. It is of the centralchimney type with a modern addition on the
N. and has a thatched roof.
(17). Courts, house, ¼ m. N.E. of the church, was
built probably in the 16th century on an L-shaped
plan with the wings extending towards the N.
and W. It has a later extension on the E. and
modern additions on the N. The upper storey
of the original building projects on the S. front
and is supported on three heavy carved brackets.
Inside the building in the entrance passage is
some early 17th-century panelling.
(18). Cottage, near Vicarage, 950 yards N.W.
of the church, is roofed partly with tiles and
partly with slates. It is of central-chimney type
and has modern additions on the N. and E.
(19). Lennard Arms Inn, on border of parish,
nearly 1½ m. W.N.W. of the church, is a small
building of the central-chimney type, possibly
of 16th-century date, with modern additions on
the N. and E.
Baddow, see Great Badow.